Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Restaurant

Under Bridge Spicy Crab

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Having crappy crab at fatty crab really left me craving for some real seafood for days! While talking about it over brunch on Sunday, K suggested going to Under Bridge Chili Crab, “TONIGHT”!

Even though it doesn’t come close to how awesome Singaporean black pepper crab is, it is a decent substitute (there’s “No signboard HK branch” but it’s really nowhere near the real deal). I know it sounds ridiculous but quite a number of groups of friends that I hang out with actually require the use of doodle to set a date to “book” each other weeks in advance so this impromptu dinner is like a miracle on its own :p

Our group of 6 quickly expanded to a group of 11 as the day progress. All we could think of was our seafood dinner so we got a table at the earliest possible time. Surprisingly the restaurant was far from being empty at 6pm. Under bridge spicy crab started from being a dai pai dong literally under the “bridge” i.e. Jaffe road bypass, to now having three branches within a block from each other and attracting both locals and tourists to try its famous “typhoon shelter cooking style”.

We ordered their signature dish- two huge chili crab (one mildly spicy and one medium spicy), clams, some veggies, under the bridge style ribs, rice and noodles and MA PO TOFU + SWEET AND SOUR PORK (-_-“) blame the Koreans in our midst :p apparently us Chinese ordering japchae at a Korean restaurant is just as bad :p LOL
T (Korean #1): I want ma po tofu!
J (Korean #2): I want sweet and sour pork!
K: NO ONE orders ma po tofu and sweet and sour pork at a chili crab joint except for you Koreans!
T +J (T_T”): NO ONE orders japchae at Korean restaurants except for you Chinese!!
K: FINE…
I actually din bother taking pictures nor wasting space in my stomach for those two dishes.

Since most of the dishes we ordered were on the heaty side of the scale, we ordered watermelon juice to combat the heatiness, I know a lot of people don’t believe in that and dismiss it as midwives’ tales but I do whatever I can to avoid getting sore throat and pimples the next day. The restaurant was very attentive in giving us green bean soup as dessert at the end of the meal as green bean is known for its ability to “cool down” heatiness” =)

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The “crab oil” noodle was surprisingly good and light, even though there was literally nothing but noodles fried in crab oil, it was not overly greasy but full of crab flavor and the noodle was of a good bite.

The broccoli was good too, fresh and firm and each branch was lightly covered in sauce. Seriously we ate so fast, I forgot to even snap pictures of most of the food :p

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The under the bridge fried rice was flavorful with diced prawns, scallop, carrot and kailan; the texture of the rice was perfect, each grain of rice was firm yet not overly chewy. “wok hei” ** 鑊氣 is very important in Chinese dishes which require high heat to ensure shortest cooking time and retaining the freshness of the ingredients. And this fried rice definitely gets high score on the “wok hei” department!

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Sauteed Clams with Chili and Black Bean Sauce. The black beans sauce was tasty and mildly spicy without overshadowing the subtle sweetness of fresh clams.

Dishes arrived swiftly and were emptied with equal efficiency; we finished most of the dishes within less than an hour after we ordered!

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Finally, the star of the night had arrived. Unlike the saucy Singaporean chili crab, the Typhoon Shelter style chili crab was deep fried with garlic and chili and then stir fried with fresh onions and spring onions. It was then served buried under a heap of intensely flavorful garlic chili flakes and spring onion.

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{pictures from cnn}

The claw was as big as my palm and we wiped out TWO crabs in probably just 15 minutes! True story, you snooze, you lose. I asked if anyone wanted to share one crab with me if I order one more but there were no takers, sadly…. Everyone were too full. Even though the garlic flakes were packed with flavor, they did not overshadow the juicy and firm crab meat but brought out the mild sweetness of the fresh crab. The flakes were so good, we couldn’t stop picking at them. Some of us were eating it with plain rice while M and T took a lunchbox full of garlic flake home to fry rice with. Brilliant idea!

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The “under the bridge” pork rib was prepared using the same garlic flakes, it wasn’t the soft tender fall- off the bone kinda ribs but was kina chewy in a good way and the garlic flakes went really well with the juicy pork ribs. Spicy, salty and finger licking good

The bill came up to be about $300 per person, which we thought was well under our expectation. We ended the meal feeling very satisfied **rubbing tummy all around** and yes we were quite certain our bodies were gonna suffered a little after all that heaty and hearty dishes but it was well worth it =)

Under Bridge Chili Crab
Shop 1-2, G/F, 414 – 424 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
2573 7698
** Another good way of explaining “wok hei” was found on chowtimes. Stir frying’s “wok-hei” (breath of the wok) is strictly a Cantonese-origin concept, whereby extreme high temperatures utilized for wokking minimizes cooking times and which literally seals in the moisture and tenderness of meats and their connective tissues while ensuring more delicate ingredients such as vegetables and tofus are cooked to perfection while maintaining their textures.

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