Add:3338 Hubing Rd S., Kunshan City
ie Xian Lou, literally meaning the Crab Fairy Mansion, a two-story crab house with a spacious garden by Yangcheng Lake. Most of its private dining rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with a 180-degree lake view.
The restaurant was formerly the research center of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science, which was established to improve the quality of hairy crabs. The lake area nearby is said to be one of the best.
The size of its crabs vary from 150 grams to 300 grams. Besides hairy crabs, the nong jia cai (农家菜 referring to dishes popular in the countryside represented by cooking fresh and natural ingredients in a simple way) are rather delicious. Most of the vegetables are grown in the restaurant’s garden and they also raise chickens and ducks.
The free-range chicken soup and homemade salted duck eggs are two highlights. The duck eggs are wrapped in a mixture of soil and rice-straw ash, which gives the eggs a special flavor. The river shrimp boiled with green onions and pumpkin congee are also recommended.
Diners can also get a tour of the lake on Xie Xian Lou’s wooden boat.
How to get there:
• By car: Drive along G42 (Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway) and take the Bacheng Exit. Drive along Hubing Rd S. for 3 kilometers and turn right.
• By public transport: Take the Shanghai-Nanjing High-speed Train and get off at Kunshan Station. It then takes around 30 minutes to get there by taxi.