Manhattan Fish Market

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With their signature fish and chip served in shallow metal pans with three types of sauces, Manhattan Fish Market is often seen as the closest rival of Fish and Co. Their similarities are uncanny, from the menu, décor to price. Both also had their first flagship store at Plaza Singapura.

A little on the background: Manhattan Fish Market’s director was a former operations manager in Fish & Co and started out an outlet at Malaysia during 2002, and subsequently in Singapore. After being sued and lost to Fish and Co during a court case last year, Manhattan had changed their serving pans and modified their ingredients as directed.

Despite the changes, this popular store continues to generate long queues. Expect to wait from 15 minutes to half an hour during peak hours. The guys at Manhattan also knew than other than your tummy, they could work on your smiles. Service was prompt and the waiters were quick to serve and refill water. Although they seemed somewhere nervous at times, the young crew was generally friendly and took initiative despite the heavy traffic.

Manhattan Fish and Chips ($9.90), Alaskan Pollock and Chips ($10.90), Grilled Norwegian King Salmon Fillet ($15.90), and Almond Fried Shrimps ($10.90) are some of their signature dishes. Unfortunately, they do not have the Baked Fish in Garden Herbs, and Barramundi topped with Sambal Sauce which are served in their Malaysian branches.

For a safe choice, opt for The Manhattan Fish and Chips with fish which is freshly fried in light batter, and do not have a strong fish smell. The straight fries, which are not too fat and thick, stay crispy for a long time.
The Manhattan Seafood Platter for Two ($29.90) is an all-time favourite for customers who want value for money. The portion is huge which includes one piece of battered fish, 4 flammed prawns, fried calamari, fried oysters, chips and garlic rice. Overall, the quality is comparable or even better than the Fish and Co version. The weakest link is the garlic rice which is slightly dry and unsavory.

One major selling point of Manhattan is a gimmicky ‘flaming’ of the grilled and seasoned prawns, done right in front of your very eyes. This ‘flaming’ made sweet mayonnaise-like sauce melts over the prawns and the rice and also brought out the fragrance of the buttery platter. This unique process made the prawns very juicy on the inside, and crispy with a touch of soot on the shells.

While many copycats are often inferior to the original, the American-styled Manhattan Fish Market proves that they have the potential to better their predecessor. As consumers, we welcome the additional competition.
Overall: 3.75/5
Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Quote of the Day: "Imitation is the best form of Flattery."

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