We’ve been seeing a few places serving “seafood boil” popping up in the Toronto area, and as we are seafood lovers, our curiosity was piqued!
Seafood Boils are traditional in the southern USA, more specifically along the Gulf Coast, and refer to a method of cooking shellfish in a large pot of boiling flavourful broth, for which Cajun spice is a common addition for taste and colour. Along with different kinds of fresh shellfish, a boil can include pieces of chicken, sausages, corn on the cob, potatoes, okra, and other side dishes. It is often prepared outdoors and for large groups of people. When ready to serve, the strained boiled goodies can be turned over onto a table covered with newspapers and enjoyed by the guests who can pick what they want and eat with their hands – NO cutlery required. It’s a messy and delicious buffet!
Now take that concept, bring it indoors to a restaurant setting, add a couple of interesting Asian twists, and your get Captain’s Boil. Among the other similar restaurants in and around Toronto, we chose this place for its convenient locations and menu options, and we certainly had a great time and an awesome feast!
Comparing to the traditional boil, you still get no cutlery, but you get to customize your boil with your favourite ingredients and add-ons, plus a selection of sides. You can also decide how much of each item to get, choose the broth flavour and spice level. And to address the guaranteed mess, you also get plastic bibs and gloves (I’d still avoid white/light or fancy clothing), a full napkin dispenser and an empty garbage pail (not for long)!
The boil comes to the table in “food-grade quality, biodegradable, BPA-free, and FDA-approved” bags, and you have a choice to eat from the bag or turn the contents (sauce and all) onto the paper-covered table. You can be as messy as you want with your food, but you don’t have to clean-up later!
So far, we’ve tried 3 different flavours of the boil with corn/okra/lotus root, the shrimp basket, and the fish and chips. We really loved their Cajun boil flavour, medium heat, with corn on the cob (1 per add-on) in the bag, and the Cajun fries are excellent! Pieces of garlic bread (3 per side serving) are also available to dip in the yummy sauce. We are already planning to visit again and to try more items on their menu!
Captain’s Boil also gets extra points for the funky pirate/fishing/seafood inspired décor, the cozy relaxed ambiance, the foot-operated hand washing station (trust me, you’ll need it!), and the friendly service. The place get’s busy, so reservations are recommended if you plan on going during the lunch or dinner rush times. I would say the only thing I missed was having more dessert options (only ice-cream was available), even though I had no room for dessert! Maybe next time. When you go, don’t forget to invite me! 😉