Dishing up Chinese-Cajun fusion
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With tables covered in butcher paper and an entire paper towel roll available to patrons, Cajun King is just the place to stuff yourself silly with Louisiana-inspired seafood. Take a look around the Kaneohe locale, and you’ll see just that: customers rolling up their sleeves and prying out every last morsel from bountiful one-pot seafood boils. But if you’re not a fan of the spicy, hot stuff, don’t let the restaurant’s name, or chili pepper making up the letter “J” on the sign, deter you — don’t sweat it. Non-spicy seasonings and Chinese fare abound on the menu as well.
Snow crab, crawfish, mussels, shrimp and clams are the delicacies seafood lovers drool over. Get them all in Combo #4 ($48) for two or three people. With potatoes, corn and sausage cooked alongside the seafood in a large pot and a side order of rice, the total amount of food comes out to more than 4 pounds. Choose your heat-level and seasonings, such as Cajun garlic butter, and away you go. You also can conjure up your own mix of seafood by going for items, including Dungeness crab, which are sold per pound.
Try as I may, I was unable to get the low-down on the ingredients that go into the eatery’s Cajun spice. They must be a secret, because when I asked manager Jin Chen what spices comprise the blend, all he could tell me was that the cooks have “different kinds they mix in it.”
Cajun King also has options suitable for those who prefer a little less of a hands-on experience. “If you don’t want a mess, you can do the plate,” explains Chen. Chinese-style Black Bean Clams ($16), about a pound of clams that’s good for two people, are boiled then stir-fried with black bean sauce, and can be eaten with utensils rather than hands. Lunch specials for $12.99, available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., also will keep you tidy. Try the deep-fried half lobster dredged in cajun seasonings with the Chinese classic, salt-and-pepper shrimp and a side of fried rice.
The Kaneohe restaurant hosts parties of 20 to 40 people in its two VIP rooms, with no minimum purchase on food. Just be sure and call a week ahead of time to reserve. And don’t get lost driving around Wind-ward City Shopping Center. “We are next to American Savings Bank, behind Foodland,” says Chen.
Windward City Shopping Center
45-480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe (Additional location at Waimalu Shopping Center in Aiea)
Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.