New fish n' chips at Broadview
I saw that a new fish n' chip restaurant is opening on Broadview, just south of Danforth. It's called Deep Blue and they've done a really nice job of the store front. Can't see inside, it's still all papered up. Looks interesting though!
They're in business. Drove by this afternoon around 3, and they are open. Looks quite nice from the outside. Hoping to check it out sometime next week. From what I could tell, open kitchen in the front of house and the chef was in nice crisp whites. I really hope it's good!!!!!!
Just had dinner at Deep Blue after a review in Now Magazine... a bit of a let down, I'd have to say.
We ordered the Jamaican jerk cod with sweet potato fries and the crab cake sandwich with red pepper aioli with regular chips. And a side of green pea hummus. We would have liked to have stayed in to eat, but the place was packed, so we gave the food the ultimate test and took it to go... here's the scoop.
As I waited and watched the food being prepared, the kitchen was VERY disorganized -- an interesting contrast since the guys working the fryers are in chef's whites and call each other 'chef'.
i watched the crab cake sandwich being made -- aioli was being scraped out of a plastic cup and spread onto a white mealy grocery store bun.... would have expected something a bit more substantial. topped with some wilted romaine lettuce, the bun was ready for the crab cake -- definitely generous in size, it was squished between the buns before I could ask them to let the fat drain off it from the deep fryer -- so needless to say, the bun was soaked with grease by the time the sandwich got home.
The Jamaican Jerk Cod -- mildly flavoured, I would have wanted more zip. The batter wasn't crispy (the way I like it) -- it was like a thin corn-dog batter -- doughy and mushy. I'm a bit old school and like to eat my fish and chips with my hand -- so it's tough to lift a doughy mushy piece of fish in your hand and dunk it into some tartar sauce... I ended up peeling off the batter and eating just the fish itself -- which was cooked beautifully, but it was a pity that it's doughy blanket was a bit of a letdown.
As expected, the sweet potato fries didn't make the trip home very well (an 8 minute drive). Even though we ordered one meal with regular 'chips', we got both meals with sweet potato fries, so we couldn't test both. I believe the true test of an authentic fish and chip place is the lightness of its fish batter and the perfectly cooked chip... didn't have a chance to give it the full test since our order was wrong, but I'm not hopeful.
The side order of green pea hummus (about 2 tablespoons for $1.17) was uneventful. I was expecting a nice explosive contrast of the sweetness of peas and the garlicky flavour of hummus... got neither. I can appreciate Deep Blue's attempt at inventiveness to try and replace the traditional 'mushy peas' with this green pea hummus... but it doesn't fly.
The best thing about the meal was the tartar sauce. And the think I liked most is that it didn't come in one of those annoying 'tear-open' packets... not sure if it was home made or what, but it was tasty... a nice dip for the cold sweet potato fries.
So, now that dinner is over, we've managed to toss 2 orders of sweet potato fries, the remainder of the Jamaican Jerk 'dough' and a greasy sponge of a bun in the trash. Also, the takeout came in cardboard boxes, which didn't help keep the food hot -- there's a lot to be said for the tight blanket of layered newspaper to keep fish and chips hot on the way home.
Deep Blue was very busy tonight -- I hope that they don't try to get too far away from the basics of fish and chips... it seems like they're trying to accomplish too much -- stick to the basics, and perfect he fundamentals. Then, and only then, do you have the culinary authority to get inventive.
We checked out Deep Blue for an impromptu dinner tonight. It was empty of patrons dining in but they were busy with takeout orders. The fish displayed in the front counter looked fresh and the staff was cheerful and welcoming despite the fact that we arrived a half hour before closing. We took a seat at one of the booths in the back and the waitress brought over a couple glasses of ice water as soon as we sat down.
I ordered the jamaican jerk cod fillet with sweet potato fries and tropical coleslaw ($7.95). My SO ordered the cajun corn battered haddock with spicy fries and creole salsa ($7.50). The fish is battered to order which is really nice. There's nothing I like less than pre-battered frozen fish! The batter was just the right thickness, crispy and not excessively dense. The jerk was a little mild for my taste, I prefer it stronger but that's just my preference. The fish was piping hot and moist, not overcooked or greasy. It was a good size piece. The sweet potato fries were thin, crispy and not oversalted. We forgot my SO's fries were suppose to be spicy till he was almost done, they were good as is that he didn't mind them not being spicy! They did offer to replace them when we mentioned it but we were full by then. My tropical coleslaw had orange and mango pieces in a citrusy dressing. It was tasty but I think I prefer a more classical coleslaw. The creole salsa that came with my SO's order was also mild, we like a bit more punch.
Overall we were quite happy with our meal and we will definitely go back. They filled quite a few takeout orders while we were there, all of them were walk ins so that's a good sign. It's worth checking out.
So I went and found it subpar.
First, when I went in it smelled really strong... of fish. Okay, this is a F&C place and I can take some fish smell, but this was way too strong. I have only been to 4-5 F&C places but none of them smelled this strong. I almost turned around to leave (maybe I should have) but decided to give them a try anyways.
The menu read that they have the traditional British style, as well as Cajun, Malaysian, Jamaican, and so on, and they had 6-7 bowls of different mixtures displayed along with piles of pre-cut fish, I assume they were the different types of batter.
I ordered the Cajun Corn battered haddock, and thought that they could add more spice (could be a personal preference thing). The thickness of the batter was okay but it was not crisp at all. I prefer crisp batter to soft, again, this may be a personal preference thing.
The main problem was that the fish was not fresh. When I took my first bite I could immediately smell old fish, (not bad fish, simply not fresh). Chips were so-so, I much prefer British Style's chips. This again could be the preference thing.
Anyhow, the smell and the quality of the fish was simply unacceptable for me. Likely won't return.
Yes that's the spot! I went for lunch the other day and while I thought the fish was good, I still prefer Olde York on Laird. It's worth the extra 15 minute drive. I feel bad saying this because I too would like to see them survive. I think I would give them another shot. The owners seemed really eager to please.
I went there last night.
First of all, no fishy aromas lingering in the air for me. Smelled fine and as clean as a fish and chips place gets.
Had the English style halibut and chips. Very nice, especially their take on mushy peas, the green pea hummus. It was a tasty addition and a great palate cleanser.
I was trying to figure out why the flavours of the fried goods were a bit different, and then it hit me. Their frying medium isn't the one I get at other places, it's a mixture of corn and canola oil.
I liked their method of putting the vinegar in spray bottles. First time I've seen that, and it allows for very even application of the vinegar.
All in all, I will be repeating to try some of the other menu items.
Tried out Deep Blue today:
No fishy smell, nicely lit and clean place, totally comfortable place to eat-in (unlike some other F&C shops that are rather grungy). Waitress and the chef were really nice too.
Ordered the cajun corn haddock with sweet potato fries for take-out. The portions were generous and the fish was great; crispy and spicy batter with moist fish on the inside, best fish I've had so far (better than woodgreen, harbord, british style). Sweet potato fries thinly sliced and crispy, not too bad either (and for 2.85 you can't go wrong). Meal came with cole slaw, lemon, and tangy salsa-like sauce. Overall it was not greasy at all versus other F&C shops. Total was roughly ~$8.50.
Overall the food was great, not greasy, very good price for the portions, shop was clean and well lit, right near the corner of Broadview/Bloor, and I will definitely return to try their other offerings.
yeh..subpar is about spot on...fish smell...bland flavour...and i don't want flavoured batter to make up for it...I popped in to grab a menu and the guy says "best fish in chips in the city!"
i'll stick to good ol'reliable...Reliable F&C...