[Hong Kong] Under Bridge Spicy Crab (橋底辣蟹)

Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the signature dish at this eatery is.

Despite the massive popularity of this place, you won’t have to worry about not being able to get a table at Under Bridge Spicy Crab even without reservations. That’s because they have three outlets, all of which are situated just round the bend from each other.

Approaching from Causeway Bay station, we made a beeline for the first of the Under Bridge Spicy Crab restaurants we saw (429 Lockhart Road, which turned out to be their second branch) but were herded by a lady to their third branch at 421-425 Lockhart Road. If you will not have your purist tastebuds settle for anything less than the original spicy crab, their flagship outlet is at 414-424, Jaffe Road.

The restaurant was moderately packed with a mostly local crowd on a Thursday evening. Always a good sign, plus we had fun looking at countless pictures of celebrities who’d visited the restaurant, tacked on the walls. Service was prompt and the servers are bilingual (meaning Chinese is no problemo). Great for the Cantonese-illiterate, i.e. yours truly.

Stir-fried clams in black bean sauce (豉椒炒蜆), HKD 78.

I apologise for the picture above, which makes it seem like this place serves empty clam shells. Allow me to direct your attention to the nugget of clam flesh to the right of that glaringly empty shell.

These were divine. The saltiness of the slightly spicy black bean sauce was distinct from, yet complemented the naturally briny clams. The clams were so fresh too! It’s a dish that can be found at most eateries specialising in seafood in Singapore, but Under Bridge Spicy Crab‘s version of this dish was one of the best that I’ve had. Promising sign of things to come.

Under Bridge Fried Rice (橋底炒飯), HKD 58.

This dish possessed a rather uninformative name, but we were able to tell from the pictures on the menu that it contained seafood. We were pleased to find generous chunks of scallop and prawns buried in the eggy fried rice, which was decidedly average. The grains of rice were a little too dry, so we drenched them in clam gravy. That did just the trick.

Signature spicy crab (招牌辣蟹), HKD 680 for a medium portion.

Here’s the star of the show.

Anyone familiar with Singaporean cuisine would know how big a role chilli crabs and black pepper crabs play in the local food scene. While we’ve had, in recent years, innovative creations like butter crab and salted egg yolk crab, Under Bridge Spicy Crab‘s concept of coating crabs with stir fried chilli and garlic was very much of an eye-opener for us.

From what I’ve gleaned from reading online reviews, the quality of the crabs served here is quite inconsistent. We were fortunate to have juicy and fleshy crabs infused with garlicky fragrance. I also ladled heaping spoonfuls of the wildly addictive chilli and garlic mixture over my rice. To be safe we ordered the “mildly spicy” version of the dish (level 2 of 5? I think), and despite my relatively low tolerance for chilli I think I’d be able to handle a level 3. Overall I enjoyed the crab very much.

Decent food at indecent prices.

We also had some veggie dishes, which were all right. I don’t think you’d want me to cover them in detail. I have an entire bag of fine excuses for laziness.

Would I return to Under Bridge Spicy Crab? Not with the astronomical prices. The bill for 3 people came up to HKD 1200 or S$195. For the crab alone we were charged HKD 680 or S$110, which is flat out insane. I could get two monster Sri Lankan crabs in chilli gravy for that money in Singapore. These prices would perhaps be justifiable in cities where food is more expensive on average, but considering the availability of cheap food in Hong Kong… it’s going to be very difficult to persuade me to come back. Unless the meal’s on someone else’s tab, of course. Teehee.

Well, at least the food was good, and their signature crab is definitely worth trying at least once. Plus it’s another item to add to my been there, done that list!

Under Bridge Spicy Crab (橋底辣蟹), Outlet #3
Wan Chai, 421-425 Lockhart Road

Nearest subway station: Causeway Bay (Exit 3)
Website: http://www.underspicycrab.com
Tel no.: (852) 2834 6268


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