The Big Easy is roaring into PJ's SS2, courtesy of Crab Factory, opened this month by a merry band of Malaysians who once swung through southern Louisiana on a summertime road trip spiced up by Creole & Cajun cooking & swore to bring home their tastiest recollections of the bayou.
It's a small, engagingly furnished eatery, complete with communal tables to let family & friends gather elbow-to-elbow for fun feasts evocative of The Deep South's seafood boils & enlivened by a soundtrack that's suitably heavy on Louis Armstrong & Harry Connick Jr.
Fresh shellfish forms the foundation for recipes that T.Y. Ooi, this Factory's creative chef (that's the title on her business card), proclaims were tried & tested through many months of kitchen R&D (plus plenty of hearty eating by the restaurant's founders).
We forwent the crabs in favor of the crawfish, the more popular component of true-blue seafood boils. RM78 buys a minimum order of 500 grams that'll feed two or three people, especially with soft, lovely potatoes (RM6) or corn (RM4) thrown into the bag.
Customers can also choose prawns, mussels or baby octopus; the food isn't cheap but it's not unprecedentedly priced either, not in this year of escalating costs.
Prepared in lemon pepper, garlic butter or 'signature whole shebang' sauce; the final one's marked by major heat, more spicy than savory. Even the medium setting packs firepower that's more ferocious than expected.
Gumbo is served as a snack here, featuring shrimp, sausage meat & okra swimming in soupy, soul-food stock over rice. RM12.90; probably functions more as a light lunch than a substantial dinner.
Southern fried chicken wings, hot & juicy (RM12.90 before taxes). Crab Factory's opening menu sticks to the more easily prepared fundamentals, so the food's served pretty fast; perhaps po' boys, jambalaya & bananas foster might come later, but it's fine for this place to focus on quality over quantity for now.
A small selection of craft beers is available too. Service is friendly & obliging; the people seem nice here. At long last, the South rises again, but who knew it'd be in SS2?
Crab Factory Original Louisiana Boil
21, Jalan SS2/64, Petaling Jaya
Open 11am-11pm, Fri-Sun, 3pm-11pm other days, except Tuesdays. Tel: 03-7865-5850
The latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites for January-March 2014 is now available online, featuring 100 pretty nice eateries, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. The eBook can be read & downloaded for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones.
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