02 August, 2008

Owen Seafood Restaurant - A Unique Seafood Market

My family loved seafood. When I was in secondary school, I remember looking forward to weekends when my dad would come back with a carload worth of fresh seafood produce – Lobsters, Scallops, Prawns, Crabs & Fishes – sourced from his “kelong” friend.

Since we have all grown up and started slogging in the society, we decided to reciprocate with a trip to Unique Seafood Market, Turf City, for dinner.

With over 60 tanks of ‘LIVE’ seafood and almost 100 kinds of seafood to choose from – chefs will prepare your meal on the spot, in your preferred style, with no extra charge – this place is a dream come true for all authentic seafood lovers!

What’s more, dine on a weekday (except PH and eve) and you will enjoy a 50% discount off the seafood, and 30% off on weekends, PH and Eves of PH.

Between a choice of two restaurants to prepare our food, Ah Yat and Owen Seafood Restaurant, the choice was obvious – I am a HUGE Liverpool fan (And back at you all the Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal scumbags - Heh!).

Despite the big dining area spreading across two levels, their décor is simple without much fanfare.

Since ‘LIVE’ and ‘FRESH’ was the order of the evening, we decided to go raw that night – by that I meant the dozen Canada Oysters ($1.60 each after 50%), the Geoduck Clam ($84/kg after 50%) and the Lobsters ($52/kg after 50%) prepared 'Sashimi' style.

“Sweet”, “Taste of the Sea” and “Succulent” was some of the adjectives used to describe these dishes that evening. However for the daunted ones, we also ordered a Soup Broth ($8) for them to cook the geoduck and the lobster meat.

Since my dad is an advocate of “Fresh seafood must be steamed, if not it’s a waste” theory, the next round of dishes were prepared to his preference – Sea White Prawns ($34.50/kg after 50%), Bamboo Clams ($4.40 each after 50%), French Giant Scallops ($4.40 each after 50%) and Marby Goby, or Soon Hock ($42.50/kg after 50%). This is where you are able to distinguish the skills of the chef.

The prawns were straightforward, thus nothing much to comment about, but the shell dishes were rather disdain. The bean paste that accompanied the bamboo clams overwhelmed its natural sweetness – and not that there was much to begin with, as the clams were overcooked that its flesh kinda turned rubbery.

A mixture of fried and very minced garlic also fails to bring out the natural flavour of the scallops. I would prefer a stronger, aromatic tang from the fresh garlic – less chopped up of course, as compared to the fried garlic, which seeks to steal the thunder from the main lead with its oily aftertaste.

Most of us also found the Soon Hock a tad disappointing, as its meat were flaky when served – a sign of over-steamed – but otherwise we did enjoy the freshness of its flesh.

The Flower Clam ($22.50/kg) we ordered that night was a total waste of money. Fried with the pathetic minced garlic, it was very oily and very tasteless. Being a shell-food lover, even I didn’t eat much of those that evening.

The only non-seafood dish that evening, the Fried Spinach with Garlic ($12.00) was another similar case of too oily and too bland. The only positive note was that the veggies were very fresh.

The Cereal Prawns ($34.50/kg after 50%) was average to say the least. The cereal itself was not as crunchy as I thought it should be, it also lacked that bit of the curry leaves whiff. Not much complains to the prawns itself though since they were fresh and its meat firm.

We ended the night with how we started – the Lobster – with its head, legs, shells, and feelers fried with E-fu Noodle in Broth ($15.00).

We all thought it was not too bad except it could have been enhanced if the noodles were simmered a little longer to entrap the natural flavour of the crustacean better.

Overall, we thought it was still kinda costly for ‘live’ seafood even with the gimmicky 50% discount on seafood items as the food served wasn’t exactly of high standard – we believed Chin Huat at Sunset Way would be a better bet.

Food: 3/5 (Fresh but not well executed)
Service: 3.5/5 (Staff were friendly and approachable)

Ambience: 3/5 (Simple furnished)
Price: 2.5/5 (Costly for the standard served)

Total: 12/20
200, Turf Club Road
#03-04, Main Grandstand, Turf City
Singapore 287994
Tel: 6875 0203

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Anonymous said...

My family & I have tried this place a few times since its opening (years & years ago)
Initially, the seafood we get on our table was fresh as expected (no 50% discount then). But gradually, we just feel that some seafood items (esp the frequently ordered ones like prawns) weren't as fresh as we expected on a few occasions.

His Food Blog said...

Hi Kendo - I am sorry for your experience.

I reckon my family and I are fortunate then since the seafood still tasted fresh - except that the dishes weren't well executed - not the best tasting seafood dishes in my opinion.

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