Good news for seafood lovers, supermarket Mercato recently opened its new ventures into the F&B scene with a café and an oyster and seafood bar tucked away at Pavilion’s Fashion Avenue entrance and exit.
With ample natural lighting and a view of the bustling Raja Chulan street, both café and seafood bar serve up ingredients in classic ways. Although separated by a walkway, both areas serve the same food, with tapas, soups, pasta, burgers, sandwiches and even sushi available for variety.
However, make no mistake that fresh oysters and seafood steal the show here, with a full page dedicated to oysters and a good number of dishes that contain seafood littered on the menu.
We begin our dining experience at Mercato’s new eateries with Marenne Oleron No. 3 oysters served with lemon wedges, diced shallots and tabasco. Squeeze a lemon wedge, add a tiny spoonful of shallots and you have a clear winner. The first thing that hit our palates was the fresh briny tang of seawater, followed by lemon zest, the chilled oyster and then finally with slight heat coming from the shallots.
For those who prefer their oysters cooked, the eatery also offers the option to bake the delicious molluscs. Baked oysters with cheese and fresh parsley is hard not to like. The mild cheese complements the oyster and makes for a time-tested combination, giving a cheesy-savoury twist of the ocean in one mouthful.
If not in the mood for oysters, mussel fries is another enticing option. Cooked with fresh cream, garlic, parsley shallots and served with a bucket of French fries and tomato mayonnaise, this dish is great for sharing. Tangy and creamy thanks to the sauce, the mussels are bite-sized morsels of the sea that serve as a great counterpart to the crispy and slightly meaty fries that we recommend dipping in the cream for added flavour.
Sautéed prawns cooked with garlic and parsley and served with bread under the tapas section of the menu is also easy to like. Scoop a few of the tasty crustaceans onto a slice of bread and allow it to soak up the oil for a tasty delivery. To add to the mix, the olive oil is infused with chilli, giving the dish a nice spice kick.
For a heartier dish to share with your party, the tuna steak, a signature of the place and cooked to your preferred doneness, is a well-seasoned protein choice. Juicy, salty, peppery and seared on its side to seal in the flavours, eating the tuna with the accompanying trio of pepper salsa enlivens the flavours of the fish with a sweet heat.
Salmon with garlic and lemon sauce is a wholesome alternative to tuna. Cooked in fresh cream and olive oil and topped with honey lemon juice, seafood lovers will enjoy the buttery-sweet elements of the dish. The salmon itself is cooked well, juicy and flaky with skin intact for all that great oiliness, while the fresh cream and olive oil work together to create a sauce that is surprisingly not too heavy.
End on a refreshingly sweet note with Mercato’s crème brûlée. Cracking the dessert’s surface reveals a chilled custard base that manages to hit the right amount of sweetness. The custard is infused with vanilla, while the caramel glaze is crunchy with a slight honey-like aftertaste.
Food at Mercato Café and Oyster and Seafood Bar is best shared, making it a destination to be visitied with good company. The latter area is also true to its name, featuring a wide selection of craft beers and wines to accompany meals.
The all-new Mercato is open from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm from Monday to Sunday. For more information, visit Mercato Malaysia Facebook.
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