As any food lover will attest to, one of the best things about Vancouver’s culinary scene is the diversity of choice. Feeling like a a piping hot bowl of pho or ramen? We got it. Got a craving for authentic dim sum or sushi? We’ve got both in spades. When the great team behind VANEATS approached Eating in Vancouver & the World to preview their new Louisiana style boil experience at Cray Kitchen & Bar, we happily accepted. Having not had crawfish since our trip to New Orleans in late 2010, we were definitely looking forward to this fun (albeit very messy) crawfish feast.
As part of the “CRAYvings” dining pass, you will receive:
A. 1/2 lb of shrimp, shipped from Thailand and Ecuador
B. 1/2 lb of crawfish, shipped live from Louisana
C. Cod Nuggets (3 pieces), deep fried and crispy
D. Deep Fried Oysters (2 pieces), spiced in a Louisana cajun fry batter
E. Cajun Fries, cajun spiced and peppered
Looking at the photos below, you can pretty easily see that the meal itself can be divided into two distinct parts. As it was served first, I gratefully dug into the basket of spiced Cajun fries, deep fried oysters and cod nuggets. Being a big seafood lover, I really enjoyed this basket of fried goodies. The oysters were surprisingly large yet cooked beautifully, with the batter consistently even and never too thick. Both the cod and oyster meat were exceedingly fresh and you could definitely taste the sea in each bite. Served with ketchup, tartar sauce and a spicy mayo dip, this basket could easily stand alone as lunch for those with smaller appetites.
Polishing off the deep fried basket in record time, I turned my gastronomic attention to the plastic bag of crawfish and shrimp. Now, 1 pound of shrimp and crawfish may not seem that much on paper but do not be fooled, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this bag. Tearing open the plastic with relish, the perfectly cooked seafood came pouring out onto my plate with a phenomenal aroma. Note that the friendly staff give you a bib and gloves and you will need them as this part of the meal can get very messy. As my fellow reviewer Sean remarked, this is clearly not a meal you want to wear white to so you have been warned! Even with the gloves and bib, there is a good possibility some of the delicious sauce will get onto ur shirt or pants so no need to dress up.
Tearing into the shrimp and crawfish meat was a fun experience unto itself. This is definitely a meal you want to go with family or friends so don’t just buy a pass and go solo, bring a group of people! The shrimp was pale but tasted great, especially saturated in the amazing Cray Mix spices. Crawfish is not that common in Vancouver so if you are trying it for the first time, just think of it as a baby lobster. The meat is not exactly the same but it is similar and just as enjoyable. Lobster meat is a little richer and obviously more substantial but crawfish is meant to be eaten in multitudes so it should even out.
A few closing thoughts, for $18.50 you can’t go wrong with this new pass. Seafood is not the cheapest dinner option in Vancouver but this pass really is quite cost effective if you think about it. If you have never had crawfish or a southern boil experience, buy a pass or two and give it a try! Not only was the seafood very tasty but the overall experience of peeling apart the shrimp and crawfish is always a boatload of fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and for less than $20, we cannot recommend it enough.
If you enjoyed the photos and review, definitely check out the VANEATS.ca Cray Kitchen & Bar video above to learn more about this pass. If you have read enough and just want to eat, the “CRAYvings” dining pass is currently on sale so head over to VANEATS.ca (click here) to buy your pass today!