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Best Halibut Fish and Chips


Ann_T
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I'm relatively new to Egullet and this is my first post to this forum. I have been reading the Vancouver threads for some time and would like to thank you all. Thanks to you we have been able to satisfy our craving for decent Montreal Smoked Meat and Pastrami. After eating at Kaplans 6 or 7 years ago we would never have gone back if I hadn't read the reviews here. Been back a number of times since. Had a wonderful breakfast last Saturday at Sebs and found some great places to shop like Cioffis on Hastings, and Winsor Meats. Now I'm looking forward to trying a hamburger at the Moderne Burger.

So now I am hoping you can help us again by recommending your favourite Halibut Fish and Chip restaurant. We have been looking for the best place to have Halibut fish and chips in the Vancouver area. We have tried a number of places but so far haven't found anywhere that meets the standards set by the Penrose Fish and Chip restaurant in Toronto. They have been in the business over 50 years.

We recently moved back to Vancouver from Nanaimo. The Mill Bay fish and chips (in Mill Bay) was the only place that came close. We use to drive there at least once every two or three weeks to satisfy our craving. Unfortunately it just isn't quite as easy now to get to Mill Bay when the craving hits.

TIA

Ann

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Well, not Vancouver, but if you ever get out to Crescent Beach there is a great fish and chips place called The Fish Net. It's been there for years, and the fish and chips are amazing - the place has lines onto the street regularly.

The guy who owns it does everything right - the restaurant is very clean, the fish is fresh, the chips are cut by hand from fresh potatoes, and the oil is changed regularly. I recommend it highly! :)

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We have tried a number of places but so far haven't found anywhere that meets the standards set by the Penrose Fish and Chip restaurant in Toronto.  They have been in the business  over 50 years.

I've never eaten at Penrose, so I'll have to take you at your word. But I have a tough time believing that the halibut in Toronto is going to be better than the halibut in Vancouver.

Get ye to Go Fish! Everything is fresh, and the batter is a lighter tempura style. The fries are often good, but are somewhat inconsistent. I also like Pajo's (Port Moody - although they have one in Steveston) and Dave's (Steveston, but not the one on the pier. The older, dumpier one :biggrin: ). Cockney King's in North Burnaby is also worth a visit.

A.

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Get ye to Go Fish!  Everything is fresh, and the batter is a lighter tempura style.  The fries are often good, but are somewhat inconsistent.  I also like Pajo's (Port Moody - although they have one in Steveston) and Dave's (Steveston, but not the one on the pier.  The older, dumpier one :biggrin: ).  Cockney King's in North Burnaby is also worth a visit.

A.

To Arne's recommendations I would add King's Fare, certainly amongst the best fish and chips in town, even if they almost aren't. Its peripheral location (in a small strip mall in Marpole) makes it an on-the-way-to-the-airport kind of destination. A near-religious zeal for fresh cod and halibut is evident on the platter. 1320 W. 73rd Ave., 604-266-3474.

That being said, I prefer cod.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I'd agree with the Go Fish! recommendation.

Back on the island - in the Capital - Fairfield Fish & Chips is my fave. They fry in animal fat (none of that veggie thinga-ma-jiggy oil) for flava' and crispy-dispy sava'-ree good-nezz.

[As an aside... I sure wish Gord Martin would offer fish tacos @ the Go.]

Edited by Memo (log)

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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I can second the freshness of Kings Fare and their committment to the food, however I would caution going overboard on ordering. Except for the chowder, which is great, it is all deep fried and I mean in the heaviest sense. Maybe an odd precaution when talking about fish & chips, but my favourite F&C are relatively light - plus tasty, fresh, good fries, and you don't feel like you just drank a gallon of peanut oil. That's how I'd define "the best".

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Go Fish just off Granville Island

Olympia Fish Market on Robson and Thurlow

The fish and chip place on Granville Island is good too. The cook is the guy from the legendary Only.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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The Wigan Peir in Squamish is pretty good. Nice light batter. The fries aren't anything to write home about though, just a delivery vehicle for tartar sauce. It's behind the Best Western and Chevron station.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. We have tried Kings Fare, Pajos in Steveston, two places on Granville Island, the one in the market and Tonys, Pickwicks, The Fish Cafe on 41st and another one out in Steveston, can't remember the name and a few others. So far we haven't found one that makes us want to go back. Although some of these places aren't bad, they just haven't met the "standard".

