Evonne and I headed over to Southern Rock Seafood in Bangsar for the Oysters & Champagne Masterclass by Edward Gallagher from Ireland, grower of Irish Premium oysters and the best-selling Gallagher Special oysters, Laurent Robert from France, award winning boutique champagne maker, and Josh Green, KL’s very own resident ‘Oyster Man’.
I actually didn’t know Southern Rock Seafood existed as it’s rather off the beaten track in Bangsar. It’s actually located along Jalan Kemuja which is down the road from Dataran Maybank. The restaurant itself occupies two (2) shoplots and is bright and cheerful and has a nice long oyster bar where you can sit and watch oysters being shucked all night long.
Some interesting facts about oysters:
- There are two main types of oyster – rocks and flats. The rocks (generally Pacific Oysters) take three years to grow, or four years for the really tasty ones. The flats (or Native Oysters) take five years or more to reach their full size and tend to have a higher price tag and stronger metallic flavour.
- Oysters are high in protein and low in fat, with a dozen only having around 110 calories, equivalent to just one (1) apple.
- Oysters contain zinc, iron and rare amino acids that can give added nighttime “performance”.
- Oysters develop their own nose, body and finish. Oysters feed by filtering water through their system, and the flavour of oysters depends on the minerals, salinity, and the type of algae they eat in the water.
Josh and Edward shared their extensive knowledge with and and gave us some tips about eating oysters:
- Do order a few of each variety. Give yourself multiple tastes to identify the character.
- Do pay attention to the flavor and texture from beginning to end.
- Don’t drown oysters in toppings. Naked is best, with a squeeze of lemon if you must.
Here’s how they recommend that you eat your oysters:
- Smell your oyster first. Bring it to your nose and inhale. The aroma should be super-fresh and should instantly transport you to the sea.
- Then use your finger or a fork to slurp the oyster into your mouth, along with its briny juices.
- Give it two or three good chews. Salt hits first, ranging from subtle to bold. Next you might detect a creamy or buttery flavor and finally a sweetness and metallic edge.
Irish Premium oysters from Ireland, Streaky Bay oysters from Australia, Dirty Leeks on Rye, and Ponzu Vegetable Shooter
Paired with Moet & Chandon
Irish Premium (rock)
The Gallagher family’s premium oysters are younger siblings to the Gallagher Specials – grown on the other side of the estuary away from fresh water stream. They have a great texture with a lovely sweet finish.
Nose Soft, Fresh sea breeze
Body Some parsley, woody. Juicy plump and firm.
Finish Clean with a trace of minerals
Flavour 7, Saltiness 4, Sweetness 5, Umami 5
Streaky Bay (rock)
Relatively new, and round the corner from better known Coffin bay, these oysters have only been farmed successfully here since 1899, and are already well-known for their punchy flavor.
Nose Very slight sea breeze and geranium
Body Powerful tangy full seafood flavor with a crunchy texture
Finish Strong white sugar finish
Flavour 8, Saltiness 7, Sweetness 3, Umami 7
Sydney Rock oysters from Australia, Cloudy Bay oysters from New Zealand, Roast Beets topped with fresh wasabi, and Cucumber and Smoked Eel en Cruete
Paired with Laurent Robert champagne.
Gallagher Specials oysters from Ireland, Fine de Claire oysters from France, clams, caviar and vodka
Paired with Veuve Clicquot
Gallagher Specials (rock)
Grown by Edward Gallagher over (four) 4 years in wild and beautiful Donegal, where a pristine peaty stream flows into the tidal Tragheanna estuary, giving a smooth, mellow and distinctive flavour to these special appellation oysters.
Nose Clean, open sea breeze
Body Apple, melon, wood. Plump but crispy and juicy
Finish Wonderful lingering sweetness with hint of minerals
Flavour 8, Saltiness 6, Sweetness 8, Umami 8
Fine de Claire (rock)
Finished in the famous shallow clay ponds on France’s Atlantic coast, these green-gilled slender oysters are less meaty and more juicy.
Nose Strong salty smell of the sea
Body Woody and herby reminiscent of green sap. Juicy and slender, not fleshy
Finish Big earthy flavours of mushroom, leather and bronze.
Flavour 8, Saltiness 7, Sweetness 5, Umami 6
The Legendary Mussel Laksa
When they call it legendary, they really mean it! Tons of mussels with some curry leaves and in a lovely rich Siamese laksa broth! Good to the last drop! A truly truly memorable dish and if you like mussels, you definitely must order this one!
The meal was finished off with a Guinness gelato, not a sorbet but a gelato. A nice end to a pretty decadent meal!
Chef Paul James, Southern Rock Seafood partner, Edward Gallagher from Ireland, grower of Irish Premium oysters and the best-selling Gallagher Special oysters, Laurent Robert from France, award winning boutique champagne maker, and Josh Green, restaurateur and KL’s very own resident ‘Oyster Man’ (Left to Right)
Southern Rock Seafood is located at:
34, Jalan Kemuja,
Off Jalan Bangsar,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: 1800 88 3474