Under Bridge Spicy Crab Restaurant

By: Chatty Brain Dan L.

After hearing about the Under Bridge Spicy Crab restaurant many times, I knew I had to try it, so a family gathering seemed to be just the right occasion. As we squeezed 15 people around the largest table available, I poured over the menu which of course featured their signature spicy crab, but also had many other food choices. Personally, I thought there were  too many items to chose from so we opted for the Happy Hour Set Dinner for ten which included two spicy crabs, eight other dishes, and complimentary Chinese dessert.

We began with some appetizers – chicken feet and spicy chicken wings – to kick start our taste buds. They were not part of the set but were the perfect snacks to accompany the bucket of cold beer served by the beer girl that made sure we never went thirsty.

Then the food parade began. The seafood and tofu thick soup served in a big pot was very savory and filling, more than enough for 15 people. Then came the clams in black bean and chili sauce, just spicy enough without suppressing the sweetness of the clam meat. The fried rice came next which was odd, as rice and noodle dishes are normally considered to be fillers and usually come at the end of a meal.

The deep fried salty mantis shrimp hidden under a thick blanket of garlic and chili followed and this is when utensils were left by the wayside as we peeled the shells with our hands and uncovered the prize. The combination of the garlic and chili aroma mixed with the slightly salted shrimp meat was truly hypnotic. The menu also included baby Chinese cabbage, stir fried shrimp in bird’s nest and friend chicken,  all of which were very much up to par.

Finally, the waiters presented what we had really been waiting for: the two spicy crabs, one mild and one medium. The mild crab lived up to its name and in fact was not spicy at all. Its meat however was so fresh and juicy making it a really outstanding dish. By now we worked up the courage for what we thought would be a firing sensation with the “medium” crab but unfortunately there was hardly any heat, leaving my spicy craving dissatisfied.

The final dish was the steamed groupa and wow, it surprised me as I thought it was easily the best dish of all. The smooth meat flavoured with julienne ginger, green onion, parsley and soy sauce just melted in your mouth. Had we not been so full, we could have easily ordered another portion and devoured it.

When the food parade finished, we did decide to order one last dish and give the crab a final chance. After all,  it does give the restaurant its name. And so the debate started as to whether we should order the hot or suicide crab. We were persuaded by our server to just go with hot. The crab came and looked exactly like the mild or the medium versions, covered with lots of garlic and chili. After my first bite I knew it wasn’t hot enough, but then the heat came a few seconds later. It was so spicy that tears began running down some of our faces and the beer girl couldn’t keep up with our orders.

I am glad that we ordered that last crab and experienced the spiciness that was expected and advertised. For us, the medium level just didn’t have enough of a kick to differentiate it from the ‘mild’ version. There seems to be too much of a jump from mild/medium to hot/suicide.

Overall, all the other dishes were very well executed and we all had a great time. The family and I agree that we would go back to Under Bridge Spicy Crab restaurant in Hong Kong.

Price per person, including 12 large beers: HK$ 300.

Address: 414-424 Jaffe Road or 421-425 Lockhart Road
Website: www.underspicycrab.com

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