In the 1970s Asian fisherman immigrated to the Gulf Coast and once there, adapted traditional Louisiana Creole cuisine. Traditional Creole seafood recipes like crawfish boil developed an Asian feel with the addition of lemon grass and ginger. Even the concept of serving seafood with garlic butter has roots in Asian culinary history. The Captain’s Boil brought Creole inspired Asian seafood all over Toronto, and now they’ve brought it to Montreal where they are also known as Le Festin du Captaine.
This is NOT a first date restaurant! Why? Well they provide you with plastic gloves, and bibs, a plastic tablecloth and the food is brought to you in plastic bags that you rip open and dig into right on the table. It’s messy, so much so that more than once we asked for fresh plastic gloves. The messy eating plastic laden concept is a little gimmicky, but the food was delicious. The only thing that we couldn’t get over was how in our 21st century eco-friendly world, these guys were taking a step back in their disposable plastic haven. It bugged us, everything was plastic, down to the glasses, and it seemed like a step back.
A Louisiana Seafood Boil is popular in southern backyard parties. Originally, a 50 gallon pot sits on a propane burner in the backyard, there is also a stovetop version for a smaller portion. The broth is seasoned with what is known as a crab boil, essentially whole cloves, mustard, coriander, celery and dill seeds, and plenty of chili flakes. Allspice and bay leaves are usually included but obviously there are variations. Ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and vegetables like corn, celery, onions and lemons are used to flavour the broth.
At the Captain’s Boil, the traditional Louisiana seafood boil has an Asian influence. The way it works is simple, first you choose your seafood, which includes crawfish, lobster, Dungeness crab, king crab or snow crab legs, clams, shrimp or mussels. They even have chicken for those who aren’t in the mood for seafood but honestly this is a seafood restaurant so go elsewhere if you’re craving chicken.
The second step is to choose your sauce, which includes Cajun, lemon and pepper, garlic and the Captain’s Boil which mixes all three flavours. Our favourite was the Captain’s Boil, it was bursting with flavour and we couldn’t get enough. Now this is where things went a little wrong, in the third step you can choose the heat and your options start at mild, to medium, to spicy, to fire. Now Diva #1 was out with Sweet Pea, Cruella the Dog Snatcher and P’tit Soeur. Diva #1 and P’tit Soeur love a good spicy meal but they opted for mild to placate the others. AND THANKFULLY WE ONLY GOT MILD!
The word spicy is not explanatory enough to describe how potent and hot their seafood dishes were. We were soon choking and drinking our Kim Crawford white wine like we needed it to survive. Since our seafood dishes were coming slowly, we had the chance to switch a few of our seafood plates to mild because the spiciness was ruining the taste of the seafood. The Captain’s Boil should warn their clientele because in terms of the usual standards of spiciness, they are at another level!
We chose to order the lobster with the captain’s flavouring and we were soon fighting over who gets the claws and who gets the tail. It was too hot to touch but we were still digging into the bag and ripping off parts of the lobster with our red stained plastic gloves. We loved the lobster so much that we ordered a second lobster with lotus root for some more of that Asian cuisine meets Louisiana crossover. It was perfect with corn, and the lotus root was a little hard and lacked flavour.
We didn’t try the Dungeness crab but we fell in love with the snow crab and king crab legs. We chose garlic flavouring for the king crab legs, and though salty king crab legs are considered superior to snow crab, but we actually preferred the snow crab. We ordered the snow crab with the Cajun seasoning, again, it was pretty spicy but the snow crab meat was sweet which offset the Cajun spices. We tossed in a second order of snow crab legs because we couldn’t resist them!
We love clams and we ordered them with the lemon pepper flavouring. This was our least favourite of the flavourings but we liked it when incorporated into the Captain’s boil flavouring, on its own it was lacking something. The clams were delicious, we preferred them over the mussels which were a little too chewy for our liking. We ordered the mussels with the garlic flavouring and even though we ordered them “mild” the spiciness from the other dishes had poisoned our palate.
Sides at the Captain’s Boil include a basket of deep fried shrimp, fish n’ chips, chicken wings or tenders, sweet potato fries, Cajun fries which are HOT and regular fries, as well as garlic bread which is literally sliced bread with a little garlic. You can order gumbo or an Asian inspired fried rice that is made with Cajun spices and seafood like shrimp and scallops. We ordered the fried rice and loved it, but order it non-spicy or mild, if you dare.
We loved the seafood at the Captain’s Boil, it was fresh and full of flavour. We think that they need to warn their clients that they define spicy at a whole other level, and they need to work on using less disposable tableware in a more eco-friendly manner. Other than that everything was delicious, and we finished our boozy seafood meal with some green tea ice cream for that last dash of Asian flavour in a Creole inspired restaurant.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 988 Boul Saint-Laurent, Cajun, Chinatown, Chinatown restaurant, Clams, Crab, Dungeness crab, Fish n’ Chips, Fried Rice, Fried Shrimp, H2Z 9Y9, King Crab Legs, Le Festin du Capitaine, Le Festin du Capitaine Montreal, Lobster, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Seafood Restaurant, Mussels, Seafood, seafood boil, Seafood Restaurant, Shrimp, snow crab legs, The Captain’s Boil, The Captain’s Boil Montreal