By: Steve Trautlein & Steve Trautlein | Oct 15, 2009 | No Comments | 2,362 views

It’s autumn in Chinatown, and the entire neighborhood is abuzz with one thing: Shanghai crabs. Posters advertising the freshwater specialty can be seen all over town, which means diners have no end of opportunity to enjoy the delicacy. At Rokuhokyo, though, the crabs are sourced direct from China, which means they’re on the menu through February (hauls from other regions, according to the staff, dry up in December). And unlike other restaurants, which offer one or two ad hoc dishes, Rokuhokyo has a full menu, including the traditional yopparai gani. This recipe, whose name translates as “drunken crab,” involves thrusting the still-live creature in a vat of Shaoxing wine and letting it soak up the booze for a full week. Kind of cruel, we agree, but not a bad way to go when you think about it. During a recent lunch visit, we enjoyed the extremely intense flavor of this cold dish, but were dismayed at how little meat the crab yielded, and how tough it is to get at (tip: use one of the pincers as a pick). Far better was the steamed variety, which was served in the shell with the exposed meat dabbed in miso or egg. Also in Rokuhokyo’s favor is the fact that they price the crab by weight, instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach (generally, ¥2,800-¥3,500 per crustacean, which is a bit pricier than the standard ¥2,000 at other eateries). Even if you’re not into crab, the restaurant offers excellent set lunches for ¥950, including ramen, fried rice, mabo nasu, and shrimp in chili sauce.

146 Banchi, Yamashita-cho. Tel: 045-681-0664. Open Fri-Wed 11am-3pm and 5-9pm, closed Thu. Nearest stn: Ishikawacho (JR line) or Motomachi-Chukagai (Minatomirai line).



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