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Jun 2, 2007 10:44 AM

Chinatown Soft Shell Crabs besides Noodletown

Every year I bring a group of 8-10 people to Chinatown to welcome in soft shell crab season. Noodletown isn't a good bet for a lingering large group. Ping's has gone downhill. A surprising number of Cantonese seafood restaurants don't serve soft shell crabs at all. My favorite place for a number of years was the now defunct Sun Golden Island. Any recommendations on Hong Kong/Cantonese seafood places that serve soft shell crabs and fit the bill?

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  1. Not HK/Cantonese, but i had yummy softshells at Doyers Vietnam years ago...not sure if they are still good there, but a group can linger in their grungey basement space for a while if they want to...

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        1. Oriental Garden has it. They actually have it all year round, but I think they used frozen ones with sof shell crabs were not in season (when I had them in winter). They served it in salt and pepper stye as NY Noodletown (deep fried), but they chopped up the crabs into pieces. The flavor was quite good, and in general seafood at Oriental Garden was quite decent given that seafood is what they are famous for. They are definitely more expensive than NY Noodletown, and if I remember correctly, it is about double the price of Noodletown.

          I think you can call ahead to see if they serve fresh soft shell crabs now since they are in season.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kobetobiko

            Yeah, but you're much more likely to get the bum's rush at OG for dinner - or get it quicker - than at Noodletown, don't you think? When I was there for dinner with my parents, they actually tried to take away dishes we hadn't finished, and we were not eating in slow motion or something!

          2. While not quite a Cantonese seafood place, New Viet Hong on Mulberry Street has softshell crab and a number of seafood dishes on its list of blackboard specials.

            3 Replies
            1. re: batterypark

              I used to love that place, but I think they've been slipping. The soft shell crabs were pretty good there in the past. Nha Trang makes them too, but I'm really looking for Chinese. I wonder why the pickings are so (apparently) slim.

              1. re: batterypark

                After reading this today, I ran down to Viet Hong on Mulberry and had their "salt & pepper soft shell crabs" - DELICIOUS!!!! I started with an appetizer of skewered grilled beef, flecked with seasame seeds - served with a dipping sauce - fantastic. And the soft shell crabs - four hearty guys all fried up - served with a side of dipping sauce - salt, pepper & lemon juice from what I could tell. It was all heavenly. Plus - two glasses of wine ... total bill: $29.75. I'm definately going back.