Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Manhattan Fish Market @ ©entral Mall

It was once called the SOHO along the Riverfront, now the mall that sits above the Clark Quay NEL station is complete and is called ©entral Mall. Most of the shops are not open yet. There are a few mainstream fashion outlets (eg. GG5 and S&K), a Callenger and a few small-scale entrepreneur fashion outlets. The main highlight of ©entral Mall is the vast selection of Japanese food. I spotted long queues at Waraku (there are two different Waraku restaurants in the mall), a Japanese western food (forgot the name Mia M... or something) and I believe more. There is also a not-too-expensive Chinese restaurant, Grains, which is rather popular. Apart from the oriental cuisines, there are also western cuisines such as Billy Bombers and even Burger King. I decided to give The Manhattan Fish Market a shot, since we had earlier thought of visiting Fish & Co.

Upon entering The Manhattan Fish Market restaurant, you are greeted by familiar Fish & Co style decorations and a huge LCD panel showing a high-definition deep ocean marine documentary. You can either have the twin-seater table with 2 single sofa, the saloon seats for four or regular tables that can cater to small or large groups. They have an al-fresco style seating that overlooks Clark Quay from the high viewpoint.
The menu looks similar to that of Fish & Co, with a variety of fresh ocean catch. We were introduced their Seafood Platter for sharing and so we decided to go for it. There are a few types of Seafood Platters for your choice. I ordered a grilled one (S$29.90) instead of the fried one (S$35.90, catered for 2 or 3) and had a fried Swiss Brown mushroom (S$9.90) for starters. We were given the option to make our meal complete with a soup and ice tea at S$4.90 pax.

The Fried Swiss Mushrooms come served with a light garlic dip. The flavour of Calamari floods was suspected to be from the batter. The mushroom is very moist and full of juice. Definitely a try for anyone who loves fungi!

The Grilled Seafood Platter for sharing is good for two persons. The platter comes with 4 mussels (replacing the original oysters), 4 shrimps, calamari rings, french fries, a fried dory fillet and garlic butter rice.

The momemt you are served, the waiter will use a small handheld blow torch to flame grill the shrimps before you, until the sauce starts to brown and sizzle. The shrimps are not too big and can be easily de-shelled (good for people like me who dislike handling shrimp shells). Putting the whole meat into my mouth, I could taste the freshness of the shrimp together with a sweet sauce. I was quite surprised as it was not cheesy at all! It tasted like the creamy filling in the famous Pork Floss bun (from BreadTalk), which I suspect to be Japanese mayonnaise. The mussels are juicy and fresh without any awful raw or iron taste. The mild garlic based sauce that soaked the mussels gave it a nice taste all thogether. The fried fillet which I strongly believe to be dory tasted good but nothing too spectacular to cry about. The fillet is fresh without any fishy taste. It managed to retain the tender sweetness of dory. Nothing to comment about the french fries. By the time, I was done snapping the meal, my calamari rings are rather soggy. Why? That is because the calamari rings are fried and not grilled. The problem with frying calamari rings is that the batter is rather important. As calamari rings are naturally full of fluid, hence batter might not 'stick' well during frying and during serving, the crust might just slip out from the meat into an ugly mess. Though my calamari rings where rather soggy, they just became soft but not messy. Not something which I like but at least it was not a mess. The garlic butter rice is full-bodied with butter flavour and tasty. It reminded me a lot of Fish & Co's without the raisins and definitely much better than that from SFI's.

At the end of the day, me and my girlfriend has a tough time trying to finish what we ordered. It sure does not feel good to feel your belly sitting on your belt, but the portion is definitely worth the amount you pay, compared to Fish & Co. However, in terms of taste, The Manhattan Fish Market fared very well compared to your neighbourhood western food stalls, but my vote still goes to Fish & Co. I do like their menu, especially when they serve my favourite mushrooms. A good alternative to the usual Fish & Co.

Go try it at ©entral Mall today!



alex said...
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ber said...

looks like u had a good meal at MFM... i prefer this to fish & co.. heh...

next time u got time.. do try the jap restaurants at level 3. forget abt waraku... do try marutama (branch of the popular japan outlet) and tom ton (branch of the one at liang court)...