Describing Fish Market feels dangerously close to a real life Stefan run-down of New York’s Hottest Club: it’s a sports bar in the South Street Seaport that serves Chinese and Malaysian food with $16 lobster specials on Mondays and Tuesdays and a bartender named Jeff who likes to do free shots of Jameson with nearly everyone who comes inside.
Like all good cult-followings, this place is random to those who don’t know it and essential to those who do. The basic gist is that Fish Market is a neighborhood sports bar in the Seaport that happens to serve a really good a mixture of Chinese and Malaysian food. The menu is huge, with sectioned off American bar snacks, vaguely Italian pasta plates, and Chinese and Malaysian options. While their traditional bar food is good, we’d recommend sticking to that last section, which includes things like ginger chicken wings, Mama’s curried chicken, or the pork belly pot. The sports bar setting, salt level, and big-portion-low-price options will trick you into thinking you’re eating very satisfying drunk food, even if you’re not drunk whatsoever.
It’s not a huge place, but the bar and table areas feel pretty distinct from each other. The bar will probably have the Ravens game on TV and a man who has never left the South Street Seaport and likes to wear Ron Jon Surf Shop sweatshirts, while the back will have several tables full of young people who work or live in the area and have a regularly scheduled hang here. Regardless of where you sit, it’s likely to be pretty loud because of the jukebox and the group having an alcohol-themed birthday party.
Fish Market is useful for people who live or work around here, because why else would you be in the South Street Seaport? Otherwise this place is worth checking out if you find yourself on the non-Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge and want an inexpensive and randomly delicious dinner in a fun place with a dedicated following. Or if you’re just confused by how all of this happens under one roof and need to experience it for yourself.
We don’t know how these wings taste like real ginger. But they do, and we’re into it. There’s more than enough to share and they come with a side of sriracha, just as everything should.
Stellar, pan-fried dumplings for $8. They come in the shrimp or pork variety and should make a (fast) appearance on your table.
This is listed under a page on the menu called Mama’s entrees, which was our first clue that it would be good. Beware, this rice is crispier than you think it will be, so prepare for potentially too-much crunch in every bite.
There should be plenty of them. Jeff has you covered.