Kanizen, 3 Thomson Rd., Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Nearest Train:Wan Chai
Open Since:August, 2010
The buzz: The first Japanese crab specialty restaurant in town, opened by the Katte Shabushabu guys.
The décor: Giant spider-like taraba crabs greet you in their tank of frozen waters as soon as you enter the building. Another door leads you into an arresting space of black walls, rust-hued lighting, steel lotuses and a capacious counter for each diner’s own personal hotpot. Splashes of scarlet from the ceramic tableware and the cherry blossom print on the walls undercut the minimalism. Latticed, darker, intimate booths lurk further inside, with private rooms on the second floor.
The food: Crabmeat! Crab dumplings! Crab roe! Fresh, delicious critters like the bigger Taraba and the Kegani (horse hair crabs) arrive from Tokyo and Hokkaido every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but the Matsuba rarely survives the long journey, so they are frozen. It’ll set you back a grand, but go for a full set dinner, with crustaceans made into tempura, DIY shabu-shabu’d in bonito broth, and have the shells and roe added back into the soup together with eggs and rice to make crab porridge for a grand finale. The $238 lunch set (steamed egg with crab, hotpot and porridge, yuzu sorbet or sakura ice-cream) is a fantastic deal for crab lovers.
Why you’ll be back: Hey, you don’t have to fork out that ticket to Sapporo anymore when you’ve got that Japanese crab craving.