The much anticipated Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar is set to open on Monday, May 2, but we have your first look inside the restaurant and the food. If you’ve never heard of Hook & Reel, it’s a relatively young chain based out of Maryland with roughly 60 locations across the country. The seafood restaurant sells boils that you can find at other similar places in town. You can choose your proteins, spice level, sauces and more.
353 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm
I was invited out to a private soft opening to get a sneak peek for readers and brought my extended family out with me. In full transparency, this soft opening did include discounted rates for all those people in attendance. So instead of giving a full-blown review, I wanted to cover what we had, to give you some visuals on what the dishes look like.
Our lunch started off with some complimentary prawn chips.
Afterwards, our family enjoyed a few appetizers. We had oysters, mozzarella sticks and fried calamari.
For our main entrees that were not boils, we had the catfish basket, chicken tender basket, chicken strip basket, and shrimp po boy.
Then, of course, we had to try the seafood boils. If you stop by a place like Hook & Reel, these are always a must. We tried The Reel Catch boils which came with a mix of snow crab legs, lobster tails, clams, shrimp, mussels and crawfish. We also tried different sauce options like the Hook & Reel Special Blend, Garlic Butter and Original Cajun with mild and spicy spice levels.
Let’s start things off with the service. We’ve attended countless soft and private openings before, and this was one of the more fully staffed ones we’ve seen. That’s a rare thing to say in the current climate of restaurants. Typically, these soft openings are good for training and getting the staff’s feet wet. I’ll say they did a fantastic job. We’ve seen some of these events go horribly wrong, but if the grand opening is like anything we saw at the soft opening, Hook & Reel is in good hands. Probably the only issue we ran into was the staff getting the P.O.S. system down to a science, which I’m sure will come with time and more experience.
As for the food, the family was happy. We enjoyed it. There were some things we certainly enjoyed more than others. For instance, the original Cajun was by far the most well received sauce option for the boils. It had some bite to it and a really good flavor that enhanced all the seafood. I’m a huge mussels fan and they certainly delivered; a pound can go a LONG ways.
All in all, the future looks bright for Hook & Reel. They’re in an area of town that gets lots of traffic and should add to the growing area around Towne East that has seen a good resurgence with places like Doma. I’ll definitely be back soon to get a full review for everybody once they are in “open mode” to see how the service really is and how the food stands up outside a soft opening pretense.
If you want a video visual, we got that too:
@wichitabyeb Give me ALL the seafood boils. Hook & Reel has finally arrived in Wichita, KS! Here’s an idea of what to expect on your first visit. #fyp #vlog #Wichita #seafood #boils #cajun #foodies ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
Here’s the menu:
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