"Casian" Food Is A Winning Cajun & Vietnamese Culinary Mash Up!
It’s worth the trouble finding this Wichita restaurant serving an innovative blend of Cajun and Vietnamese that they call “Casian.” You might not think this culinary ‘mash-up’ makes much sense, but they share common roots in French cooking and it shows.
First off, you’ve got to have a keen eye to find it, tucked into the shadow of the Kellogg downtown overpass on Topeka Street. You’ve got to come at it from the North on Topeka and turn off to find parking before you can actually see the building. Or you can approach from the South on Emporia and look for the rear of the building on your left.
We started with the Boudin Egg Rolls, a delightful blend that highlights their shared culinary family tree.
Next, we tried several dishes of a wide variety.
Gumbo is the staple of Cajun cooking and is wonderful with a Vietnamese flair that keeps you coming back for another spoonful. It’s still very recognizable as Cajun gumbo, but the broth also delivers familiar notes to Vietnamese dishes
Next up, the traditional Vietnamese Pho is served up with Cajun kick that makes so much sense. It’s no wonder that it appears to be the favorite item on the menu.
A tasty medley of seafood, sausage, vegetables, and rice. It had a subtle heat that wasn’t overwhelming however it did “build” as you progressed through the dish - for those less fond of spice, I’d recommend keeping a glass of water handy. Overall it was a hearty meal with tons of flavor and hefty portion size. The dish had proper proportions of stew to rice, letting you get all the flavors in every bite.
Having spent many childhood years in Louisiana, I was excited to try the new Cajun (Casian) restaurant a few blocks away. Crawfish and catfish evoke strong memories from my younger years and I was overjoyed to see both on the menu!
For this first trip, I went for the catfish. My expectations were high. Possibly too high. It's hard to live up to the standards I had in my head. The catfish itself was fine. The breading was spicy with a hint of garlic. Certainly not the traditional cornmeal catfish I was expecting but this is a Casian restaurant. A flavor fusion should have been expected.
Don’t forget to end your meal with an order of warm Beneigh’s, a French close relative to our Funnel Cake. They are served up in a basket in tiny bites for the whole table to enjoy.
Along with great food the service was fantastic. Super friendly wait staff and a cheerful owner who stopped by the table to say hi.
We’re excited to come back for crawfish by the bucket and looking forward to Mama Nith’s getting a liquor license to wash down all the spicy goodness with a cold beer (or two...or three…).