The Place Royal Pavilion is a fine Cantonese restaurant which sits in the newly refurbished Park Regis Hotel along Merchant Road. The hotel has a very centralised location, just minutes by foot from Clarke Quay or Chinatown MRT station. We were quite in awe with the majestic setting of the restaurant as we took our entrance into Royal Pavilion, which has well-spaced tables, traditional Cantonese furnishings as well as a grand Chandelier in the middle of the restaurant which is impossible to miss.
Apart from serving authentic Cantonese dishes and dim sum, Royal Pavilion has just launch its Inaugural Hairy Crab Seasonal Menu, which will be available for an exclusively short period from the month of October to mid-November next month. It was a great night having the hairy crab feast in one of the seven private dining rooms, which we thought is very ideal for a cosy family gathering or business lunches. Be warned that you might turn crabby after all our images about to come!
The Food It is the Hairy Crab season again and we were very excited to feast on specially crafted seasonal Hairy Crab menu at Royal Pavilion. The hairy crabs are sourced from the prized Yangcheng Lake, located in Jiangsu Province in China, which is arguably the most famous area of origin for the hairy crabs. We found out that female hairy crab is more prized for its crab roe as it is much sweeter as compared to the male version, and contrary to popular belief, hairy crab does have a cooling effect on our body.
Steamed Hairy Crab with Perilla Leaves (S$60++ per crab)
The first hairy crab to take the stage was the original steamed version. It was my first time trying hairy crab and I didn’t expect the roe to be so sweet as compared to normal crabs. The perilla leaves is a Chinese herb which the Chef has introduced to this version so as to balance the cool effect of the hairy crab.
Baked Hairy Crab with Wild Mushroom and Sake in Japanese Style (S$68++ per crab)
Hairy crab in sake! We were excited to see this on the menu as it is a very unique way of preparing the crabs. It was interesting to pair the crabs with Enoki and Shiitake mushrooms, especially when we are great lovers of mushrooms. The sake taste was not too overbearing, and we thought it added a nice flavour to the crab.
Steamed Hairy Crab with Egg White and Chinese Wine (S$68++ per crab)
It was amazing that every different style has a different presentation. It would probably be most apt to describe this style as swimming crabs, as all the hairy crabs were half soaked in the generous egg whites and Chinese wine. It was definitely a very different stimulation of our palates after having the Japanese Sake style. Indeed, the taste of the egg white enhanced the already rich flavour of the the crab roe.
Flambé Hairy Crab with Sea Salt served in Claypot (S$68++ per crab)
Up next was a real visual treat for us, as the lights were dimmed for the Flambé crab.
Despite the crab being prepared with sea salt, the taste was not as salty as I would have imagined. In fact, the tinge of saltiness balanced the taste of the sweet crab roe relatively well.
Flambé Drunken Hairy Crab served in Superior Herbal Soup (S$68++ per crab)
For our last hairy crab style, the crabs were first drowned in Aged Hua Diao wine before being heated with superior herbal soup in the hot pot. This is definitely one unique style of having hairy crabs which you would not miss if you like the taste of herbal soup.
Are you ready for the hairy crab season?
Rants Prices for the hairy crabs at Royal Pavilion are definitely on the high end, but given its seasonality and the premium hairy crabs served here in various creative styles, we could understand the basis for the premium price.
Will I return again? We were really impressed with the quality of the hairy crabs at Royal Pavilion, as well as some of the other dishes we tried such as the Crispy Taro Cake with Pan-Fried Glutinous Rice and the Chilled Pumpkin Soup dessert. We can’t wait to try their dim sum on our next visit.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
Park Regis Singapore
23 Merchant Road, Singapore 058268
Tel: +65 6818 8888
Daily: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm (Lunch), 6pm to 10.30pm (Dinner)