Now who doesn’t like a good sea food meal? If you’re a pescatarian like me, the hunt for fresh sea food is a weekend constant. One of the easiest food groups to cook, sea food also has that ignominious reputation of being one of the easiest to wreck as well.
Enter the very aptly name Seafood Market at The Le Meridien. With a verdant outside seating and more than generous indoor seating, the restaurant lives up to its theme in style. Right from the subtle underwater motifs and subterranean stream populated with Koi, the warm, friendly welcome set the tone for what was about to become a stellar night. We were directed through other diners to our well-appointed table and noticed that the restaurant was already almost full with a surprisingly diverse group of people; from families, to couples, to even a couple of largish business dinner groups.
Now, as a die-hard seafood fan, I virtually threw myself on the menu only to be stopped in my tracks. There was not a single word about the sea food on offer. Not even the hint of a prawn! Positively strange. The single page menu was in actuality a list of fabulous ingredients, cooking styles and sauces. Period. Time to ask for help.
The lovely Ailine, who was our server for the night, guided us through the process. And what a process it was! We were guided to the ‘market’ where every kind of seafood locally and internationally sourced was laid out in long cases. The sense of involvement one gets from handpicking every item and then deciding how each one gets cooked is experiential in the most fabulous way. Aliene was on hand to guide, instruct and advise. My kids; Tarini and Maia who have only ever seen seafood being defrosted prior to me cooking it were amazed and excited.
We went all out and chose from outrageously huge tiger prawns, lobster, mussels, oysters, crabs and fish [Yes, I know. I’m a pig:)].
Selection done, all that left was the serving and the consumption. With every item coming in straight out of its cooking stage, there wasn’t a moment to breathe. We moved effortlessly from the charcoal grilled prawns to the thermidore’d lobster, from the slathered in butter crabs to the crumb fried mussels in their shells, from the delicately steamed fish to the ceviche oysters. Beyond satiated and replete, we were one happy family. I must mention at this point, that every single food item came with fresh heated plates and relevant cutlery, which in the case of the crabs came with a bib apron and surgical style instrumentation!
And now for the dessert. Honestly, none of us had even a smidgeon of space left for anything else, but on advise we decided to share the Strawberry Kilimanjaro.
And here, we rest.
Because that dessert, which is cooked at your table in an almost juggleresque manner defies description. 3 days later, I was still talking about it. True story. At least 6 of my friends have made their way to The Seafood Market in subsequent days, and not one has left without that Kilimanjaro of desserts.
Kudos to the entire team at the Seafood Market. It’s fast becoming home