November 2, 2009 5

Tu’an XieWeiGuan 图安蟹味馆 (Shanghai)

By in 08: Shanghai

October is the season of the regional Shanghai Mitten Crab (Hairy Crab), a famous Shanghai Delicacy famous for its rich roes. We found this restaurant specialized in crab called Tu’an Crab Tasting House at the French Concession area near the Library.


You’d come upon a pool of the crab on your way up to the entrance. The interior is typically Chinese banquet style.


Stirred Fried Crab with Roe and Herbs. So Delicious! The flavors were rich and complex. You eat them with the toast.


Jumbo Crab Soup Dumping. The soup was very rich as well (apparently you don’t eat the bread).


Here’re the Mitten Crabs! Knowing how rich they are we ordered the smaller size (around 150RMB each).


Their own brand of Shanxi Vinegar (can be bought at the front desk) is blended with honey, dried orange peel and hawthorn so it’s sweeter. There’re specific steps to eat the crab that our friend showed us (the photo above is step 2, after step 1: taken off the shell of the back side and sucked its roe). We tried hard to follow her and frankly the sight of the crab being deconstructed is not pretty. Since our crab was small, the legs were very challenging to eat. But the crab flavor was fresh and  sweet. It’s nothing I’ve ever had (the frozen, bland flavorless crab here) could come close.


The ugly aftermath…we felt so accomplished afterward. We also got a plate of Crab Legs with Asaparagus.


Crabs are considered very ‘cold’ (Yin) in Chinese medicine, so they gave you Ginger Tea (hot/Yang) to balance.

Apparently I heard that there’re lots of fake Hairy crab on the market because it’s been overfished and the demand is high. I wouldn’t be able to tell anyway…

Tu’an XieWeiGuan
No.1 Gaoanlu, Xuhui District

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5 Responses to “Tu’an XieWeiGuan 图安蟹味馆 (Shanghai)”

  1. tomoko says:

    hey! I just finished reading all your posts
    up to this one (>▽<)

    I especially like Maison de The!
    love the kitchy tin cans and tea pot!! (*≧∇≦)p

    I also like the authentic tea room in
    Wu garden…It’s so beautiful and serene!!

    as seat was saying,
    I never would have guessed it was Shanghai you were in!
    (I had this mistaken image that Shanghai only had
    touristy places…like that famous tower)
    You guys picked all the good spots!

  2. Jean says:

    you mean “Shanxi” vinegar? 😛 sorry, I am from there, so slightly sensitive.
    your newest food trip makes me miss China so much!!! 🙁

  3. SinoSoul says:

    Finally caught up on the SHA reads. I’m decidedly weirded out by the lack of alley dives. I ate from roadside shacks every chance I got, except for the few biz meals. Sucking small snails while sitting on a 1′ tall plastic tool, and drinking horrendously bad local pee beer is so d’frent from the pictures you’ve presented the last weeks.

  4. weezermonkey says:

    You eat the xiao long bao with a straw?!

  5. Freda says:

    Hey tomoko, we didn’t even go over to the side where that tower (ugly!) is at all…it’s just all business building / chichi fine dining. In the area we hanged out (French Concession) I noticed many boutiques and galleries have an ‘upstairs’ cafe/teahouse. It seems like anyone who has a store would put some chairs and tables and called it a cafe to make some side money. It’s easy to distinguish the bullshit though…like we walked by some antique furniture store’s cafe that served coke and teabag, you’d know they don’t have much heart at all. While some are serious about their tea selection with homemade treats.

    Hi Jean, thanks for the correction.

    SinoSoul, sounds like you have an awesome time at the real local ghetto joint. I don’t think I have the courage to try those alley dives. Shanghai is always so multifacet (even back in its glory days) Like we focused on the creative side of Shanghai, so we mixed our choices with traditional and new expat hang outs.

    weezermonkey, the one with straw is for giant bao (size of a palm)~