Restaurant: The Captain’s Boil
Location: 476 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1G7
Price Range: $$$
It’s been so long since I’ve had a seafood boil. My first and only experience was at Boiling Crab at Los Angeles in 2010, so I was definitely due for another seafood boil experience. When I found out about Captain’s Boil and its newest location in downtown, honestly I was pretty excited as I can finally satisfy my seafood boil craving that I had for years.
I have heard stories of how people line up for 1 hour or more even on weekdays at the North York location, so if you have a party of 6 or more, make reservation!! Luckily we arrived at 5:30PM and was able to get a table, otherwise I saw a line up formed around 6PM mark.
The restaurant was spacious and spotless! I liked how they had a big sink at the front with sensors so you wouldn’t have to use the washroom and dirtied the handles.
The menu had a good mixture of seafood items along with some side dishes and sizzling plates (similar to Aka Teppan). Essentially you will select your choice of seafood (crawfish – not available yet; lobster; dungeness crab; king crab legs; mussels; shrimps; clams) then you choose the sauce (Cajun; lemon pepper; garlic sauce; captain’s boil – mixture of all 3) and finally the spicy level.
When we sat down, there were bibs, paper towels and plastic gloves on the table. One thing I really liked about Captain’s Boil more than Boiling Crab was that the restaurant provided plastic gloves whereas Boiling Crab did not do so. Trust me, you have no idea how much the gloves help you to stay cleans majority of the time – until the glove pierces. The bib was cute and protected your tops.
Our orders arrived piping hot in some clear plastic bags! As you can see above T held a shrimp for me to take picture but his hand was dying from the heat (I’m sorry!). We both chose the Captain’s Boil sauce in mild for our choices of seafood and thinking back, we should have chosen different sauces!
The lobster was cut lengthwise, and both the shrimp and lobster were cooked perfectly. While I understand the concept of the restaurant was to use your hands, but at some point it was extremely difficult to eat the lobster without scissors or lobster crackers. Half way through eating we also realized that there was no where to put the trash/empty shells. Thus I think it would be a good idea for them to have a bucket for each table to place the shells. It would just make eating a lot cleaner and you will not accidentally pick up something you have already eaten.
While the Captain’s Boil sauce was supposed to be the combination of all three sauces, the garlic was overwhelming. I love garlic but this was way too much and the sauce was under-seasoned for our taste. I also thought the shrimps had much more sauce and flavor compared to the lobster, perhaps the shrimp was smaller hence the sauce was able to penetrate easier?
Half-way through I decided to order steamed rice to ease the heat from the garlic and T ordered the Cajun Fries to fill him up. I thought the fries were quite crispy and fluffy on the inside, but it felt very.. powdery? They could have better distributed the cajun seasoning by tossing the fries as it seemed they were just sprinkled on top.
Despite all that, this is a fun place to eat. However, I would not come back to Captain’s Boil on a regular basis as it’s quite expensive, thus it’s more of a something fun to eat once in awhile for the experience. It didn’t satisfy my seafood boil craving because it just didn’t taste the same as Boiling Crab. The service is decent and we were served quickly, but the waiters/waitresses need to take more initiative to ask if everything is alright, etc. I saw that most of them like to just stand around when they had nothing else to do.