Hairy-crab season may nearly be over, but don’t cry, crustacean-fans: there’s still time to get your claws and paws around Shanghai’s most succulent seafood treat. Here is LUXE’s list of favoured crab shacks: all you need to bring is your appetite (and a thirst for hairy crab’s traditional liquid match: yellow wine). Top tip: do not wear your favourite finery; you will only strew crab all over it.
Snappy diners can still swoop in for The Peninsula’s own crustacean offering, to be enjoyed at three of their glamorous outlets, including The Lobby, Yi Long Court (where you can pick at crab dishes or tackle a whole crab with ginger tea accompaniment), and Sir Ellys for five courses of jet-fresh Yangcheng Lake-crab fabulousness.
If you like your hairy crab served in opulence and splendour, head to Gui Hua Lou: an award-winning, fine-dining darling that specialises in authentic Shanghainese, Huaiyang and Sichuanese cuisine. Don’t get distracted by Nanjing-style salty duck or the braised clams with carrots: plump for the sauteed hairy crab meat served with stewed rice.
The name says it all: Cheng Long Hang Crab Palace is a sensible place to get your crab fix. Cheng Long has a year-round crush on crustaceans, but hairy-crab season is a particularly toothsome time to visit. Kick off with crab-meat jellies, proceed onto crabby braised bean curd, tick off xiaolongbao stuffed with pork and crab meat, conquer a bowl of crab-dressed steamed rice, and then watch as the waiters skillfully take the meat out of a just-cooked whole crab just for you.
Completing the set of ace crab joints, Hai Jinzi is a tiny lanehouse restaurant that’s beloved by locals. Here, hairy crab comes in scrambled-egg form: delicious crab roe are muddled in with the eggs. Prepare to join an hour-long queue for the experience…Crabalicious.
The Lobby / G/F / The Peninsula / +86 21 2327 2888 / 6am-midnight daily / peninsula.com
Sir Elly’s / 13/F / The Peninsula / +86 21 2327 6756 / lunch & dinner daily / peninsula.com
Gui Hua Lou / 33 Fucheng Lu / Pudong / +86 21 6882 8888 / lunch & dinner daily
Cheng Long Hang Palace / 216 Jiujiang Lu / Huangpu / +86 21 6321 2010 / lunch & dinner daily
Hai Jinzi / 240 Jinxian Lu / Huangpu / +86 21 6255 0371 / lunch & dinner daily