Bea’s Louisiana-style Crawfish Boil

Whilst Bea Vo is most strongly associated with the delicious sweet creations she sells in her Bea”s of Bloomsbury shops, she is also a talented professional chef. Born to a Vietnamese family in Washington D.C., married to an Austrian and living in London, she spent holidays visiting family in Louisiana.

There are so many diverse influences on her cooking. But her latest offeringa Summer Crawfish Boil – is 100% Louisiana!

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On Thursday evenings throughout summer a hundred or so eager customers take their places at long rows of bench tables in Bea’s Maltby Street Diner.


The menu is short and sweet: garlic bread to start and then as much as you can eat of spiced crawfish, potatoes, sweet corn and Polish smoked sausage served with cocktail sauce, salsa and Bea’s special Cajun butter sauce. Dessert, if you have room, is a refreshing ice lolly – I went for raspberry margarita flavour.


The bar menu includes local London beers, pitchers or glasses of margaritas or lemonade and a short list of wines.


Some diners were done within an hour but our table ploughed through 8 enormous buckets full before we finally admitted defeat. You won’t be rushed out and Bea will keep serving until you’ve had your fill.

Cherry and I having craw claw fights

Cherry and Jason celebrating another tall pile of empty shells

At just £24 per person, this is a great value evening and the perfect outing for a bunch of greedy friends. Bibs and copious paper towel provided!

(More dates to be added soon).


With thanks to Fran, Jools and Jason for photos.

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3 Comments to "Bea’s Louisiana-style Crawfish Boil"

  1. Tash @Food I Fancy

    I’m still stuffed from my dinner as I type this, but this place looks amazing! I might just go and see if I can beat your record – Man v Food stylee 🙂

    Btw, do you know if crawfish is the american spelling for crayfish (they look the same)? Or are they actually two different things?


    They’re the same thing, just different names:

    In the 1960s, the North American signal crayfish was introduced to Europe, to be farmed. (European crayfish had been suffering from a crayfish plague which was damaging stocks – the US imports carried the same disease but weren’t as susceptible to it). But of course, as always happens, they escaped and are now wild in our rivers, where they do a lot of damage. Not only do they outclass the natives, they also damage stocks of other fish as they feed on the young and the way they nest causes damage to riverbanks too.

    So basically, whilst our natives are protected, it’s open season on the signal crayfish and you are encouraged to catch/ eat them. You just need to be confident you can identify them and don’t accidentally take the natives.



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