We haven't tried the Cockney King, the Fish Net or Go Fish. But I have added them to my list and will try them soon. I looked up Go Fish with the intentions of going there today but they aren't open until Wednesday. So we ended up at Kaplans for Pastrami and Smoked meat sandwiches instead.

Thanks again.

Ann

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I can second the freshness of Kings Fare and their committment to the food, however I would caution going overboard on ordering. Except for the chowder, which is great, it is all deep fried and I mean in the heaviest sense. Maybe an odd precaution when talking about fish & chips, but my favourite F&C are relatively light - plus tasty, fresh, good fries, and you don't feel like you just drank a gallon of peanut oil. That's how I'd define "the best".

Ah yes, batter up: the perennial discussion of gossamer-light batter versus the older school heavy thunkers that break rather than bend under downward knife pressure and often render plastic knives completely useless.

I would argue that both have their merits (and rights-to life), the latter most especially after a late night. For the lightest batter of all, a visit to Phnom Penh is in order for the squid--evidence perhaps that angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. I've often been curious about how Helen's batter (the secret lies in the rice flour plus one other ingredient) would react in the company of the flesh of cod, halibut or even snapper.

Certainly a heavyweight fry-up is not for the light of heart, although if you wait half an hour, joy may be taken in not having to gel.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Go Fish is closed Mondays for sure I wasn't aware they were closed Tuesday as well. :unsure:

I've had the Halibut F&C @ Go Fish it's excellent fish~so/so chips.

In defence of anywhere trying to do Halibut F&C it's not always easy to deep fry a dense fish like Halibut especially as one fish will produce pieces of different thicknesses-cleaning one to produce identical pieces is a trial and not always possible.

In that regard Lingcod is a better choice for consistent cooking.

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It's not quite in the city but my families been going there for at least 25 years, Uncle Herbies in Ladner. It's owned by an old Scottish fellow and the fish and chips are always fantastic. Especially the Halibut. Go Fish is good, but if you're looking for something a little more "traditional", this is the place to go. So far, I haven't been able to find anything in the city that comes close, plus the ambiance of Uncle Herbies just makes you want to stay forever. Hmmm...I'm thinking the Mafia may have to go for a weekend road trip. If you go, you must order the mushy peas; best in the city.

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Dave's (Steveston, but not the one on the pier.  The older, dumpier one :biggrin: ).

The one on the pier no longer exists, having been replaced by another restaurant of the same ilk.

Any reviews on Mr. Pickwick's? I walked by its Denman Street location the other day and wondered if it was any good.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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there's a palce in horseshoe bay but i can't remember the name. they do'nt use a batter. they bread it. which i actualyl prefer anyways. anyone here know of which place i'm talking about?

bork bork bork

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there's a palce in horseshoe bay but i can't remember the name. they do'nt use a batter. they bread it. which i actualyl prefer anyways. anyone here know of which place i'm talking about?

You're sure it didn't get run over by The Queen of Oak Bay?

The only f&c places in Horsehoe Bay I can think of are Troll's & Yay-Ya's Oyster Bar, and I'm pretty sure you're not thinking of Troll's ....

A.

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  So far we haven't found one that makes us want to go back.  Although some of these places aren't bad, they just haven't met the "standard".

And the gold standard is Penrose? All of the B.C. places metioned above have access to fresh halibut, while the vast majority of Toronto fish and chips shops including Penrose, resort to frozen halibut. Maybe we are talking about apples and oranges here.

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Any reviews on Mr. Pickwick's?  I walked by its Denman Street location the other day and wondered if it was any good.

I've been to the Mr Pickwicks in W Van - and it was surprisingly good and good value. They have daily specials and a fairly substantial dinner for two was way below the $20 mark.

The fish was nicely done - not too greasy, and the fries were crisp. For what it is - it is a pretty good option when the F&C fancy strikes one suddenly.

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First, let me say thank you to everyone that has offered up some suggestions for me to try. Also, I can tell from a couple of the responses that my post didn’t come across quite the way I intended. For that I am sorry. I didn’t start this thread with the idea of starting a Vancouver Vs Toronto war. I love Vancouver and I love living here. But that doesn’t mean that Toronto isn’t a wonderful city as well. And since I have lived in both places and have eaten halibut fish and chips in both places I think that I can judge Apples and Apples. Toronto is loaded with Fish and Chip shoppes. Some good and some not so good. Some really really bad. The Penrose is in my opinion the best of the best.

