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Restaurant Xinguang Jiu Jia is, arguably, the best place in the WORLD to get a true taste of what hairy crab is all about (click here for my intro post to hairy crab).

This is one of the few foods/restaurant that is worthy of being a destination restaurant – meaning, save up your money & book your ticket during the fall season to dine at Xinguang Jiu Jia…then visit Shanghai while you’re at it!

Quite frankly, I was kind of dreading the idea of putting this post together because having to relive this entire meal on paper is PURE TORTURE.

Ok, I’ll stop whining.  Turn up the brightness on your computer and let’s get on with the show!

Drunken Raw Crab – Marinated in Huangjiu

We commence with whole hairy crabs in marinated in Huangjiu liquor, vinegar and sugar.  A most unique dish for our western palate.  It tastes more sweet than salty and has an unusual caramel-ly effect.  Not for everyone, but very special.

Xinguang Jiu Jia serves primarily tasting menus at a 3 person minimum, so depending on how elaborate your tasting menu choice is, expect this meal to start at $50 per person…and upwards.  $50?!?!  Trust me, that is nothing for what you are getting!  Besides being worth every last cent, if this was offered anywhere outside of China, the labor required to present this meal would make it cost an arm and a leg.

 What you get is a no frills, incomparable feast utilizing all parts of the very exclusive, hairy crab.  No frustrating cracking, peeling of these little crustaceans, it’s all done for you in a flawless fashion.  You merely concentrate on the unadulterated enjoyment of savoring the succulent meat and roe to your hearts content!

Hairy Crab Leg Meat with Braised Asparagus.

Go ahead and click on the photo so you get a closer view of each…individual…piece…of…crab…leg…meat.  Meticulously hand pealed, each and every single one!  Each crab has 6 legs yielding meat approximately the size of a large matchstick.  It’s staggering to imagine anyone extracting this meat with such care and precision, but that’s what they do here.

Now you begin to appreciate the labor and attention involved that makes this such a luxurious meal.

Hairy Crab Claw Meat.

A round tower of pure, fresh meat from the claw!  Only 2 claws per crab, so this is another mind-boggling laborious dish.  Words CAN NOT justify this extravagance.

Crab Meat over Silken Tofu.

Smooth, creamy and rich sauce that uses crab meat from the body of the crab.

Crab Meat/Roe in Green Vegetables.

We have eaten here a few times in the past, plus this was lunch, so we chose to eat somewhat on the “lighter” side.  Heh.

Noodles with Crab Meat.

I’m really sad that, visually, this plate of noodles looks rather unappetizing because it tasted out-of-this-world great!

Noodles plus fresh crab meat?!  YES, PLEASE!!

Hairy Crab-Filled Wontons.

Delicate wontons poaching in this light, savory broth with chives.

 I could wax poetic about this entire meal until I’m blue in the face.  But something this memorable defies proper explanation.  This is basically a crab lover’s fantasy and it’s no wonder so many make their pilgrimage to Restaurant Xinguang Jiu Jia to partake of this delicacy.

As we were leaving the restaurant, I happened to catch a glimpse of this prep table…


There are now more restaurants mimicking this crab feast, but since 1991, Xinguang Jiu Jia has been and remains the original and the best!