Explore a Cajun spin on Italian food bringing unique flavors to Dongguan.
Being familiar with Cajun food, my taste buds perked up when given the opportunity to try the mysterious Cajun Western Restaurant in the Dongcheng International Hotel. However, to cater to a wider range of clientele, the menu is primarily Italian with slight Cajun accents.
“The best way to actually label it would be Italian/Cajun fusion, but Italian is the biggest influence,” Ludovic Casteleyn, the hotel’s food and beverage director, said.
He joked the name was given to the restaurant before his time. Cajun transitioned from a French a la carte menu, to offer more welcoming family-friendly options, while maintaining a fine-dining experience.
Italian chef Enzo Scordo knows how to tailor dishes to a customer’s taste.
“You tell me what kind of food you like to eat and, if I have that in the kitchen, I will make that for you,” Scordo said.
The meal started with a salmon carpaccio topped with a bed of arugula and light lemon drizzle. This was mirrored by the garlic Cajun jumbo shrimp dish which followed. Cajun accents were detected with the shrimp accompanied by a slight kick from the spicy sauce. The pumpkin and lobster cream soup was strategically eaten; the flavor hidden in salty bursts from the lobster meat.
I was delighted with the main course being spinach and ricotta ravioli topped with shrimp pieces. Adding the shrimp was a prime example of Scordo tailoring the food to best suit his customers.
For dessert, we were surprised by what looked like a green apple but was a Granny Smith mascarpone cake. The “apple” was quartered to reveal light as air dessert, drizzled with a bright green sugar sauce, but not overpoweringly sweet. Bits of apple were inside. We also sampled a “Cajun” pecan pie, and while the pie was enjoyable it was not pecan but walnut pie. I was quick to point this out to Casteleyn, who said it will be corrected. Cajun Western Restaurant underwent dramatic changes since their opening in 2019 and are planning to offer weekend fine dining experiences which include access to the hotel’s roof-top pool. The restaurant continues to grow and will soon be a select location for diners in Dongguan.
“I had a great time in Cajun. The new menu is very nice and has a wide variety.”
Address: 9 Dongcheng East Road 东城东路9号