We were taken out to supper at Under Bridge Spicy Crab to try its famous typhoon shelter crabs (避风塘炒蟹). I've vaguely heard of it, but never tried it. So I was quite curious about it. But this was like...a few hours after dinner. I certainly didn't have space to put away more food! The friends were enthusiastic about it and declared they could eat many items. Okkaaay.
So the name of this dish originated from its strong flavors of garlic, scallion, red chilli and black beans, preferred by the 'typhoon shelter people', or 'boat people', who live in the typhoon shelters in Hong Kong, a stark contrast amidst the swanky yachts. The fried garlic bits were awesome and really spicy! Quite appetizing. However, frying the crab in this style made it dry and flaky, so the taste of the crabs was lost and the seasoning overpowered everything else.
The rest of the 'typhoon shelter cuisine' leaned towards spicy as well. There were also clams and mussels on the table. Some tofu thingies and claypot stuff. The only few dishes that weren't spicy were the green vegetables and fried rice. Quite an interesting change from the usual Cantonese and Shanghai cuisine widely available on the island.
After supper, the group wanted desserts for a 'cooling' effect. The crabs, spices and all were apparently 'heaty' for the body and could induce sore throats and whatever symptoms of 'heaty-ness'. I was like...whatever. I wasn't going to touch anything herbal, ginseng or cordyceps or whatever. Chinese herbs induce boils on my body and they don't sit well with me, especially things like herbal tea and soups infused with herbs. I promptly break out in rashes or fall ill.
Anyway, we ended up at a supposedly good dessert place that had a friggin long queue at this hour. It's clearly popular with the locals. The friends ordered many items off the menu. It was great that there were many people to share in the many desserts ordered. Things that I really didn't like- steamed milk, coconut something something, whatever. Too sweet, too sticky, and generally I'm not hot about it. But the shaved ice, I like. Especially the mango flavored shaved ice. I've never seen it or tasted it! I was totally mesmerized by the texture. It was ice! Thin sheets of ice that seemed like a super light chiffon cake. It was surprisingly not too sweet if the peripheral random items were pushed away. Cold desserts work fine by me.
|Mango-flavored shaved ice.|