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King Crab season is here!  Yay!!

Well, actually, king crab season started last month and probably runs until sometime next month.  I guess, we are already midway into the season.

Last Thursday, I met up with some friends for a king crab dinner.  J suggested Excelsior Restaurant in Richmond.  As we were all getting off work at a relatively decent time, we opted for an early dinner and the reservation was set for 5:30 pm.

This was my first visit to Excelsior.  Because I was commuting during rush-hour and was uncertain of the parking situation, I left work and went directly to the restaurant.  Lo and behold, I arrived at 5:10 pm and with only one table seated.  I forgot that traffic is much lighter during spring break.  Being early, I confirmed that we had a reservation and then went over to Staples to wander for a few minutes.

By the time I returned at 5:25 pm, a couple of other tables were occupied and luckily another friend had shown up as well. By 5:30 pm, we were seated and all five of us were present.  J & W are quite familiar with the menu at Excelsior so we asked them to do the ordering.  We opted for the king crab feast and a few other dishes.  I helped by selecting yi mein.   M seconded my selection.  That was my contribution to our decision-making process.

Here’s what showed up on our table:

soup

We started off our meal with soup.  I didn’t catch the name of it but whatever it was, it was delicious.  I had two bowls of it.

king crab - steamed with ginger and green onion

king crab - steamed with garlic and green onion

Both steamed plates arrived at the same time.  Hard to say if one tasted better than the other.  As far as I was concerned, they both tasted good.  I probably preferred the ginger and green onion plate more but that could also be because removing the crab meat was much easier from that dish.  Sometimes, a challenging element is not always equivalent to a sweeter taste of success.

yi mein in the leftover juices

After clearing the steamed plates off our table, they used the leftover crab juice from the dish to mix it with yi mein.   Mmm…

king crab - fried rice served in the shell

As well, the shell arrived filled with fried rice.  The fried rice was… okay.  Although this one looked more colourful and visually appetizing, I preferred the simple yet lightly flavourful yi mein.

king crab - curry

The curry-style crab dish was surprisingly tasty.  Perhaps it was because I ate too much curry as a kid, but over the years, curry has not been one of my “must haves” at a restaurant.  (One exception – when it comes in the laksa at Tamarind Hill).  Despite the fact that this part of the crab requires the most work and can leave one with messy fingers, I was munching away on the many pieces of curry-flavoured crab.  Good pick, G!!

pea shoots with minced garlic

sweet and sour pork

We had a couple of other dishes on our table as well.  By the end of our meal, we were all full.  We had to package most of the fried rice to go.

red bean soup

And, of course, at the end of our meal, the usual complimentary red bean dessert soup.

By the time we had finished our filling and delicious meal, the restaurant was packed and a crowd of people out the door were waiting for tables.  We definitely picked a good time to start our meal!

Have you had your king crab feast this season?  Do you have a favourite restaurant that you visit for their king crab feast?  What are your favourite ways of preparing the king crab?

Excelsior Restaurant 怡園粉麵茶餐廳 on Urbanspoon

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