Located right at the end of the food court on Level 1 and taking over from where Manhattan Fish Market used to occupy, a newly opened two-week old seafood restaurant (when I visited) has joined the many new dining options at Pavilion.
Glad to see that they have dispensers for freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt on every table unlike a certain Establishment (I visited recently) that shall remain nameless ;)...wuahahahaha (I'm so cruel)! :D
For starters, we had the Golden Squid & Salsa @ RM27 described as flash-fried Korean squid with ginger and dried chillies over seasoned onion rings with crispy basil leaves served with a warm salsa sauce.
The well seasoned squid with a light coat of batter had a pleasing balance of flavours...warmth from the shredded ginger, heat from the dried chillies and crisp of the fried basil leaves. ^.^
They were good on their own but even better dipped into their homemade salsa sauce of tomatoes and onions. A word of caution though....this dip has quite a bit of kick which some might find too spicy (I did as the spiciness kicked in after a few mouthfuls but I relished the salsa even though it was a bit on the spicy side)! ;)
Other light bites include a Cheesy Lobster & Seafood Dip (RM27), Spicy Poached Mussels (RM17) and Crispy Prawn Cocktail (RM17).
Their Facebook posting threw diners a challenge..."If it's not nice, you don't have to pay for it"! But here's the catch....only if you have a valid reason as to why you don't like the dish. Well, fair enough + I love a challenge...so I ordered the Lobster Bisque @ RM23.
The menu states that it's a bountiful bisque packed with rich flavours that comes with a decadent lobster tail with a unique umami twist of Japanese ebiko. There was also a swirl of (what looked like) pesto oil drizzle on the soup. It was served with a long piece of crusty baguette smeared with pesto which acted as a great vehicle to dip and scoop the creamy soup.
And yes, it did come with a nicely presented lobster tail (albeit a small one) sticking out of the soup that was firm and fresh to the bite. There were some tiny bits of (what I believe to be) lobster meat in the soup too (unless they were prawns). The soup had just the right consistency and I loved that it came piping hot, a good sign that it was freshly made. And the final outcome? It was nice, so I paid for it....kikiki! ;D
They have just one other soup, the Wild Mushroom Crema (RM17) or you might go with a salad (they have three), the Savoury Fruit & Funghi Salad (RM23), a Garden Crisp Salad (RM17) or a very decadent Lobster Salad (RM72).
For mains, our first pick was the Classic Grilled Catch of the Day @ RM55 with a choice of fish fillet of Norwegian Salmon or Grouper @ RM55, Sea Perch or Butter Fish @ RM35 (we chose salmon), that comes with freshly grilled prawns with salsa rice and sauteed zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
The way the Norwegian Salmon was sliced (thinly and diagonally like you would sashimi) made it impossible to cook the salmon skin side down to get it crispy, so don't expect it to be coz it won't. I did enjoy the flesh which was moist and delicate though.
As for the prawns, they have this translucent look and the texture was way too crunchy for my liking. Plus the prawns were lacking the natural sweetness that I seek. I've come across this type of overly bouncy prawns many times and I don't like it one bit. I hear that they'll have this texture if they were treated with baking powder to make them extra bouncy.
You can also select your choice of sauce between mustard dill or ginger soy. I went with ginger soy. I wasn't expecting it to look like a cocktail sauce and their was a heat element in it (from a combination of ginger and chillies perhaps) that I quite liked.
When I see the word 'grilled', I expect direct heat, over a hot open fire and flame-kissed food. So, I was expecting to see at least a little bit of charring or grilled marks on the seafood...but (sadly) there were none. I think pan-fried would have been a better description for the way the seafood was cooked here.
Our other main was the Crispy Battered Fish & Friends @ RM35 with a choice of fried fish fillet (choose between Norwegian Salmon, Grouper, Sea Perch or Butter Fish, we chose Sea Perch this time) with crunchy prawns and chips served with a side of fresh salad and their signature grapefruit tartar sauce.
The dish arrived with two pieces of battered sea perch and three prawns (which had the same crunchy texture). The batter was not overly thick nor overly crispy, the chips were nice. Served with a grapefruit tartar sauce that seemed to have a drizzle of pesto oil on top, I can't say I tasted grapefruit in the sauce though.
If you come in a larger group, you can order a bigger platter for sharing like the Great Ocean Fiesta (RM119) or the Captain's Seafood Spread (also RM119) which is basically the same smaller versions we had. The former showcases the grilled version with additional items like squid and mussels while the latter is the fried version with extra items of squid and corn dodgers. The platter could be ideal for four as we saw a family-of-four (two adults + 2 children) sharing one of such platters. And if you want to go all out, there's the more premium Nice Catch's Spicy Seafood Feast with Canadian Lobsters (RM189), King Crab Legs (RM159), Whole French Crab (RM119) or a Mixed Seafood of Prawns, Squid & Mussels (RM99).
Our drinks were Botanical Passion @ RM13 (earl grey tea infused with Thai basil leaves and mint with a tangy passionfruit reduction) and a Bottled Juice of Chilled Orange @ RM12. Two surprising items showed up in the receipt though but with no charges. One was for two glasses of iced water which we requested (since none was served) and two wet wipes which we declined when offered.
It wasn't until I was writing this post that I noticed something interesting in their receipt. Right at the top of the receipt (under Nice Catch) were these words...MFM Restaurants Sdn Bhd and I only know of one MFM...and that is Manhattan Fish Market. As I don't see any reviews done on this place (yet) since it's barely 3 weeks old, I can only deduce that this is a sister (and more premium) brand to their existing MFM chain of restaurants (though there's no such mention of this 'relationship' whatsoever on Nice Catch's website). Knowing this now, I can clearly see the 'similiarities' in some of the food offered and the sense of deja vu whilst I was dining here! ;)
My Personal Opinion
All in all, was it a nice catch? I have to say it was a fairly nice catch. Of the few that I tried, there were somethings that were good and somethings that could be better.
I was happy with both the starters I tried (and their prices too) but the mains didn't impress as much as I had hoped it would. The grilled platter didn't quite deliver on its promise of cooking method, the quality of prawns could be better and I think the prices for the Norwegian salmon option is on the higher end (seeing that they were just two thin slices).
Someone told me that some of the restaurants/cafes in Pavilion pay close to RM100k in rental. I wonder if the high rentals are driving food prices up and portions down for the outlets here. From my last few dining experiences in this mall, that would seem likely! T_T
Lot 1.18.02 Level 1
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2110 1387