With the recent saucy-seafood-tossed-in-a-plastic-bag hype, I decided to venture down to North York to try out The Captain’s Boil. I loved it and would absolutely go back for a round 2. For anyone who’s skeptical about this trend or doing some research before going, please keep reading for some tips and tricks!
The service at this location was absolutely exceptional. The employees are all quite young and are very friendly. When asked for recommendations, they gave very solid advice that definitely made our experience better. (I’ll be sharing some tips with you in a second!) All in all, you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
1) Make smart wardrobe decisions
Unless you’re positive that you won’t accidentally flick bright orange sauce on yourself, the number one rule to remember is DO NOT WEAR WHITE. The Captain’s Boil provides you with bibs, but accidents happen. All I’m saying is…maybe it’s not the best day to wear a pretty white dress.
I’d suggest wearing a t-shirt or sleeves that you can roll up. You’re eating seafood out of plastic bags. Your gloved hands end up touching the entire table and you’re probably going to rest your elbows on said dirty table. TAKE PRECAUTIONS, FOLKS!
GIRLS! (ANYONE WITH LONG HAIR!) BRING A HAIR TIE. You do NOT want to be giving yourself shrimp-sauce highlights while you brush your hair out of your face, do ya?
2) Share your food
Here’s the thing: in Canada (or maybe Western culture), we’re so accustomed to ordering our own orders because it’s the easy thing to do. However, do you really just want to be eating one type of seafood during the entire meal?? Or to order a sizzling platter, only to feel unsatisfied because you didn’t get the plastic bag experience?
You need to share. Trust me. This is what our server recommended:
- Order the seafood fried rice. It is a spicy fried rice with shrimp, scallops, corn, and green onions. IT IS SO DELICIOUS, and one $10.95 order gave our party of five 2 bowls of rice each. It was so good that we actually ordered a second plate…
- Next, you can choose your seafood sides! We opted for 2 lbs of shrimp + 1 lb of mussels. We got them all with the “Captain’s Boil” sauce, which is a mixture of all three of their sauce options: Lemon Pepper, Cajun, and Garlic Sauce.
By doing so, we were able to try a larger selection of the menu AND save a couple of bucks!
note: 2 plates of fried rice + 3 lbs of seafood fed five relatively small girls. we were STUFFED! we tipped well so we each paid about $15.
3) Take advantage of that SAUCE
To me, it was common sense. However, I realize that not everyone is as obsessed with sauces as I am…so I leave you with this one final tip that may or may not change your life:
Enjoy an initial round of flavour by licking the sauce off the shrimp* shell. Un-peel it, then DIP IT IN THE SAUCE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG!!! If you get the Captain’s Boil or Garlic Sauce, PUT SOME GARLIC ON THAT SHRIMP.
I’m sorry about the use of capslock there… but if you only take one thing away from this post, then let this be it. If you follow this suggestion, you will get an explosion of flavour — I promise you.
*I say shrimp because that’s what I like to eat, but you can really just dip the meat of anything in the bag. However, if it’s a communal bag and you’re eating clams or mussels…it would perhaps be polite to NOT suck the flavour out of the meat before dipping, out of common courtesy.
SO HOW WAS IT?
I don’t really like seafood that much, if I’m being real with you. I’m okay with shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster, and some types of fish…but I can’t stand the fishiness of all other creatures that come from the sea.
BUT I STILL LOVED IT HERE! I’m 100% coming back.
I loved that the fried rice balanced out the sauciness/richness of the shrimps. It complemented one another really nicely, and having the option to indulge myself with more than one flavour was nice. (so follow tip #2, guys!)
As for the shrimps: they certainly did not skimp on portion sizes! We had tons of food to go around the table and the shrimps were quite big (perhaps only a little bit smaller than my hand). Piping hot as it arrived at our table, the food was fresh — no sign of fishiness, which is an A+ in my books! There was none of that mushy meat nonsense that happens when you overcook shrimps.
I personally love spice, so I think next time, I’ll get Medium or Spicy instead of Mild. They also have an add-on option where you can get lotus root and/or corn mixed in your bag!
All in all, it is a restaurant that made a deeply positive impression on me.