HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice


ognir Feb 16, 2007 12:52 PM

What are the best seafood restos in Toronto?

  1. e
    embee Feb 16, 2007 01:43 PM

    There are several places in Toronto that have good seafood. I can suggest Chiado on College (very expensive), Zee Grill on Mt Pleasant (moderate), Pisces on Danforth (moderate) and Xam Yu on Spadina (very cheap). All have reliably good seafood in my experience.

    I've found that most places in Toronto claiming to be "seafood restaurants" aren't very good. People on this board sometimes recommend the Fish House on Sheppard. I haven't been there in a couple of years, but my most recent visits consistently saw boring preps of often overcooked fish that wasn't notably fresh tasting in any event.

    6 Replies
    1. re: embee
      wordsworth Feb 17, 2007 03:19 AM

      Properly cooked seafood should be a boring prep. If the fish is good, you shouldn't being doing much more than grilling it. In real seafood meccas like Boston and Florida, that how fish is usually served.

      As fae as the Fish House is concerned, it's OK in general and fairly good by Toronto standards.

      1. re: wordsworth
        embee Feb 17, 2007 07:32 AM

        Perfectly cooked exquisitely fresh seafood is NOT boring...

        1. re: embee
          wordsworth Feb 18, 2007 03:53 AM

          You lost nuance. The seafood isn't boring; the prep is boring.

          1. re: wordsworth
            embee Feb 18, 2007 09:17 AM

            No I didn't...

            There is nothing boring about great fresh seafood simply poached, steamed, sauteed, grilled, roasted, or broiled, so long as the prep is appropriate for the seafood and is timed accurately.

            Taking a piece of fish and throwing it on the grill until dry is boring.

            1. re: embee
              FlavoursGal Feb 18, 2007 03:08 PM

              Speaking of a simple fish preparation that is utterly amazing, we dined at Sado Sushi (yes, I still like it there) last night. The chef sent over a couple of items on the house, one of them being two portions of grilled hamachi cheek that was possibly the most wonderful fish I'd ever eaten - succulent inside, crispy outside - bone-sucking good! It's available on request.

        2. re: wordsworth
          embee Feb 17, 2007 07:34 AM

          Au contraire...

          Perfectly prepared exquisitely fresh seafood is NOT boring!

      2. s
        squeaks Feb 16, 2007 01:48 PM

        Starfish, hands down. Chiado is my second choice.

        1. s
          stephen Feb 16, 2007 02:21 PM

          Eat pork in Toronto. Not fish.

          1. e
            erly Feb 16, 2007 04:36 PM

            Quince has excellent wood oven baked whole fish.
            Usually two choices.
            e.g. bream and sea-bass.
            I had an amazing arctic char at Mildred Pearce last week.
            Unless you want a basically fish only meal, in which case I might agree that the Chinese seafood restaurants have the best selection...far more choice than Chaido, which I do like, and Starfish, where I am one of the few on this board who disagree with the accolades.
            For variety of seafood nobody beats the Chinese.

            1. Charles Yu Feb 16, 2007 07:18 PM

              Definitely Zee Grill or Starfish ( a toss up ).. As for Chiado, found their quality has slipped a bit recently. ???

              1. Rabbit Feb 17, 2007 05:26 AM

                I like Starfish too - it's definitely my choice for seafood in Toronto.

                I think it should be remembered that this is not "fine dining" a la Chiado or Scaramouche. The entire atmosphere is more casual - sip champagne at the bar, watch some shucking, no jacket required. In fact, grandma (or Joanne Kates) probably wouldn't like it - nobody's going to pull out your chair and coo. Service is definitely not crumb-scraping or sycophantic and perhaps can have an air of real French bistro indifference - but I have never found it rude.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rabbit
                  Otonabee Feb 17, 2007 07:06 AM

                  I would also recommend Starfish. But I have had some extremely positive experiences there.

                  I can understand why Erly may have had a bad experience there with servers though. The first time I went there was 2 days after they opened and the food and the service were wonderful (compete with THE best crab cakes I have ever had). Patrick was really interested in talking to us about what his vision was for the place. It really impressed me and, as a result I really have a positive feeling about the place.

                  I have noticed on subsequent visits that occasionally service can be a bit rushed and uninterested. The food however has always been top notch with some really interesting and intricate flavours. But from memory I do know that some combinations were better than others, I am sorry to hear that Erly hit the place on an off night.

                  Another seafood spot that you could try is Sam Woo's Seafood Restau up by Warden & Steeles on BAmburgh . I have to admit I have never eaten there but judging from the sheer numbers of live fish they had it must be quite fresh. Also I have heard positive reviews from others.

                2. p
                  phisherking Feb 17, 2007 07:38 AM

                  Have to agree with you Otonabee, I too have found the place has slipped since the early days. The servers have no passion for their job and it shows. I don't appreciate feeling like I'm using valuable oxygen while dropping $100 a head for dinner. But boy those Kumamoto(sp?) are good.

                  Show Hidden Posts