Mr. Marlin

Despite being tucked away in a suburban pocket, the new Mr. Marlin was packed when we arrived, giving this tiny establishment a nice but noisy buzz. With four rows of tables jammed in together and poor acoustics, everything did feel a bit crowded but at least it was lively. A scan of the menu revealed, as we expected, a decidedly seafood focus. We made our decisions and were ready to order but found no server available: And this seemed to be the order of the day. The staff seemed unable to cope with the number of large parties (there were three groups of eight people or more that night), so we had to wait at least 30 minutes to order and our food came out at varying times. Still, when we did interact with the servers, we found them friendly and helpful. The food was not bad either. The shellfish dishes such as the sautéed mussels ($35), clams ($18.50) and spaghetti vongole ($19.50) were nicely cooked without being overdone, but about half the mussels had not had their beards removed and we found the flavors competent but not exciting. Ditto for our other courses such as the fisherman’s basket ($16.50), and whole barramundi ($28.50). We had a pleasant dining experience at Mr. Marlin, but would suggest it’s a place for smaller rather than larger parties (poor acoustics make it difficult to hear the conversation at the end of a long table). For a mid-range seafood restaurant it’s not a bad option, but it certainly won’t blow you out of the water.