UPDATE JAN 3, 2019
A few days have passed since we reported on this restaurant coming, and now Ocean Crab is open in Bryant at 3213 Main Street. It’s in the same shopping center with Cato Fashions and Sally Beauty Supply. I was just in the parking lot to go somewhere else, and I noticed they were open, so I went for lunch with family.
The first thing we noticed upon entering is that there have been major renovations. The tables and chairs might be the same, but the floor plan, the colors and decor are all different. It has a gulf pier feel to it, with ropes around posts, fishing nets and sea life represented throughout, and the focus piece is a giant red crab on the wall – it’s probably eight-feet wide. Also new is a wall that they encourage patrons to sign with a permanent marker. Of course we had to participate in that, so look for our names if you visit.
We ordered several different items to try for an overall opinion. Dad ordered the gumbo and calamari, Mom got the chicken wings and fries, my grandson got fried shrimp, I got shrimp fried rice, and we shared fried dumplings and beignets. I will say our server, Angela, was attentive and made note of any detail. She was great. There were some things that I didn’t expect. They weren’t necessarily bad things, but… I didn’t expect disposable cups, plates and forks. Not for this size of restaurant. Since it’s the same owner as the previous (Chinese) restaurant, perhaps he decided he didn’t want to do dishes in his restaurant anymore. That’s fine. Just not what I expected.
Our food arrived, or so I thought. Dad’s gumbo arrived, then several minutes later mine arrived, and so on, until Mom sat as the only one with no food. The restaurant didn’t have a lot of customers, so I can only assume they were in training and cooking orders as they come in. When all the food showed up, everything was indeed freshly cooked and hot.
Dad said the gumbo was good. He ate all of it and the calamari too. I had a little taste of the soup base, just out of curiosity and agreed. Squid is not my thing, so I’ll take Dad’s empty calamari bowl as indication that it was good stuff. I typically like my dumplings a little browner and crunchier than the ones I received, but they were alright. My shrimp fried rice was good if a little bland. I would hope for more vegetables in the mix. My grandson was happy with his shrimp. I tried one and they were probably the best thing we were served – crunchy, fresh, big and plenty of them. Mom said her fried chicken wings were a little tough and she wasn’t sure if she liked the spice on it. The fries were great – I know first-hand because I tried that too. The beignets, while yummy, were a bit of an imposter. I was disappointed that they appeared to be the exact same fried biscuits that you see on the Chinese buffet, but with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. They were not beignets – they were donuts. Again, they were yummy, and we ate them, but it felt a little like agreeing with someone when they pronounce your name incorrectly.
You probably noticed from my description that there remains a distinct Chinese presence on the menu, although this is supposed to be a Cajun and seafood restaurant. Yes, they have lots of new Cajun-ish choices, but some of those options from the previous restaurant are still available. Overall, this is still good food at decent prices and a good place to feed your family. It’s definitely not authentic Cajun, so if that’s what you’re hoping for, you might be disappointed. However, I’m not a fan of a bucket full of crawfish, so I hope someone goes and tells me it’s the best bucket they’ve had. Or least pretty dang good.
I should note that they do have a permit to sell beer, so that’s new for this restaurant owner. Ocean Crab is owned by Hua Mei Chen, who also owned the Chinese restaurant, Great Wall, that was there previously. They’re open Mon-Thu from 11-9, Fri & Sat 11-10 and Sun 12-9. Here’s the menu:
ORIGINAL DEC 22, 2018
I’ve had several questions about the Chinese restaurant in Bryant, Great Wall. It has indeed closed and it is undergoing renovations to become a “boiled cajun seafood” restaurant, named Ocean Crab. They have also applied for a permit to serve beer at the new restaurant. The sign says they are hiring now, but it doesn’t give a phone number.
I don’t know if it’s the same owner or when they’ll open or what their hours will be. Those details and these photos are about all the information I have at this time. I’ll update as I get more. Feel free to comment below.