Showing posts with label oyster.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oyster.. Show all posts

Thursday 11 June 2015

With more and more people travelling abroad now, international food chains have felt the need to start their outlets in India more so than before. I don’t know why the case is so, the irony is that Chennai never gets to witness the bloom of any international brand. More so these brands come to Chennai only after establishing at least a couple of outlets in places like Mumbai, Bangalore, etc, which can take anywhere between 6 month to a year. I’m sure there are several reasons to this equation but being an ardent foodie nothing gives me immense joy than knowing that an international chain has finally chosen Chennai as their launch city. 

After establishing a niche for themselves with over 50 outlets across half the world from Oman to Japan, the famous speciality sea food restaurant ‘The Manhattan Fish Market’ has opened up their first outlet in India in namma Chennai. Bringing us the American style of sea food cuisine, this place created quite a pre-opening anticipation thanks to the early announcement of their arrival along with some great social media buzz.

Coming to the experience of the evening, first things first. The restaurant is situated across two floors with the first floor has a live kitchen space in addition to the tables while the second floor consisted of a few tables and around 3 private dining areas. The ambiance was on the lines of the food they dish out. Once we were seated, the person waiting on us explained their elaborate menu to us. To put it in a nut shell, the seafood on their menu can be cooked essentially in five different techniques, viz. Deep Fried, Poached, Baked, Grilled and their signature Flame style. As we were in a group, we decided to order a couple of platters to experience their different cooking styles and also savour most of their offerings. As we had a vegetable loving friend, we needed to cater to her requirement too which wasn’t much difficult considering there was only about four vegetarian dishes on the menu. 
(Creamy Mushroom Soup) 
(Garlic Herbed Mussels)
(Fried County Mushrooms)
The first up was the ‘Creamy Mushroom Soup’, which turned out to be a different interpretation of the classic Mushroom Cappuccino. Nevertheless, it tasted quite good but personally felt the cream to be a bit heavy along with the saltiness of the mushroom being a dominant flavour. For starters we had ordered, ‘Fried Country Mushrooms’ and ‘Garlic Herb Mussels’. Being a very choosy seafood eater I only eat sea food that are placed on the opposite ends of the spectrum, either Sushis or Crustaceans, along with the occasional Salmon. So I gave the Mussels a miss while I thoroughly enjoyed the fried mushrooms. It had a very light batter that elevated the flavours of the mushroom right enough to strike a chord in making you forget you were consuming a vegetarian dish.
(Fish N Chips) 
(Flaming Manhattan Star Platter)
(Flaming Manhattan Star Platter)
(Grilled Flaming Lobster Platter)
With the starters done, it was time for the mains. I couldn’t go past the page that had ‘Fish N Chips’ as this was my only source of seafood protein during my stint in UK. On rare occasions that I wanted to have something different, I would head to the corner place and pick up a take away of some Fish N Chips. Just love the way, we get it in UK with the fish wrapped in a parchment paper that would drip with oil. Having made up my mind on ordering this, I left the other mains to the choice of my buddies. After some deliberations, it was decided to also order a ‘Grilled Flaming Lobster’ & ‘Manhattan Star’ platters. The Fish N Chips arrived first and on initial looks didn’t resemble my corner shop one. But it aint’ fair to expect that as I’m sure people will run screaming oil, oil if the same is served here. However the flavour of the fish and batter made it up. Probably my preferred choice now in Chennai for Fish N Chips. With regards to the ‘Grilled Flaming Lobster’, it was a visual treat to experience the way it was being served. The platter comes with a serving of Grilled lobster, some garlic mussels, Fried calamari and fish fingers. The waiting staff that brings an industrial size blow torch and turns the heat up in the room flamboyantly by flaming the lobster. I leave it to the photos to do the talking. I loved the Calamari and the lobster over the fish fingers while I chose to forgo the mussels. On the other hand, the ‘Manhattan Star’ platter consisted of a Grilled Calamari, Fried Oysters, Poached Mussels, Flaming Prawns and Baked Fish. My palate preferred the fried calamari over the grilled version while the flaming prawns was just too good that I had to fight for more portions with my friends because I had to skip the mussels. Overall the star platter provides an opportunity to savour all five cooking techniques in a single platter.
(Manhattan Mud Pie)
(Tuscan Tiramisu)
(Oreo Kaboom Shake)
To bring closure to the evening, we decided to order their signature ‘Manhattan Mud Pie’, ‘Oreo Kaboom’ shake and a ‘Tuscan Tiramisu’. The mud pie lived up to the expectation by being the best dessert of the evening. The shake unfortunately lacked the characteristics of a shake and felt more like an Orea Coffee flavoured drink while the Tiramisu definitely did not par to the original Tiramisu as it again seemed to be their own interpretation and had a different twist. But we fell in love tremendously with the mud pie that we decided to order another portion to offset the mild disappointment with the other desserts.

Overall, The Manhattan Fish Market would be a paradise for ardent sea food lovers looking to savour and experience the best of catches using different cooking techniques. Joining the ranks of just a handful of stand-alone speciality of seafood restaurants, I’m sure this fish market is bound to last long in namma Chennai and provide us with this differential experience.

The Manhattan Fish Market is located on RK Salai opp to Marvel Wedding cards. A meal for two should cost you around ₹ 1500 if it’s the regular fare. If lobster is a preferred choice then be prepared to splurge as the Grilled Lobster platter is priced at ₹ 2490 but is worth every penny.

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