Mercato Café. Two words that don’t sync well together if you’re familiar with the premium retail brand Mercato has built for itself. But this giant of a business has decided to dip its toes into the food and beverage industry and my, are they floating along smoothly.
We swung by their classy and elegant restaurant with a chic modern European design this month to try out some of their signature dishes. First off, Mercato consists of two sections. One is a café and the other, a seafood bar, more specifically, an oyster bar. If that hasn’t yet piqued your interest, just wait till you hear about their titillating French and Irish delectable selection of these aphrodisiacs.
The bestseller here is the Tsarkaya Oyster from France and the Oyster Irish comes in a close second.
Large and luscious, just the view of this magnificent oyster platter is enough to trigger involuntary salivation. Served with lemon wedges and a sauce made up of diced shallots, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, these beauties come reclined seductively on a bed of ice.
You can sprinkle some sauce or lemon atop the oysters before slurping it down, or even have it on its own. The oysters’ rich, creamy and velvety texture will be sure to illicit moans of deep appreciation. Positively one of the most delicious oysters that have crossed our path, this smooth and silky indulgence has even been described as the act of kissing the sea with your lips.
Another one of Mercato Café’s highlights are their tapas.
This is because tapas star chef, En Aidamuddin Mohammad bin Abdul Hamid has brought his expertise to the Mercato Café Kitchen and introduced a whole new range of tantalizing tapas. We’ll tell you two of our absolute favourites from their list. First off is the Mussels in Tomato Paprika Sauce.
Surprisingly fragrant, the tomato sauce, freshly homemade, blended perfectly with the mussels in a non-overpowering manner. Delicious, with a generous portion of mussels, (a pound to be exact), this dish was a real winner in the taste and value-for-money department.
Next up were the Sautéed Prawns.
Cooked Spanish style with fresh herbs, crispy garlic slices and served swimming in olive oil, this tapas was certainly an overachiever. The rich, savoury texture of each prawn coated in fragrant oil and garlic totally blew us away. We’re definitely coming back for this dish.
After the tapas took us away impressed, we tried a distinctively French food combination; mussels, with fries. Chilean double shelled blue mussels were cooked with fresh cream, garlic, fresh parsley and shallots served with a tiny bucket of fries and homemade tomato mayonnaise sauce.
If at first you’re unfamiliar to this merger of food categories, give it a try and the rich creaminess of the mussels balanced by the slight saltiness of the potato fries will leave you pleasantly surprised.
Before we left, we were fortunate enough to get a taste of Mercato Café’s Ramadhan menu highlight; the Ayam Percik.
This traditional Malay chicken delicacy had been given a modern twist. The gravy, toned down on its usual sweetness, was wonderfully fragrant with a hint of spicy, coating the soft and savoury meat of the chicken flawlessly.
In such a posh location, Pavillion, where every restaurant charges a hefty price, Mercato Cafe offers the best of both worlds. It brings forth stunningly delicious semi fine-dining food, made with ingredients of premium quality, in an exquisite modern European décor with floor to ceiling windows where you can sit and watch KL traffic, all for a very reasonable price.
Address: Lot 1.01.01 & 1.01.02, Level 1, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hours: Open today · 10AM–10PM
Phone: +60 3-2110 0564