HCMC Dining Guide

Friday, May 31, 2013

A taste of home

Recently a new restaurant called Cajun Cua opened in District 1. As a New Orleans native who knows what real Cajun food tastes like, I'm usually skeptical of any restaurant outside of southeast Louisiana that uses this word to describe its food. Most people seem to think 'Cajun' means make things so spicy your face melts off, instead of focusing on the right flavors. However, I heard good things about Cajun Cua (cua is Vietnamese for crab). It was run by a Viet-Kieu from California, where a local version of Cajun seafood is apparently popular. I checked it out last night with a friend.

The menu is compact, and the main draw is the 1-kilogram combo bag (costs 500,000), which comes with blue swimmer crab, shrimp, clams, corn, sausage and potatoes (only the seafood counts towards the weight, so there's no cheating with the sides, which is a nice touch). You can choose from three sauces: garlic, steamed in beer, or spicy cajun. Obviously we went with the spicy cajun, and it was fantastic. The spice level was just right, and there was tons of flavor. They are apparently working on getting crawfish as well, which would be awesome. The meal was suitably messy, with countless paper towels and wet wipes needed, and a cold Sapporo was a nice accompaniment. We also decided to try the Cajun sweet potato fries, one of a handful of side dish options, and they were excellent. The kitchen definitely knows what they are doing with the spice rack. I highly recommend a visit. I'm in a New Orleans state of mind at the moment, thanks to this meal and Vietnam's first Bourbon Street Jazz Festival, being held at Q4 on Saturday. Should be a great day.

 Cajun Cua is located at 267 Ly Tu Trong, in the neighborhood behind Ben Thanh market. It's well worth a visit.


  1. Incredible... who would've thought? Soooo soooo jealous right now.
    I remember I ate at "NOLA Cafe" when I was in Hanoi and could only eat a few bites of their "jambalaya". Glad to know someone got it right!