Friday, August 03, 2012

Unique Seafood Comes to Ara Damansara

Our last experience at an Unique Seafood restaurant was nearly 2 years ago - at Jalan Kemajuan in Section 13, PJ. I remember that meal - especially the very fresh seafoods - fish, clams and the Alaskan crabs. I wrote that I would return. And return we did. We did not go back to Jalan Kemajuan, but nearer home in Ara Damansara.

Unique Seafood opened their latest branch in the Citta Mall. This neighbourhood mall is fast gaining popularity. I believe it is mainly because of the many food establishments that set up shops there. Unique Seafood occupies a big area on the ground floor of the mall.

It has a modern decor - tastefully furnished and manned by smartly uniformed staffs. There are private dining rooms for the bigger spenders. For us that evening, we were contented with a humble table in the common dining area.

Like all their other outlets, you can pick your fish, crab, lobsters and others sea creatures from these aquariums...

Or your choice of wines from these racks.

We did neither. We just consulted one of their waitresses and made our orders below.

The first dish on our table was this 菜 (translated as "green dragon vegetable"). It was stir fried in a simple manner - with a light soy sauce. The vege was fresh and not overdone. The taste was mild and appropriate.

The prawns were blanched - 草虾. They were boiled just right - juicy and succulent and not over done. Over-cooked prawns become rubbery. I remembered having the same blanched prawns in their Jalan Kemajuan outlet. They tasted just the same.

The deep fried squids also did not disappointed. Under the crunchy and aromatic batter were slices of very fresh squids. Like the prawns, they were not overcooked and maintained their juicy and succulent texture.

The 三杯鸡 (translated - "3 cup chicken") came in a claypot. There were pieces of de-boned chicken - deep fried and then cooked in a sweet thick sauce with leek, onion, garlic and other condiments. The taste was superb. It went very well with the rice. 

Finally the fish was served. We ordered a nice grouper. I am not sure if it was from the aquarium. But it was very very fresh. The fish was cooked in 2 ways. The meat was filleted and then steamed in a mild fish sauce. The serving was quite small. There was not a lot of steamed fish to go around. But the taste was exquisite. Fish this fresh need not be elaborately cooked. A simple steaming brings up the freshness and the true flavour of the fish.

The bones of the fish were deep fried and made into a soup with bitter gourd. Again the freshness of the fish contributed to the flavour. But it was not a great soup - not that I dislike bitter gourd (quite on the contrary), just that the soup lacked the oomph. 

It really was a humble meal. But the damage was anything but. The fish alone was 190 bucks. Add up the other dishes - it was not cheap night out. I think it will be awhile before our 3rd visit. Have to find a good reason to spend so much money.

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