Kanizen - Delectable Japanese Crab Meal


After several satisfying meals of Shanghainese hairy crab over this past month, I decided to switch gears a little bit to try Japanese crabs! I made a reservation for lunch at Kanizen, and it was wet and rainy on that particular day. The service was attentive right off the bat when I arrived as the receptionist held on to my wet umbrella while the waiter offered to hang up my coat after I placed it on the back of my chair. 

Lots of live and fresh zuwaigani (snow crab) and tarabagani (Red King crab) greeted me at the entrance as if to whet my appetite! Can't wait!

Once inside, the first section of the restaurant consisted of a U-shaped countertop, which was where I was seated. There were also several tables in booths behind me as well for larger parties I presumed.
As I sat down, I was immediately drawn to my matching set of cherry blossom themed tableware. Love it! All the little details count!
There were 6 set lunch menus to choose from with prices ranging from $158 - $368. Since this is a crab place, most of the menus contained crab obviously but there was also a beef/pork shabu shabu lunch set as well for those who doesn't want crab. J and I ended up ordering 2 different lunch sets to share. 

Steamed Matsuba Crab Rice Set ($168)

Appetizer (3/5) - the edamame looked like they had been grilled, but didn't really make a big difference in the taste of the soybeans. A separate container was provided for the uneaten skin. Slightly salty, the edamame was a great starter for our meal. 

Steamed Egg Custard (4/5) - the egg custard was really good as the custard was hot and silky smooth! There was also a big chunk of crab inside so definitely enjoyable to eat. 
Minced Crab Meatloaf (5/5) - I've had a lot of chicken tsukune before but this was my first time eating a tsukune made of minced crab meat. It was surprisingly tasty and delicate! The minced crab meat was soft while the flavor was fresh and sweet. A whole egg yolk was provided as a dip without any soy sauce, which served to enhance the delicate flavor of crab well. 
Steamed Matsuba Crab Rice (4/5) - the wooden rice box was brought in front of me to steam for another 6-7 minutes. After I was finished with my previous courses, the waiter helped us split the rice into 2 bowls. While the rice was good, it was not as flavorful as I thought it would be as there was no evident taste of crab infused in it. Instead I was more impressed with the crab meat and the salmon roe in the rice. The crab meat was delicious to eat while biting into a salmon roe with a bite of rice was a nice surprise every time.  

Executive Mixed Set ($368) - this set had the same appetizer and steamed egg custard.

Assorted Matsuba Crab Tempura (5/5) - the tempura here was really good! First of all, the batter was really thin so you can still enjoy that fried taste but not overwhelm the fresh ingredients. 3 pieces of crab was provided along with some veggies and an egg yolk! The soft-boiled egg yolk was wrapped in a thin batter. It was so delicate that it broke when I dipped it into the tempura dipping sauce. *sob* It was still good though after I managed to fish it all out. Matcha salt was also provided as a condiment for the tempura. 

Grilled Red King Crab (5/5) - this lunch set originally came with horsehair crab but we were informed that ours will be upgraded to a grilled tarabagani for this day. 4 pieces of crab arrived nicely charred and grilled. The crab meat was nicely toasted while tasting sweet and succulent. It was cooked perfectly as the meat was still moist and juicy. Little seasoning was used and none was needed. Yum!

Assorted Vegetables with Inaniwa Udon (3/5) - there was an opening in front of us at the counter for shabu shabu. Fresh vegetables were provided such as lettuce, mushrooms, and tofu. Two vinegar dipping sauces were provided - one clear and one brown. One serving of inaniwa udon was also provided for us to cook to our liking. The noodles were thin, firm, and chewy. While the shabu shabu was good, it was also nothing extraordinary. 

Dessert (4/5) - two kinds of ice cream was available as dessert, which was coffee and ginger. The coffee ice cream was rich with soft and chewy jelly beans inside. I wasn't too keen on the ginger ice cream at first, but it was not as spicy as I thought it would. It was an interesting choice of flavor for ice cream as I was reminded of the ginger tea usually consumed after eating hairy crab. Coincidence?
Verdict - between the 2 of us, the price ended up being very reasonable for the quality and amount of food we received! This restaurant is no doubt a great place for consuming Japanese crab. Not only was the food delectable, the service and ambiance were also commendable. I would love to come back to try their dinner as well!

G/F, 3 Thomson Road, Wan Chai 
2866 1618

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