年年有余 is a customary wish for abundance and surplus during Chinese New Year, spurring the Chinese to toss Yee Sang with gusto, and load up on fish and seafood during the festive celebration. You can do so at Southern Rock Seafood Kitchen & Fishmonger, one of the most established seafood importers in the Klang Valley with its own restaurant in Bangsar (and a few off-site in major shopping malls).
At Southern Rock Seafood, it is most befitting to welcome the Year of the Water Tiger with a towering triple tier of Fruits De Mer (RM168++). Conceived for sharing, this impressive seafood selection is a sight to behold and will make waves with ardent seafood lovers.
To fully appreciate the quality of Southern Rock’s premium seafood, we recommend starting with the bottom tier of raw Tragheanna Bay Oysters (Ireland), Australian Mussels, Cloudy Bay Clams (Australia), and blanched local Tiger Prawns.
Local oyster connoisseurs in the know can vouch for Shucked - the best oyster bar in town (Southern Rock Seafood is behind it). Freshly shucked to order, the oysters are best savoured au naturel; it allows you to appreciate the briny and minerality of the oceanic nuances concentrated within these mollusks.
Likewise, for the mussels and clams – a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice is perhaps all that's necessary to accentuate their soul-satisfying sea-fresh sweetness.
To ensure things go swimmingly throughout the Tiger Year, prime your palate with a surfeit of seafood appetisers in the second tier: Salmon Sashimi, Cured Salmon (Beetroot & Gravlax), seared Japanese Scallops, Anchovies in Olive Oil (imported from Holland), Smoked Ocean Trout stuffed with Marinated Goat Cheese, and House-made Smoked Mackerel Paté.
Thin crisp toast points are served to complement the assortment; to enable you to savour the paté or place the anchovies on top to enjoy them. Take your time to discover the sensuous textures and complex flavours as you devour the succulent and scrumptious morsels.
A glass of classic Prawn Cocktail serves as the crowning glory for the seafood tower. For millennials and the uninitiated, this hors d’oeuvres consists of a whole blanched shelled prawn and diced prawns with chopped lettuce, dressed in creamy cocktail sauce – a mixture of ketchup with mayonnaise (sometimes Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper are added). Prawns are believed to evoke laughter so eat up and be happy for 2022!
Also eat more fish for abundance throughout the Chinese New Year and Southern Rock Seafood reels you in with an array of fresh wild imported fishes that can be grilled, steamed, baked or prepared a la Meunière. Grilled Whole Sea Bass (RM88++) with roast Mediterranean vegetables and romesco sauce is a notable option.
The simple cooking style retains the fish’s natural taste whilst the slightly charred vegetables and rich Catalonian-style sauce (tomatoes, garlic, toasted almonds or pine nuts with olive or sunflower oil) add textural and flavour contrasts, should you desire it.
Noodles is synonymous with longevity so the Crab & Scallop Linguine (RM58++) should hit the sweet spot for carb-loving diners. Globules of salmon roe enriched the plump sweet scallops while the linguine passed muster.
Established as a full-fledged restaurant in 2015, Southern Rock Seafood has weathered the stormy F&B scene in Klang Valley rather well. According to manager Mostaq Ahmed, the team is open to catering to birthday parties, corporate events and social gatherings of up to 100 persons since things are gradually returning to normal.
Featuring a nautical theme with seafaring vibes, the rustic restaurant interior features distressed clapboard, mellow lighting and a long bar where showcases of imported oysters on ice take pride of place.
Over at the fishmonger section, chillers filled with whole and fillets of premium fishes from Australia and Europe and fridges of smoked and cured fish, and jars of caviar, fish roe and mackerel paté beckon invitingly. Live lobsters are kept in tanks in the inner sanctum.
The beauty about Southern Rock Seafood is they can source and import the fish and seafood you want if they don’t have it in stock – all you have to do is ask. They also supply premium seafood to most 5-star hotels and reputable restaurants in town and throughout Malaysia.
For reservations at Southern Rock Seafood Kitchen & Fishmonger, tel: +6 012 385 0266. Address: 32-36, Jalan Kemuja, Off Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm; Sat & Sun 8.30 am – 11 pm (last call 930 pm) Website: www.southernrockseafood.com