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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Manhattan Fish Market

Okay to be honest this review was actually done dammmmnnn long ago.

I'm sure you all have heard the comparisons between The Manhattan Fish Market and Fish and Co.
Well, apparently the story goes that there was this guy who used to worked at Fish and Co and decided to leave at some point. He then opened The Manhattan Fish Market which had some eerily similar items on their menu as Fish and Co... (in fact even their website is so similar lah)

Well the latter eventually brought The Manhattan Fish Market to court and I think they lost the case.
But that doesn't seem to have affected the business and its still going strong now with 11 stores islandwide and also more overseas!

And of course since we're talking about similar places here, there's definitely going to be some comparisons with Fish & Co. along the way okay so don't be surprised.

Let's start at the starting with some starters.
Seafood Chowder ($4.90)
Manhattan serves a clear broth type of chowder with bits of seafood.
You'll get mostly fish and some squid if you dig the bottom of your dish. They do have 2 sizes - the Lite (above) which is served in a tea-cup and the Regular which I guess is in a bowl.

This chowder is a little on the peppery side and I guess it has to be since it's a clear broth style.
This is definitely different from Fish & Co which serves a Cream style chowder.

Caesar Salad with Crispy White Bait ($7.50 + $3.00)
We also had the Caesar Salad which I have to say it quite refreshing.

You have the option of topping it up with Crispy White Bait, Grilled Chicken or Tuna for an additional $3.00.
We have the Crispy White Bait (which is basically fresh ikan bilis) and it was pretty tasty. But even without it, the salad itself was pretty decent with the fresh and crisp greens.

My darling wife thinks the serving is too small though especially for that price.

Fried Calamari ($9.95)
 This is always a must-have when you go to this kind of seafood place am I right?

Well Fish & Co gives you a choice of either fried or grilled with their Calamari but only one choice here.
And I notice that the Manhattan Calamari has more crunch to it but also an extra kick with the seasoning.
It's kind of peppery I think. Does tend to overpower the squid though. But it is served on a bed of more fresh and crisp greens! Serving is a bit small though.

Their menu says that you can choose between Grilled or Fried but... I'm not so sure...
Anyways, we never order the grilled version. Calamari is destined to be fried!

Fried Country Mushroom ($7.95)
Now here's a bit of a worse-type situation.
Anything fried is delicious. Extra delicious if it's mushrooms.

But we were totally fooled by what we saw in the menu!
Anyways the mushrooms themselves were nothing spectacular. The special tangy dip that came along was not bad but didn't do enough to pick the dish up.

Nice try on offering something unique on your menu, Manhattan.
But you might wanna work on your serving and recipe.

And now... the main event!

Manhattan Flaming Seafood Platter for Two ($37.95)
So the Manhattan Flaming Seafood Platter for 2 comes with the following items;
2 Fried Fish Fillets, Calamari, Fried Oysters (which were not available when we went), 4 Flaming Prawns, some vegetables and you can choose if you want fries or rice.

Okay so they are definitely trying to shake things up with the Flaming Prawns. I guess it's probably their signature item which is definitely not offered if you were to go to Fish & Co.

So when they serve you your Platter, the guy comes with this mini-blow torch like he's ready to burn the hell out of your dish right.

The prawns themselves are covered in this creamy mayonnaise-like sauce that will scorch once the torch does its magic.

The prawns at Fish and Co have their deilicious signature Lemon Butter sauce which is definitely a proven favourite especially with the prawns but this flaming-mayo is definitely a new approach that I guess isn't half as bad as you might think...

 Anyways, if you think you might enjoy it, you can order the Flaming Prawns as n individual platter which is a separate item on the menu.

Another thing to note is the difference in serving compared to Fish & Co.

The Fish & Co. Seafood Platter for 2 comes with 10 (!) Tiger Prawns plus Mussels along with (either fried or grilled) Fish and Calamari together with rice AND fries. And the price isn't that far off either.

And sure I guess we could debate about a few things between Manhattan and Fish & Co and I don't think the argument would end...

I guess there's only one clear way to differentiate the 2 platters.
It looks like we need to have a Platter vs Platter one of these days...

Oh and before I forget...

Mediterranean Baked Fish ($15.95)
For all you fish lovers who don't like it fried, here's an alternative.
And for some reason, they state on the menu that this is a "hot favourite for the ladies".
Is that true??

Well it's basically fish baked with some herbs and garlic herb rice and veggies.
Not too bad as far as baked fish goes. My darling wife enjoyed it and says it's tasty but like almost everything else, the serving was too small.

Adam's Verdict
Seafood Platter 2.5/5 -- Seafood Chowder 2/5 -- Caesar Salad 3.5/5 -- Fried Calamari 2.5/5
Fried Country Mushroom 1.5/5 -- Mediterranean Baked Fish 3/5

Maryah's Verdict
Seafood Platter 3/5 -- Caesar Salad 2.5/5 -- Fried Calamari 2.5/5
Fried Country Mushroom 2.5/5 -- Mediterranean Baked Fish 3/5

So is it really fair to say that Manhattan Fish Market is just a "rip-off" of Fish & Co?
I mean, they do have some pretty unique items on their menu you know...
Well, like I said, maybe the only way to truly know is to have a head-to-head between the two rivals.

So look out for a Makan vs Makan soon!

Anyways we ate at the outlet located a The Central.
Check out their website for more locations near you!

The Manhattan Fish Market

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-79/90
Tel: 65347903

Operating Hours: 11.00am til 10.00pm Daily

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