Sunday, May 12, 2013

Oceans of Seafood at PasarBella, Singapore

Jyo Chirashi

PasarBella at the Grandstand seemed like a pretty cool idea, especially for someone like me who loves going to outdoor markets. So I was a bit let down when I came down here to find that many of the (cooked food) stalls were just outlets of existing chains from around the island: Shiraz, SaladStop!, and (ugh!) Charly T's. Oceans of Seafood, however, was one of the few that seemed unique, and hence I decided to get my lunch here (200 Turf Club Road #02-06, 6466-1005).

Somehow I ended up in the sushi section, which as it turns out was run by the guy who used to run Miz in Tanjong Pagar. Yes, the fish above was fresh, but I wasn't very happy when I left, as none of his cooked food was on the menu. Moreover, it was only after I paid did I realize that there was a separate section serving steamed seafood, which is where I should have gone to begin with. Both sections were totally understaffed, leaving everyone to wonder how to order, where to sit, etc.

Yeah, that was a big letdown. Sure, if I'm up there again one of these days, maybe I'll try to get some steamed shellfish first. And actually, that paella stall out in front of it seemed like it might hold some promise. But otherwise, there wasn't really anything that exciting at this market in the end. I sure hope that some of those chains vacate their stalls and let something more interesting come in.


ceadsearc said...

Should have gone for the oysters! they were pretty good though not as good as west coast oysters that you're probably used to..but for singapore they're pretty cheap i believe a half-dozen will set you back 15 bucks.

Arianne said...

This is the first time I have been to PasarBella, and probably my last.
I was there on a Sunday evening with my family, having heard and read about it on the internet and decided to give it a try.

The first thing that we noticed when we entered the place was the smell of fish. On our right was an oyster and seafood counter and to our left was a Japanese stall with a large display of raw fish on ice. Looking more like a wet market of sorts, i wonder about the cleanliness level, especially if they are serving sushi and other raw fish.

We found a place near the rear end of the Japanese stall and sat down. My partner looked after the our belongings at the table while i went to order some food. i ordered some paella, a small pizza and a pasta. We also ordered a crepe, 2 beers and some raw oysters.

As we were eating, a staff approached us and crudely told us to order "more food" from their stalls. Apparently, we have unknowingly sat on the table that "belongs" to the Seafood & Japanese stalls. Well, we have already ordered some oysters and 2 beers from them, which apprently was 'not enough' for us to sit there.

My partner was really upset, as there were no sinages indicating the seats were only meant for the customers of the seafood stalls! The staff pointed to a small round sign on the table that says" NO OUTSIDE FOOD ALLOWED". Well, we were NOT eating any 'OUTSIDE' food!! We ordered food and drinks from inside PasarBella! So how much do we need to order, besides our oysters and beer?? Subsequently, I ordered a salmon sushi rice which i had trouble eating as I was already full, and a california maki that remained untouched.

A table of 4 causasians ladies sat down behind us and they were confronted with the same problem as us! In the end, one of the ladies ordered a fish & chips from the seafood stall. The manager even came to us to say that they are 'running a business here', which made my partner really furious. The manager then offered to waive our bill.

I would suggest to the vendors to please put larger signs or cordon off sections where the seats 'belong' to you. And diners - beware!

The concept of PasarBella is a cross between a high class food court and Marche. But at least for both the latter, the seats are free for all!

Overall of what we have tried, food is expensive, quality is average. i walked out smelling like fried seafood. Will not be back again.