A couple years ago if you asked me where you could get a good seafood boil in Vancouver, I would’ve replied, I don’t know. The only one I know is The Crab Pot in Seattle. If you ask me today, I can name up to 5 places that serve seafood boils and I probably wouldn’t even get all of them.
21 Nautical Miles is located in Yaletown and is kind of an Asian fusion seafood boil restaurant. Whats great is that they serve an Oceanwise menu so you know all the seafood you’re eating is ethical and sustainable. Just as a disclaimer, I was invited to attend a tasting here by Chinese Bites but all opinions are unbiased and my own. 🙂
Beer tower! Served by the famous foodie Sherman (of Sherman’s Food Adventures).
We got to try four different flavours of seafood boils with the first one being the Xi’an Spicy. Honestly I could only try a couple of items in this sauce before I started sweating and turning red. They weren’t kidding when they said this was spicy. For those who like the numbing kind of Szechuan spiciness, you will LOVE this.
Each pile consisted of corn, BC dungeness crab legs, clams, mussels, tiger prawns, potatoes, and some had lobster tail, snow crab, and king crab. I surprisingly found everything to be perfectly cooked and each piece of meat had a good bite to it.
The House Special Spicy flavour was also purely spicy so I didn’t try too much of it. I feel like when you pair seafood with flavours that are so strong, you lose the simplicity of it. I personally like to taste seafood with little to no seasoning so needless to say, I didn’t go goo goo ga ga over this.
I absolutely ADORE black pepper so I really liked the Black Pepper seafood boil. It was pungent and aromatic without being overpowering.
Out of all four boils though, I liked Garlic Butter the best!!!! Simple, elegant, and never fails to make your breath smell like a dream (maybe my dream haha). You really can do no wrong with garlic butter anything, amiright?
I regret not chowing down more on this because it was super delicious but it is called Fried Crab and Shrimp that had been wok-tossed in a crunchy garlic mixture. Unlike the seafood boils, all of the seafood shells snapped and cracked as I bit into it due to the fried-like cooking method. Definitely recommended if you like crispy garlic chips on your food.
The chef surprised us with this famous Blue Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce dish as he was super proud of it and wanted us to taste it. He said this is his most famous dish in Asia and after tasting it, I can absolutely see why. I cannot pinpoint what flavour the sauce was, but all I can say is, just get it and you’ll see. The tray contained not only blue crab but chicken feet, chicken wings, carrots, and potatoes. Super weird combo but I loved it.
When they brought this to our table, all the cameras came out with many people (including myself) going ooooh and ahhhh. The magic of Tower of Crawfish was activated by dry ice in the middle and it featured four different flavours of crawfish.
My favourite was the black pepper flavour and again, much to my surprise, the meat was cooked perfectly. They really know how to handle their seafood here.
Moving on from seafood, we tried the Lamb and Beef Skewers. Both were very tender and something about cumin and red meat just goes so wonderfully together. I am so trying cumin rubbed meat at home now.
As a person who doesn’t like extremely spicy foods, I wasn’t thrilled with the Szechuan Boiled Fish, though other people thought it was pretty good. It had crystal noodles on the bottom which was a nice touch as it soaked up all of the spicy flavours.
Your standard Fried Chicken Wings.
Their Grilled Oysters were topped with garlic and broiled (if I’m not mistaken) to achieve a caramelized brown colour. They were amazingly buttery and succulent.
This dish is an interesting one. We had no idea what was going on until the end and when we realized super hot stones cooked our meal, it was already done. It’s called Stone Cooked Scrambled Eggs (perfectly named) and essentially, they put incredibly hot stones in a pan, pour scrambled and flavoured eggs tableside, and you open the lid to stir it every so often until it’s fully cooked. It’s an interesting concept and totally unique! Definitely check this one out!
All in all, 21 Nautical Miles serves up way more than just seafood boils. I would come back not only for that, but the stone cooked scrambled eggs, that signature crab dish with chicken wings, and maybe the cumin lamb/beef skewers.
Service Rating: N/A (media tasting so not fair judge)
Food Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5