Cajun King Continues to Spice Up Its Dining ExperienceFeatures Inside Feature
December 22, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Rachel Breit
After receiving rave reviews upon the success of their first venture with Lobster King, restaurant owners June Kim and Jay Chen decided to kick up the dining experience enjoyed by a throng of loyal customers to the next level with the establishment of another regal dining endeavor dubbed Cajun King.
The dynamic duo of Kim and Chen tabbed the expertise of managing partner Tony Lai upon opening Cajun King this past summer. The restaurant’s convenient Waimalu Shopping Center locale in Aiea offers customers a vast array of fresh seafood selections — never frozen — and Cajun-style dishes and combos. Chen’s background in seafood distribution and Lai’s expertise in procuring produce allow the restaurant to thrive on freshly sourced menu items while the savings are passed on to customers.
The restaurant features a bright and inviting dining area with tables that can be moved and combined to accommodate groups of all sizes. In all, 28 tables can host 112 customers, and the restaurant also features a private dining area for large parties. Lai explains that the 36-person private room already has hosted all sorts of events from baby showers to military award presentations and birthdays.
Cajun King works up an appetite with dishes such as Lobster with Black Bean Sauce ($17), and stellar lunch specials available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including Cajun-Style Half Lobster with New York Steak ($12.99). Other specialties also rule the menu, including Stir-Fried String Beans with Garlic ($12).
Diners may also reel in a host of fresh seafood favorites including Dungeness Crab ($32 each), King Crab Legs ($25 per pound), Snow Crab Legs ($15 per pound), Shrimp ($10 per pound), Clams ($12 per pound), Crawfish ($10 per pound) and Mussels ($11 per pound) — many of which can be prepared salt-and-pepper style if one desires. The selections also come with a choice of seasoning, be it Cajun Style, Garlic Butter, Plain and Simple, Cajun/Garlic Butter or newly added Lemon Garlic Butter, as well as heat levels ranging from no heat to mild, medium and volcanic (Kim advises customers to “please be careful with this one!”). The seafood, seasonings and spices are served in a large bag, allowing customers to shake and mix their desired recipe until each fresh bite is full of flavor.
Fried Baskets serve as great pupu options, and include Hot Wings ($9) seasoned with salt or Cajun spice, Popcorn Chicken ($9, subject to availability) and Fried Oysters ($13, subject to availability). The baskets also come with a choice of regular or Cajun-style french fries. And, what better way to enjoy a meal than with a soft drink with free refills ($2.99) or Domestic ($1.99) and Imported and Premium ($2.99) beers?
Cajun King also offers up Special Combos, which are prepared by the restaurant’s skilled and friendly staff, and brought directly to the table. Various combination platters include Combo No. 2 ($55) with Dungeness Crab, Crawfish, Mussels, Shrimp and Clams. The bountiful platters include heat levels and sauce according to the customers’ preference, including a brand new Black Bean Sauce for an additional $5, and also come with potatoes, two pieces of corn on the cob, four sausages and rice.
“We try to provide great seafood and great service at affordable prices,” Lai says. “It’s more fun with the more people you bring because you can enjoy so many varieties of food. Half the experience is enjoying the food, and the other half is using your hands and spending time with friends and family.”
Cajun King is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and customers can look forward to catering menu options at a later date — although many diners have already utilized Cajun King as a catering option by simply ordering large quantities of succulent seafood and sides to-go. Lai also reminds diners that the restaurant is open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. And, while Cajun King normally does not accept reservations except in the case of large parties, Lai recommends placing a reservation when dining during the holidays as space is filling up quickly.
Those looking for last-minute gifts are in luck, as Cajun King offers gift cards available in $25 increments — a perfect stocking stuffer sure to be appreciated by friends and family.
As a special scoop for Dining Out readers, all Cajun King customers receive two complimentary beverages — two domestic beers, two sodas, or a domestic beer and soda — with every Special Combo order. Hurry in, though, as this can’t-miss deal is good through the end of the year.
Waimalu Shopping Center
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
Open Daily, 11 A.M.-10 P.M.
Reservations recommended for parties of five or more