I’m sure that Jamie is right. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to the batter. And I think the same can be said for the French fries as well. We like a light style batter, although not as light as tempura. And the batter should be golden and crisp but not hard. I hate when it is crisp on the outside but doughy underneath. And the flavour of the batter is important but it shouldn’t compete with the halibut. And I know from talking to a few places out here including the place we like in Mill Bay, that during the off season they also use frozen halibut. So it isn’t so much that one is better than the other, it is just that I am still looking for something I haven’t found yet. But now I have a few new places to try. So there is still hope. Go Fish and Uncle Herbies are at the top of the list. So thank you all again.

Ann

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The bar in the Sutton Place Hotel does a very credible version of H&C. It's probably the only place you'll get your wedge of lemon wrapped in cheesecloth.

For my money it also makes the best bourbon Manhattan of any fish and chip place I've been to.

It ain't the meat it's the emotion

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There is a bar in Whistler at the bottom of the mountain (Whistler Mtn.) called the Dubh Linn Gate which served excellent halibut and chips last time I was there. Granted, the fact that it is a BAR and I was likely SMASHED should cloud my judgement, but I recall good texture, and firm fish.

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my favorite f&c place by far is C lovers in coquitlam.  they've been fairly consistant and their batter is light and crispy and not too greasy.

Surely you are insane :raz: !

I worked across the street from C-Lovers for 4 years, and couldn't understand why it was so popular. I'm glad to hear your fish wasn't greasy ... I was wondering where all the grease on mine came from! Heavily battered ... more batter than fish in many cases. I am always supicious of a place that tries to do too many things at once, and C-Lovers does f&c along with Westernized Chinese. Fish or prawns? Same fat!

Having said all this ... the place is wildly popular, so who am I to judge? :hmmm:

A.

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But that doesn’t mean that Toronto isn’t a wonderful city as well.  And since I have lived in both places and have eaten halibut fish and chips in both places I think that I can judge Apples and Apples.  Toronto is loaded with Fish and Chip shoppes. Some good and some not so good. Some really really bad.  The Penrose is in my opinion  the best of the best. 

Ann

I'll re-visit Penrose this weekend as I haven't been there in years. The best thing I remember was not the (frozen) halibut and chips wrapped in Toronto Star classifieds, but the plain white bread and butter served by the nice elderly English lady.

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It's not quite in the city but my families been going there for at least 25 years, Uncle Herbies in Ladner.  It's owned by an old Scottish fellow and the fish and chips are always fantastic.  Especially the Halibut.  Go Fish is good, but if you're looking for something a little more "traditional", this is the place to go.  So far, I haven't been able to find anything in the city that comes close, plus the ambiance of Uncle Herbies just makes you want to stay forever.  Hmmm...I'm thinking the Mafia may have to go for a weekend road trip.  If you go, you must order the mushy peas; best in the city.

I agree!!!!! I haven't found any restaurant that does H&C as awesome as Uncle Herbert’s. I have always dragged people out to Ladner because I'm never disappointed and I insist that they are the best in BC. :cool:

Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is. - P. J. O'Rourke

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Thanks for all the suggestions.  We have tried Kings Fare, Pajos in Steveston, two places on Granville Island, the one in the market and Tonys, Pickwicks, The Fish Cafe on 41st and another one out in Steveston, can't remember the name and a few others.  So far we haven't found one that makes us want to go back.  Although some of these places aren't bad, they just haven't met the "standard".

If you haven't tried Olympia Oyster and Fish (as recommended by annanstee upthread) yet, don't give up hope. At 820 Thurlow, just south of Robson. They were located around the corner on Robson for years. They fry in beef fat, which is a good thing. My "standard", although of course YMMV.

I was also a fan of Go Fish, except that they often were out of whatever fish I want when I arrived, and weren't open much past mid afternoon. That was during the winter, so selection (and hours) may have improved. Very good fish, better than Olympia, when they have it. Plus eating F+C outdoors in a Vancouver drizzle adds that certain je ne sais quoi.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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