Monday, March 14, 2011


It's crab season and what better way to celebrate than deep frying a huge dungeness crab and enjoying the tender and crispy goodness? Sounds like a perfect Friday night to me.

Jamie flew in for the weekend and first thing on our agenda: Salt and Pepper Crab at R&G Lounge.

I was bummed that I forgot my camera, but apparently everyone snaps photos of this photogenic sucker. Thank you, Google images, for making my life easier.

So, the crab is taken apart, dipped in a delightfully light batter, fried and then sprinkled with salt, pepper and scallions. It arrives to your table with the pieces neatly arranged under the top half of the shell that is purely for show. Fantastic presentation.

Once it arrives, and you stop drooling long enough to grab a piece of the piping hot crab, the real work begins. O yes, you still have to pick the crab apart. Inside the crispy fried shell are super tender bits of crab meat...almost completely devoid of grease. Amazing.

Of course this crab picking experience is much messier and a smidge tougher than most since your hands get coated with grease and crispy bits. Totally worth it though, especially when you end up with a succulent crab lollipop. Ahhhh!

Not a big crab eater? Well the above photo is the best I could find to depict said lollipop. Basically we're talking about those very rare moments when you crack open a crab claw or leg and find a big honking piece of crab meat. Heavenly.

As I've mentioned before, dungeness crab meat is slightly different from blue crab meat. Clearly they are easier to pick than blue crabs (more meat for less work) and I've noticed that the meat is slightly reminiscent of the texture of imitation crab meat or king crab legs. Blue crab meat tends to be a little less...dense? I don't know. Crab is just delicious.

To supplement the crab (there were 3 of us and I'd say the crab was a good starter), we also ordered the Three Treasures with Black Bean Sauce (bean curd, eggplant and hot peppers stuffed with shrimp meat in black bean sauce) and Sauteed Pea Shoots. The bean curd in the Three Treasures looked like it was your typical fried tofu, but no. Inside the lightly fried skin was a silken tofu stuffed with a little bit of shrimp. Not really a great texture combo, but I did enjoy the tofu before biting into the shrimp.

I must say the pea shoots might have been one of my favorite dishes of the night. I've really only had wimpy pea shoots where the stems were thin, almost like sprouts. These were exceptionally beefy looking stalks of pea shoots and they were simply sauteed with some garlic and were absolutely delicious. Note: they don't list these on the menu, so definitely ask for green veg options!

Overall, R&G Lounge was a tasty adventure and I'd definitely return to try the Peking Duck (no wimpy flat pancakes here, they use puffy steamed buns) or Crab in Black Bean Sauce (essentially the same experience as the Salt & Pepper Crab, but goopier).

Are you a crab lover? What's your favorite - dungeness, king, blue, snow, soft shell?

1 comment:

We Are Not Martha said...

Whoa! That crab looks incredible!! I'm a softshell fan (and a fan of crab cakes), but I totally want to try it all!