Seafood devotees may want to drop anchor at Pier 12, which plumbs the ocean for its maritime treasures, netting no shortage of fish, crustaceans & molluscs, served in the colonial-era confines of Raja Chulan's Old Malaya F&B hub, with an atmospheric restaurant on the street level & a tavern-like bar on top.
A full-fledged feast of Neptune's bounty can be had here: Commence with the tapas-like treats of fresh, firm prawns sauteed with garlic, salt, lemon juice & olive oil (RM28) & scallops pan-seared with a flavoursome white wine & butter sauce (RM38). Other opening salvos range from a seafood chowder to char-grilled baby octopus with paprika, potatoes & piquillo peppers.
Pier 12 takes pride in crabs, particularly the garlic chilli crabs, cooked with continent-hopping components that span Spanish olive oil & Japanese soy sauce, partnered with crisp, Chinese-style mantou bun to soak up the savoury remains on the plate after you've devoured the crab's sweet, moist flesh (RM18 per 100 grams, with a minimum order of 500 grams). Make your meal extra-crabby with a side order of mulligatawny, too seldom seen in KL's restaurants, with the crab successfully employed to thicken a soup of mild, Madras-inspired curry & rice (RM25).
Ultimately, fish is what shores up Pier 12; we like the variety of well-prepared recipes on the menu, setting sail from the intriguingly spiced tandoori halibut fillet with mint yoghurt cucumber raita (RM38) to the pan-seared Atlantic mackerel, robust in flavour with mushrooms & a textured tomato chutney (RM38) ...
... then making waves with the pan-fried barramundi, flaky & juicy, with grilled eggplant & lemon butter basil sauce (RM36) & irreproachable beer-battered butter fish & chips that do chunky justice to this traditional British crowd-pleaser (RM30) ...
... before reaching safe harbour with salmon, capably grilled & geared up with sun-dried tomato pesto, zucchini & cauliflower coulis (RM42), or smoked & served with a potato dill pancake, red onions, rocket leaves, capers & sour cream (RM28).
If you haven't gone overboard with over-indulging, desserts prove desirable too: The Black Velvet Cake is a rich, fudgy chocolate take on the familiar Red (RM20), while the Cranberry Almond Dacquoise supplies soft, smooth comfort (RM18).
It's easy for evening to turn into night at Pier 12, with plenty of wine & cocktails available, including fun temptations like the Gastronomy Gin Basil Smash (RM35; Gin Mare, basil, fresh lemon, sugar syrup), Porn Star Martini (RM28; we really like this playfully pleasurable signature of vodka, passion fruit liqueur & puree, buoyed by a shot of Prosecco) & Sweet Kingdom (RM30; peach schnapps, rum, triple sec, lime, lemon juice, soda). Our thanks to the friendly Pier 12 team for having us here.
Pier 12 Seafood Tavern
Lot 12, Old Malaya, Lorong Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2078-5548
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