No, Ninth Generation Crab is a specialist in Russian king and snow crabs, pulled from extremely cold water, frozen on the boat to -195 C, and then shipped through a supply chain that keeps them at precisely -28 C from Russia all the way to the fifth floor of Plaza 66, where they are deconstructed and turned into lavish Japanese crab banquets.
The brainchild of a Shanghainese owner who lived in Japan for many years, Ninth Generation Crab was an idea that had been germinating for many years, and could only be realized now, with the rapid upgrade in China’s cold chain logistics system. The owner, a Mr Zhang, told us on a recent visit that only Russian crabs will do — the ones from Chile, which dominate the market, are too low quality, and the ones from Canada are sweet but don’t have any saltiness to them. Don’t even get him started on the North Korean crabs, which have basically zero technology to back them up… no, it’s only the crabs that have been frozen at sea and kept in the cold chain that are able to maintain their quality. The live crabs? They're for Chinese who don't understand that frozen at sea is best and insist on eating fresh crabs.
Zhang then demonstrated, serving us the 888rmb set menu, which presents both snow and king crabs in a variety of ways, from snow crab sashimi, to steamed snow crab legs and body, a meaty grilled king crab leg, snow crab cooked in sweetened dashi in a hot pot, and a final “tempura” snow crab leg that is wrapped in threads of potato before being deep-fried, as opposed to the usual tempura batter. It tastes like a crab covered in potato chips — and sadly, it may come off the 888rmb menu. The reason? Customers complain: It’s too much crab.
Indeed, on the night I went, skeptical about an expensive meal at an expensive restaurant in an expensive mall, I waddled out of the place surprised at the amount of crab and the value of it all. It’s not an everyday meal, and it requires an appreciation of the delicate and often subtle flavor of Japanese food, but as a place for crab lovers to splash out in downtown, Ninth Generation Crab is among the best.
Ninth Generation Crab is on the 5th floor of Plaza 66.