February 11, 2012

Taraba crab feast

Pin It

We celebrated a friend's birthday tonight at a long-overdue gathering.   The birthday girl loves crabs, and we were set for a feast which featured a red king crab (鱈場蟹) as the main event.  The venue, however, wasn't what I was expecting.  Seafood 89 (89鮮海產) is a typical local joint serving up fresh seafood - stir-fried or cooked over high heat (快炒) - at very reasonable prices.  A place like this offers zero decor or dining comfort, and at times the table spills out onto the sidewalks.  But it doesn't matter to the patrons, as long as the food is tasty.

I was kinda hungry, and decided to grab something while we waited for our food to arrive.  Patrons are free to help themselves to bowls of braised pork rice (滷肉飯), and I think I scooped a little too much of the braised pork on top.  There was a lot of red scallions in the mix, and a healthy balance between fatty and lean parts of the pig.  Not bad, although I probably should have had it towards the end of the meal.

Deep-fried cuttlefish (炸軟絲) - as its name indicates, the texture was much softer than I expected.  Nicely fried with basil.

It was time to pick out our crab.  There were tanks full of red king crabs, since these are on every table.  The collection was pretty impressive.  We asked for one that's "not too big, and not too small".  In the end this little baby weighed a little more than 4kg...

The smoked goose (燻鵝肉) was very good.  Tender and succulent, a little on the rare side but that was fine by me.  Wonderful smoky flavors which in my mind rendered the accompanying sauce unnecessary.

Pig's kidneys in sesame seed oil (麻油腰子) was done perfectly, with a little rice wine (米酒) in the sauce.

Fried oyster omelette (蚵仔煎蛋) was very delicious, fully of eggy goodness and rich tastes of oysters.  None of the crappy starch that one usually finds in typical street food style oyster omelette.

We've had a hot pot bubbling on the table for a while, and now the crab has been dismembered and arrived before us.  The claws and front sections of the leg were dunked in the pot, and minutes later we had delicious crab meat in big chunks.

Stir-fried Manila clams (炒海瓜子) - these were nice and fat, typically done with basil and garlic.

Finally we had the body and the larger sections of the legs.  These had been in the oven so the taste is somewhat different, with a little of that charring.  With even bigger chunks of meat, this was very satisfying...

We kept seeing other tables order the dish, so we decided that we wanted some deep-fried prawns (炸明蝦), too.  These were pretty damn good... Battered like Japanese tempura, these giant prawns were extremely succulent inside the batter.  Very yummy.  If I had room in my stomach I would have wanted a second one.

Two plates of veggies tonight:  stir-fried cabbage (炒高麗菜) was very sweet and tender, and the stir-fried kale (炒芥藍) was not bad, either.

We opened two bottles during dinner, but I didn't bring anything because I figured they wouldn't have any glasses.  Sure enough, we ended up drinking out of tiny beer glasses...

Laurent-Perrier Brut L-P

2003 Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot - very ripe on the palate, and a little tart.

For dessert, one of us walked to the stall next door and bought some sweet tofu with peanuts (花生豆花).  The tofu was very silky.  Pretty good.

We were completely stuffed, and very happy.  Food was good, and it was an awesome experience to eat a whole red king crab...

My friends came and visited my new apartment, and the birthday girl wanted to drink some red Burg... so I obliged her.

2004 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds - game meat, forest, dried herbs, sweet fruit.  Very fragrant.  Opened up more and more with time to become so beautiful - drinking very well now.  A little tart on the palate at first.


Michelle Chin said...

The kidney caught my eye!

Jon said...

I would have had the deep fried prawns. Lots of interesting seafood dishes and smoked dishes too.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map