Saturday, 14 September 2013

Market Broiler

The males in my family are extremely well trained and behaved. They are used to my mom and I going shopping for hours and wait patiently for us with no complaints. Really, that is amazing and I can't even fathom how they manage to do it. Applause please. While we were shopping at the Outlets at Orange, which was across the street from our stay at the Ayres Inn, my dad took a look at Market Broiler's menu and told us he really wanted to go. And dad rarely ever says he really wants to eat something; it would be inconsiderate if we didn't let him go.

There was that one day, one cloudy Sunday in August, when we ventured out to Santa Monica for a day trip. That didn't last long and we were back in Anaheim by mid-afternoon. After some more shopping at the outlets, we had dinner at Market Broiler. "California's favourite fresh seafood restaurant". We'll see if they live up to their claim.

We stepped foot into the restaurant at uhm...about 6pm? And two waitresses greeted us and one led us to a table. It's a pretty spacious restaurant, but only a few tables were occupied. For a Sunday night, there was a sparse crowd. Part bar, part table seating, and part outdoor seating, this location reminds me of The Keg or something. A couple sitting at the bar was sipping on a fishbowl sized margarita or something. It's called 'fishbowl' on the menu, and it ain't joking.

Complimentary bread
We were provided with warm sourdough bread, much like the type the Old Spaghetti Factory feeds us. I appreciate that the bread was warm, but the slabs of butter were past room temperature and became a gooey mess once opened. I just enjoyed my bread plain, and in limited amounts. I have a bad habit of gorging myself with empty complimentary carbs before I realize I have a whole meal to finish.

Southern Fried Catfish ($9.95)
My brother got a Southern plate, with fried catfish hush puppies, coleslaw, and fries. It was a really large portion of everything fried. Ehh...not really my style. We weren't sure what a hush puppies was, and asked our waitress. She got the chef to come out and explain to us, which was really nice. He explained it was essentially fried 'leftover' batter. The catfish (which is also called basa...which is not good for you..) was breaded in a cornmeal batter. I thought it gave a nice flavour to a flavourless fish. My bother didn't really enjoy his meal because the catfish didn't suit his taste buds. It's a matter of opinion; some love it, others don't fancy it. The coleslaw was seasoned with spices which was interesting, but didn't actually add a distinct flavour. For those that usually enjoy catfish, this may be okay. Other than that, I wouldn't specifically recommend this dish.

Fresh Catch of the Day: Snapper ($11.95) - cooked perfectly
The menu at Market Broiler is really vast. There are so many items and specials hidden here and there. I found a fresh catch of the day special which cost only twelve dollars. My dad had originally wanted to eat snapper and lucky for him, that was the special of the day, so we saved a few bucks. Both parents ended up getting the special, just with different sides. My mom chose coleslaw and fries, and my dad chose vegetables and roasted potatoes. When our entrees arrived, my mom's fish was cooked perfectly. It was smooth and melt-in-your-mouth, the perfect texture. This piece of fish was very well enjoyed.

Overcooked snapper :(
Unfortunately for my dad, his fish resembled nothing like my mom's piece, despite being the same fish. It was flaky like overcooked tuna and very disappointing. We're guessing two different cooks prepared each of my parents' fish. My dad sent his back to kitchen and hoped the next piece would be better. The way the staff brings stuff back to the kitchen is a bit odd. Instead of taking the whole plate away, they ask you to place just the item you don't want on a smaller plate and bring that back. I like how they don't waste you're vegetables, but the way our waitress asked my dad to put the fish on another plate was awkward and borderline rude. 

When the 'fixed' order of snapper was served to my dad, it was the complete plate, vegetables and all. The head chef (same one that came to explain the hush puppies) came to apologize and brought my dad a special sauce he made to 'make up' for the poorly executed fish. (The sauce was a garlic-y oil, which my dad thought was a much more suitable pairing for the fish as compared to the tartar sauce.) I was happy to see that the chef came out personally to apologize, it was very professional. The little 'gift' was another part of his good customer service. 

So, after a long wait for his entree, my dad finally got to eat. The texture still wasn't identical to my mom's piece of snapper; I guessed that mom's was actually undercooked by a tad bit, which is how my dad prefers his fish. But it wasn't terrible so my dad didn't bother sending it back again. Lesson of the day: if you're unhappy with a dish, send it back.

Creative Combinations: Coconut Shrimp & Mahi Mahi ($16.95)
I was pretty excited to find a page in the menu where I could build build my own entree. Two mains and two sides. I chose coconut shrimp and miso mahi mahi. The shrimp were large, but as seen by the colour, they were fried for too long. The coating of shredded coconut didn't come close to the flavour of the coconut shrimp I had in Kahuku. The coating at Market Broiler didn't bring any flavour. The dipping sauce for the shrimp, which is the slightly orange-y one, was AMAZING. Pure coconut bliss. It was sweet, tangy, very coconutty, and reminded me of pina colada. It may sound weird, but it works beautifully with the coconut shrimp. When my mom wasn't watching, I ate the sauce on it's own, tee hee~

The mahi mahi fish, hidden under that kale, didn't taste like miso at all. I was rather confused by this. Miso is such a strong, salty, distinct flavour and I could taste none of it. It looked like it was a totally different seasoning, more like cajun spices than miso. The fish was cooked okay; mahi mahi is a sturdy, flaky, white fish. I was just a little disappointed because I was looking forward to the miso part of this entree. -pout-

My sides were disappointing. The vegetables were more mostly-raw-red onion than the good stuff, and the roasted red potatoes tasted more like boiled than roasted. Wheres the crispy skin? Not here. Fail 'roasted' potatoes.

Market Broiler isn't a fantastic-omg-must-try restaurant, it is a chain so... Our experience had it's ups and downs. The service from our waitress was slow, but the head chef (which by the way, is Asian. I find that cool, haha!) is a great business person. Food was mostly mediocre and needs improvement; however the array of options available is wonderful. But I guess the more variety they serve, the higher the chance of ordering a 'mehhh' quality dish. Price is reasonable, but I recommend coming for lunch because the lunch specials are around ten dollars and sound like a better deal. I wouldn't purposely come back to Market Broiler, only if there was no better options at the time. 

Reviews on Yelp

Market Broiler on Urbanspoon

Love from Coconut Crumpet's Corner ♡

No comments:

Post a Comment