A Seafood Frenzy at Karai CrabColumns Lite Bites
November 11, 2012
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Leah Friel
As its name suggests, Karai Crab serves a great selection of tasty, spicy crab. But it also will satisfy any seafood craving, hot or not.
Located to the right of its sister restaurant, The Willows in Moiliili, Karai Crab opened in September and allows guests to customize their meal by seafood, seasoning and spice level.
Seafood choices are Shrimp (with or without shell), Crawfish, Live Clams, Live Mussels, Dungeness Crab Clusters, Snow Crab, King Crab and Dungeness Crab. For non-seafood eaters, fried tofu is available. Seasonings include Garlic Butter, Cajun, Karai Special (a combination of garlic butter and Cajun sauces), tropical Hawaiian (Karai flavors of Hawaii), Lemon Pepper and Court Bouillon. And the different spice levels you can choose from are mild, medium (cayenne heat), spicy (habanero heat) and extra spicy (ghost pepper heat).
A must-try is King Crab Karai Combo (market price), which has king crab legs, mussels, shrimp, clams, crawfish, potatoes, local corn and Kukui sausage. It’s a perfect choice for someone who wants to try a little bit of everything, including the local favorite, King Crab.
Also popular is Salt and Pepper Shrimp ($12) with deep-fried baby shrimp and a savory lemon pepper seasoning. “The response for this dish has been great,” notes general manager Garret Kamei. “Everyone who has tried it, loved it. We’ve always run it as a special, but because it’s so popular, we added it to the menu.”
A new special is Seafood Linguine ($16) with mussels, clams and shrimp cooked in a clear broth with garlic butter seasoning. Kamei says they are creating new lunch-friendly entrees, such as pastas, salads and sandwiches with plans for an extended lunch menu in the near future.
The casual, family-friendly seafood restaurant also offers a keiki menu, and plate lunch-style take-out options. And in an effort to be eco-friendly, Karai Crab serves its food in bamboo reusable bowls and plates; and uses take-out containers, utensils, napkins and bags made of recycled and/or biodegradable materials.
For those dining with someone who may not eat seafood, they may dine from the buffet at The Willows and bring their plate into Karai Crab. For parties, The Willows banquet room and smaller private rooms also are available for use with the Karai menu.
Valet parking costs $3, or self-park for $2 in the lot left of The Willows.
901 Hausten St., Honolulu
11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (Closed on Thanksgiving)