Monday, 25 November 2013

Ruijin Cajun

Yongkang Lu has been on fire of late.

First, a summer series of pop ups at The Tap House and The Handle Bar, now new openings every weekend, and the happiest of happy hours.

Most recently, however, the barkeeps have been channeling what Shanghairen do best for others' benefit with a series of events that encourage what I will call "indulgence for a cause".

Last weekend, YK put on a fundraiser for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan - almost every bar on the street banded together to offer drinks deals after a mere 50rmb donation towards relief. I can tell you that I, for one, felt more than magnanimous while swilling 2-for-1 craft beers and Campari spritzes... I felt tipsy. On charity. And/or Campari.

Who said the Chinese were doing nothing to help?

One of the other recent benefits for a cause occurred a few weeks ago at The Handle Bar from the NOLA natives Ruijin Cajun. It was a two day residence to benefit Movember, with a portion of the proceeds going towards charity, which let us feel great about gettin' down with some grits.

Gregarious front of house Nathan Power (strong name, friend) held it down while charismatic chef Matt Rea treated us all to a hearty dose of Southern hospitality while dishing out the goods.

For the second day of service, 'the goods' entailed "grillades with goat cheese and thyme grits" and some chicken, shrimp, and sausage jambalaya, all for 55rmb.

While not necessarily a bad thing, the "grillades" were super saucy, with more of the consistency of a soup over a stew, and the grits beneath them were cheesy-licious - both had great flavor. The jambalaya was only the slightest bit underseasoned, but the selection of hot sauces (one homemade!) they had provided remedied this immediately.

Although these not-so-ragin' Cajuns don't yet have a permanent home, they have assured me they will be cooking around town in the coming months, so keep an eye out.

To my knowledge, there is almost no other deep-south Creole or Cajun food here in Shanghai, so from now on, we're the cause.

Ruijin Cajun

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