Fish and Chips
It has been a while since this topic was dragged out for a fresh trashing. So here goes: where do you go for the best fish and chips in T.O.?
I have tried:
Been there several times. I have found the fish over cooked. The batter too thick. And the fries were too fluffy, too brown and dry in the middle. I like my fires pliable, soft, and on the moister side in the middle yet with a good number of crunchy bits (for example: Swiss Chalet makes decent fries imo). Still this place is better than most.
Nice mushy peas. Over priced. Good fish. Fries totally not my style. Dry, overcooked, skin on, too big, not soft enough. Did I say over priced?
Not bad. Biggest complaint is too far out of my way. Plus, the batter on the fish wasn't to my personal liking.
It's been too long for me to remember why it's been so long.
Good not great. I have had some greasy orders here. I think they overcrowd their fryer and the oil temp drops.
Being in the grange makes this really inconvenient. Plus it is no better than my fav. below.
Reliable (Queen E. at Carlaw -- one block west of carlaw on the N. Side):
This is MY place. I love it. Excellently fresh fish. Nice large poritons of Halibut. Crispy, thinner, batter with a clean flavour. Excellent fries. Best fries I have had other than Jamie Kennedy's or a little fry stand near Brantford. Plus, genuinely friendly service. The only things to avoid are the onion rings and the fried clams -- both are bought in.
Look no further - British Style Fish & Chips (Dundas E/Coxwell). Since Reliable is your fave, this is very nearby and worth a try. I find it to be the best in the city. Ali the owner cuts the filet of fish in front of you to order. Batter is family secret recipe directly from London.
P.S. I'd also like to take this opp. to say how much I agree that Chippy's is not only overpriced, it also amazes me how this passes as an acceptable example of this dish. Echhh. Not worth the paper it's wrapped in.
So, I went on Friday. I got to say the chips were fantastic. Perhaps the best chips i have ever had. Certainly the best i've ever had when eating fish & chips. But, I didn't really like the batter. I found it stayed too wet next to the fish and wasn't as cripy as I like.
Do note, however, that I am not one of these people who likes their batter super crisp. I find several places have too crisp and shattering a batter. The batter has to be slightly pliable, but, I don't want excessive moist doughyness next to the fish.
I know that sounded like I didn't like it. That's a lie, I did. The fish was excellent and the batter wasn't "bad" just not the best. So, I think this place is second in my rankings just behind Reliable. The chips were better -- the fish not as good. Maybe I'll buy the fish from Reliable eat it on the way to British style and then order some chips to go? Or is that overkill?
In Toronto, I grew up eating fish and chips on Friday nights from Greenwood Fish & Chips on Queen E. (at Degrassi). I haven't eaten there in a number of years, but it used to be old school with the fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. Honestly, the aroma of chips dusted lightly with salt and malt vinegar enclosed in newspaper really bring back memories. The fish was always delicious - the batter was crispy and light, and the fish moist and tender. The chips were fresh, handcut daily, and plenty greasy - no, really they were the perfect chip to use to make a "chip buddy". Yum!
I've had Caz's and Olde Yorke but they pale in comparison. The only other shop that is worthy is Duckworth's on the Danforth (although I haven't tried British Fish & Chips...).
If you're ever out in the Oakville area, Art's Fish and Chips on Sixth Line is fantastic.
Incidentally - it is a chip butty rather than buddy. It's mainly a Scouse word for a sandwich. The best butties though are not traditional. Warm a baguette, half it and partially hollow it out. Do your best to smear butter all round the inside and stuff it with hot salted chips.
If the butter drips down your chin when eating then you've got it just right.
And the good news is that it is almost calorie-free!
I highly recommend High Street Fish & Chips on Underhill near DVP & Lawrence. Not greasy. Not overbattered. I've been there six or seven times, and the food (including the desserts--shortbread, sticky toffee pudding...) was always first-rate, in my opinion. Plus, it's really clean with lots of comfy seating.
We tried High Street twice.
Both times we were underwhelmed.
The second time I ordered the Haddock and it was definitely frozen, and on its' last leg.
We like small place on the west side of Islington south of Bloor, called High Seas. The Halibut is particularly good.