Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita will be swimming in seafood when new Cajun restaurant opens this weekend

How to eat crawfish

Executive Chef Stefon Rishel of MAX's Wine Dive shows our very own Denise Harris how to eat crawfish!
Up Next
Executive Chef Stefon Rishel of MAX's Wine Dive shows our very own Denise Harris how to eat crawfish!

Saturday is opening day for Mama Nith’s Crawfish, a new Cajun seafood restaurant at 604 S. Topeka.

The restaurant has taken over a little building that previously held a bar and sits just north of Kellogg on Topeka. It’s noticeable because of its bright new red-and-white paint job.

Diners who visit will find a menu full of the “Viet-Cajun”-style dishes that owners Darryl and Nith Huynh grew to love when they lived in Houston. They predict one of their biggest sellers will be their crawfish pho, a soup that blends the best flavors of Cajun and Vietnamese fare.

The menu includes several familiar Cajun dishes like gumbo and etouffee as well as many seafood dishes that are hard to find in Wichita, including lobster, crab, shrimp and clams. People can choose different sauces for their dishes, from red curry to garlic butter.

People can also order fried catfish, fried gator and fried calamari, and the owners expect that their seafood boils, which are served with choice of seafood along with corn, potatoes and sausage, to be popular as well.

The appetizer menu includes things like Cajun spiced edamame, fried pickles and crawfish fried pies, and bread pudding and beignets are on the dessert menu. There’s also a separate lunch menu offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dishes like shrimp salad, garlic noodles, fried rice, lobster po’boys and a seasoned burger.

Though they think their liquor license is still a few weeks out, the restaurant — which has a bar — will serve beer, wine and mixed drinks. New Orleans-style hurricanes will be a specialty, they said.

The couple has dramatically changed the inside of the business, removing the red carpet and drop tile ceiling and replacing it with cement floors and an exposed duct work. The lighting is dim, and the decor is modern. Spelled out on one wall are the words “pinch dat tail and suck dat head,” which are Louisiana-style instructions for how to eat whole crawfish.

There’s no parking in front of the building, but there is a big lot behind it. When it gets warmer, the owners are planning a big patio out back.

The hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.

On Saturday, a DJ will be there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for opening day festivities, and those who dine during those hours will get a coupon for a free appetizer on a future visit.

For more information, call 316-260-3843.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle