Fishing for a meal

Tess Guan , Asst. Web Editor

Whether it’s served on a delicate plate with ginger and wasabi, or drenched with heavy Cajun sauce and served in a plastic bag, seafood has always satisfied my cravings for a mouthwatering meal. However, my experience at the newly opened Cajun boiled-in-bag seafood spot, Mad Claw, wasn’t as memorable as I expected.

Despite visiting on a Saturday afternoon, the restaurant was rather empty, and only a few tables were occupied. The pirate-themed restaurant had a spacious interior, and provided tables outside.

Immediately after my family was seated, our server covered the wooden table with a thin sheet of wax paper, and handed us plastic bibs.

Most of the dishes on the menu ranged from $5-$10, excluding exquisite sea food choices like the king crab and lobster tail options, which were sold at their marketed price.

Mad Claw’s boiled-in-bag seafood meals follow the usual  three-step procedure: choose a seafood option,  select a sauce (Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic butter, or full house) and  the level of spiciness. My parents decided to share a meal of king crab in a non-spicy full house sauce ($38.42),  While my brother tried the clam chowder soup ($6.50), and the calamari with regular potato fries ($9.50). I chose the bang bang shrimp with regular French fries ($9.25).

Our orders came quickly, but we were instantly disappointed with the portions. The clam chowder was served in a simple paper bowl, similar to something one would expect at KFC, but cost nearly twice as much.

My brother also ended up finding a hair in his soup, but our server offered him a replacement. My meal of shrimp with French fries was mediocre.

Most of my shrimp was overly fried, and I was left with an excess amounts of batter. However, deep-fried foods are one of my guilty pleasures, and I greatly enjoyed the popcorn-sized shrimp.

On the other hand, the calamari came perfectly deep fried. Despite not being a huge fan of squid, I greatly enjoyed the dish. However, the fries fell short, and my brother and I both poured cups of salt and pepper seasoning onto them.

With the extra kick, even my mother, who is not a fan of fried foods, couldn’t stop eating them. Portion wise, the bang bang shrimp and calamari with fries were more than enough, and we even ended up with leftovers.

The king crab came in the iconic plastic bag, and was heavily drenched in the full house sauce our server recommended, yet only included two crab legs.

To me,  the sauce lacked even the slightest hint of a spicy flavor. Instead, I thought it had too much pepper in it, which masked and overpowered the taste of other flavors described in the sauce’s description, “the perfect combination of Cajun, lemon pepper and garlic butter all mixed in one.” Strangely enough, the crab meat and the full house sauce’s smoky barbeque flavor reminded me of the flavors of a hot pot dinner.

I would suggest visiting Mad Claw with just family, unless you don’t mind having a messy dinner in front of friends. If you choose to order an exquisite seafood boiled-in-bag dinner, I recommend looking up the marketed price first, and asking about the portion size to avoid possible confusions.  Due to the costly meal and uneven proportion sizes, my first meal at Mad Claw will also be my last.