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By Serena Valdez
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: COMBO NO. 2 ($55)
Cajun King may be one of the newer restaurants on the island, opening its doors in June, but the eatery does not disappoint in the quality and taste of the seafood it serves. Located at the Waimalu Shopping Center, Cajun King stands alone with its Southern cajun-style cooking. Although the restaurant is known for its raw oysters ($28 per dozen), this week’s special is a worthy contender as a steaming platter of fresh-out-of-the-pot seafood still wrapped in the bag in which it was cooked.
Combo No. 2 features Dungeness crab, crawfish, mussels, shrimp and clams. It is prepared by boiling all the crustaceans in one pot along with red potatoes, corn-on-the-cob halves and Portuguese sausage. A cajun and garlic butter sauce is made beforehand then added to the pot when the dish is nearly done cooking.
The finished product yields a dish of vivid color emanating a palpable, delicious-smelling meal.
The Dungeness crab is the leading lady of Combo No. 2. Although it may be a lot of work and there is not as much meat compared to other seafood, the menacing star is deliciously worth it. “It’s fresh, and it’s one of the first items on the menu to run out,” says Tony Siakkhasone Lai, manager of Cajun King.
What also makes Combo No. 2 special is the hands-on approach to eating it, creating an element of fun in getting down and dirty. No wonder each table is set with butcher paper and a roll of paper towels.
The cajun and garlic butter sauce blends the flavors of paprika, cajun powder, garlic, butter and celery. “The sauce blends well together [with the seafood] when cooked in a pot,” says Siakkhasone Lai, “and the scent hits you all at once — it’s really appealing.”
Waimalu Shopping Center
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
Open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m.