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New Jersey Viet-Cajun Cafe Nauti Crab Opens in Houston

With its significant Vietnamese local community, its shut proximity to Louisiana, and its penchant for crawfish boils and big taste, Houston has become a metropolis synonymous with Viet-Cajun cuisine. But the city’s newest restaurant cooking up this spice-laden fare is not homegrown. It is coming from New Jersey.

Nauti Crab, a seafood cafe hailing from Metuchen, New Jersey, will formally open its doorways for whole hrs on Saturday, June 3. Situated in Briar Forest just exterior the Westchase location, the relaxed eating location attributes a sports activities bar stocked with cocktails and community beers, and a seafood-focused menu, with “seafood buckets,” stocked with the diners’ selection of crawfish, shrimp, crab, and/or lobster and seasonings like Nauti Cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper, and Previous Bay. Diners can also appreciate wings, seafood po’boys, fried rice, crab cakes, crab cake sandwiches, and lobster stir fry.

Buckets of crabs, oysters, mussels, crawfish, and shrimp.

Nauti Crab is Houston’s most recent Viet-Cajun location.
Rebekah Flores

A bowl of crab legs and crawfish with a lemon on top.

Nauti Crab is giving its model of Viet-Cajun with a plethora of sauces with varying spice degrees.
Rebekah Flores

For some Houstonians, this kind of a cafe could feel like bringing sand to the beach, but Jersey indigenous and Vietnamese operator Ryan Mai states he’s carried out his research.

Mai, who is of Vietnamese descent, claims he was very first introduced to Cajun spice in 2008 by means of his travels to Louisiana and California. With his spouse now owning a Vietnamese cafe, he decided to place his personal spin on Viet-Cajun delicacies, making a seasoning recipe that was considerably less salty than some other offerings, and in 2016, he opened the first Nauti Crab site in South New Jersey. Meanwhile, kin in Houston inspired him to move down. With it remaining a massive and numerous food stuff town, it seemed like a pure move for Nauti Crab’s second location.

“We considered we could convey anything distinct to the Houston group,” he claims.

Owner Ryan Mai holding two plates of seafood in Nauti Crab.

Nauti Crab proprietor Ryan Mai is bringing his version of Viet-Cajun to Houston.
Rebekah Flores

Mai says Houstonians have by now taken perfectly to the restaurant, which has hosted restricted several hours in advance of its grand opening Saturday. Apart from the roasted Dungeness crabs and the seafood fried rice, Mai suggests he’s been surprised that the crab fries — fries topped with crab meat, seasoning, and a handmade mayo — and the crabcakes — a well known dish on the East Coastline — have been a prime-seller listed here.

Nauti Crab’s exterior, with a now open sign.

Nauti Crab is now open just exterior the Westchase region.
Rebekah Flores

Related to New Jersey, the seafood boils — or seafood buckets — in Houston have also been a hit — the only big difference is the value to ship the crawfish overnight to Houston from Louisiana is a lot considerably less highly-priced than in New Jersey, he suggests.

Adhering to its official opening on Saturday, June 3, Nauti Crab will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday by means of Sunday. 11660 Westheimer Street, Suite 101, 77077.