I've noticed a trend in Austin of Asian restauranteurs serving Cajun style food. And it's really good! If you want to get a pot of crawfish cooked just right with a little of this and a little of that you should try The Crawfish Shack and Oyster Bar. It's in a little strip mall off Wells Branch about a half mile west of I35. They seem to have all the traditional fare of a Cajun place. Crawfish, oysters, yeah I know it's in the name, shrimp, jambalaya, crab, catfish, talapia, and several more I can't remember. The decor is what you would expect with the fish nets and the anchors and the propellers hanging on the walls or sitting on the shelves. And the place is small so expect to have an intimate dining experience not only with your own party but those sitting next to you. Don't be afraid, just say hello, maybe you'll make a new friend too.
Steph had the fried catfish platter. It came with a huge steaming hot, as in cooked on the surface of the sun, fillet of catfish perfectly cooked. She commented that it wasn't overdone and rubbery like so many other catfish places around town. And it stayed hot all through the meal so that is a plus. The platter comes with fries and hush puppies. They were both good but nothing stood out. Just honest sides to the plate.
I had jamabalaya. It was filled with shrimp and sausage. When it came out it was also as hot as the sun but given that the shrimp were perfectly cooked. They had just a little tooth to them but not rubbery at all. In fact they were like that until the last few bites which isn't my normal experience so a tip of the hat to their cook. The rue they used seemed very authentic to the red brick color, took all day to get it right, style straight out of NOLA and it had just the right amount of this and that to give it that unique Cajun flair. I did add some Tabasco but then again I like my food spicy.
I've started calling these places Asiajun due to the cooks being from Southwest Asia but they certainly know their food well. Maybe it's the French influence from long ago colonial days or perhaps they just naturally have a passion for food. What ever the reason I've found these Asiajun places are always above the bar when it comes to flavor. They would make Justin Wilson proud.
Until next time, Ahhhhhh Yeeeeeeee...