Monday, August 09, 2010

A Manhattan waste of time

We went to Subang Parade one weekday evening for dinner and to buy a birthday gift. Deciding what to eat can be such an onerous task at times, and we ended up walking into the Manhattan Fish Market. MFM is a chain restaurant. I am not sure from where they originate. According to their website, their history is traced to New York. They have restaurants  in 5 different countries - Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia but strangely the U.S. is not in the list. In Malaysia they have about 18 outlets in 8 cities.

Their outlet at the Subang Parade is located on the lower ground floor. It shares the same floor with several more popular fast food establishments. It is quite spacious, brightly and nicely furnished, and very conducive to a leisurely meal.

The menu, as expected, is almost totally fish and seafood. We ordered the seafood chowder for starter. It did not turn out as I had expected. It looked kind of orange-ish in colour. It was quite unlike the chowder that I have tasted elsewhere. I tasted tomato in the soup. This is the first time I had chowder cooked with tomato. The chowder was light and watery. It should had been rich and thick. I did not quite enjoy it.

The Manhattan caesar salad was OK, not exceptional. It was topped with some pieces of eggs and croutons. But  I felt that greens did not have enough grated Parmesan on them.

The fried country mushrooms was good - perhaps the best dish we had that evening. It was mushrooms, deep fried, and served with a mayo sauce. The mushrooms were crispy and were pleasing on the palate.

We ordered 2 dishes to share for entrees. First was the grilled New Zealand ling cod fillet. It was served with a garlic butter sauce and french fries. I couldn't tell if the fish was totally fresh. There was no trace of any fishy smell. But the meat was quite bland and was not tasty as fish should be. There was no sweetness in the meat. And it was rather dry. I rate it as less than ordinary.

The other entree was what they call the 'Flaming Platter for One'. It was a mix platter of fish and prawns. I asked the waitress what the flaming meant. She uttered a reply which I could not understand. It turned out they actually flamed the dish at the table with a blow torch. It was puff of fire and the prawns were seared.

The sight was quite spectacular but the dish was not. The fish, like the NZ ling cod, was bland and tasteless. The prawns was not bad. They had a cheese sauce flamed into it.

I found the whole makan experience rather dry. All the dishes were quite devoid of moisture. Fortunately the iced lemon teas were bottomless. We had 3 refills.

I did not enjoy the meal. The fish were quite tasteless. It was not fishy or rotten, but they definitely did not have the fresh flavor of fish.  And they were not cheap. For the same money, I would have got a much much better seafood meal from our local seafood restaurants. I considered the experience a complete waste of time.

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