Update on October 8, 2011: We came to Mariners’ Corner Restaurant for my dad’s birthday celebration. As it turns out, the standards have dropped tremendously. The prices have remained the same and service is all right, but the food this time round is disappointing (not enough sauce; grilled lobster is dry and tough; fish is raw at the centre and we had to return it). We didn’t see the elderly captain this time round, and hear that the management has been changed. Sadly, this would probably be our last visit.
The review below was posted 2 years ago for your reference.
For a seafood-loving population, we have surprisingly few western seafood eateries here. Chinese seafood hawker stalls and restaurants are aplenty, but the western ones are rare. One reason may be the fact that the western counterparts are generally the pricier luxury-class type. Another may be that the western style of grilling seafood is deemed as not doing it justice.
With the affordable and delicious seafood served at the aptly named Mariners’ Corner Restaurant, that perception can be easily changed. Lobster, anyone?
This place is one hidden gem. It is tucked within Maritime House, an aged pink building home to the Singapore Mariners’ Club. What many people wouldn’t know of is the wonderful restaurant that has been serving steaks and seafood ever since 1984!
There is certainly an old-school charm to this place. The interior is decked out like a ship, with wooden panels and naval-themed decor. The feel and ambience is a cross between the Manhattan Fish Market and Naked Fish Shoppe.
One attractive deal offered here is the $4.30 upgrade of a main course to a set meal. It gives you the additional:
- free flow of salad
- garlic bread
- soup of the day
- coffee or tea
The best part of the deal has to be the free-flowing salad that allows you to have your fill from the salad bar. It shares a similar concept as Sizzler. Over here I have tried to create a healthful, colourful and delicious salad. I think I succeeded!
Done with the salad, garlic bread and soup, we start with the appetiser of buffalo wings. It’s basically six deep fried chicken wings and drumsticks accompanied by a sweet Thai chilli dip. The chicken has not been cooked thoroughly; the reddish blood is still very much visible when you get to the innermost part of the flesh. Ugh. It’s a disappointment because I want to love this restaurant, I really do.
Fortunately, the main courses are good! I order the lobster combo that comprises of a 250 gram lobster plus a choice of steak, chicken, fish or oxtail. For a chicken lover, the pan-seared chicken fillet is a natural choice.
Lobster has a reputation as a luxury food in the same class as foie gras and caviar. Instead of paying exorbitant prices at posh restaurants, you can indulge in it at a much fairer price range here. It is no less satisfying, too, with headily sweet flesh that is so tender, it slips out easily from the tail half at the slightest tug of the fork. I truly enjoy every precious morsel of my grilled shellfish.
As for the meat item included in the combo, chicken in my case, you can further pick your sauce from black pepper, mushroom or barbecue. I go for barbecue. It is a curious shade of orange-red that resembles sweet and sour sauce, and tastes like sweet and sour sauce. No complaints from me though. It is deee-licious.
This is one dish I would order again the next time I visit Mariners’ Corner. With both lobster and chicken, what’s not to love?
Another item that would appeal to the shellfish fans is the king prawn combo. It includes two king prawns, again with the choice of meat and sauce. This time round, you get to also select the way you want your prawns — thermidor or garlic butter. We go for the latter.
The prawn tastes pleasant, although lacking the same splendid sweetness as its bigger cousin. If I didn’t already have the lobster for comparison, I would easily award this dish 5 drumsticks.
For both combos, you get a huge slab of chicken fillet. As though all that shellfish and meat isn’t enough, the combo also includes vegetables and mashed potato. Excellent, excellent value!
By the end of the main course, we are too stuffed to swallow another ounce of food. It’s too bad, because we would love to have a second helping at the salad bar.
And we still have coffee and cake to go!
The downside is that when it gets busy, the service becomes excruciatingly slow and the waiters seem to be quite forgetful. For every course of our meal, we have to politely ask for our food because it never comes. Hopefully this is a one-off incident because other than that, we can find no fault with the restaurant. The captain, an elderly man in his 60s, is sincerely apologetic and he alone has made our meal that much more pleasant.
One particularly memorable scene is that at the neighbouring table, a group of people in their 20s are celebrating a friend’s birthday. Said captain brings out the cake, and sings the birthday song with unrivalled gusto! All the friends and the waiters are singing, but you can clearly hear that one particular guy is singing his heart out. Just imagine a 60 year old man singing Happy Birthday to a bunch of kids! He is obviously extremely dedicated to his work. Kudos.
Will I be back? Definitely. After all, I can never say no to shellfish.
Update on October 8, 2011: We came by here for my dad’s birthday celebration. As it turns out, the standards have dropped tremendously. The service is still fine, but the food is disappointing (not enough sauce; grilled lobster is dry and tough; fish is raw at the centre and we had to return it). We didn’t see the elderly captain this time round, and hear that the management has been changed. Sadly, this would probably be our last visit.
120 Cantonment Road #01-02
Tel: +65 6220 6572
Bus services: 75, 167, 196
Nearest MRT: Outram Park / Tanjong Pagar
Opening hours: 11:30am – 2pm; 6 – 10pm daily