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Apr 24, 2008 10:25 AM

Freshest Oysters!

I've been dying to go out for fresh oysters and Patrick @ Starfish has always been my reliable host. I've never been disappointed.

Does anyone have an opinion on where else to go if I want to try some place new?

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  1. I don't have a suggestion, just that I agree with you on Starfish.

    I went to Rodney's last about 6months ago (last fall sometime), and while okay, I prefer Starfish for both the oysters and the atmosphere

    2 Replies
    1. re: mac n cheeze

      there is also Oyster Boy on Queen West. I have not been, but a friend swears by it

      1. re: mac n cheeze

        Agree 100% on Oyster Boy for the best oysters. They supply many of the restaurants in the city with oysters so they would move through their inventory quickly. Always have a great time there with cold beer, and good oysters.

    2. I agree with Starfish being the freshest, although I have to say I had a nice plate of oysters at Prohibition a few months back.

      6 Replies
      1. re: thenurse

        Can someone explain what you mean in terms of "freshest" as referring to oysters? If they're served live, as raw oysters traditionally are, then the term "fresh" doesn't really apply. It's still alive when you swallow it - it can't actually be any *more* fresh.

        The difference in taste, texture, etc is dependant on a number of factors including source location and time of year, but given that most places that serve oysters in Toronto get them from one or two importers, I can't see how there'd be a difference in quality from restaurant to restaurant if they're served raw and shucked to order. Certainly not "freshness". Or am I missing something?

        1. re: SherylKirby

          The corollary to your argument would be that the "fresh" Oysters at the Mandarin buffet are of equal quality/freshness to the ones at Starfish. I would say that there are some places that I simply wouldn't risk trying the raw oysters. I was asking for ideas on places that were as reliable as Starfish.

          1. re: timbutson

            For me, it's Starfish, and Starfish only. They have it all, great food and atmosphere. For oysters why go anywhere else?

            1. re: timbutson

              I know what you're asking and took your original post to mean other places that also served freshly shucked. My point of contention is the qualifier of "fresher" or "freshest".

              Raw oysters shucked to order cannot be qualified as other types of fish that are killed and then shipped and may be days old, frozen, etc. If they're alive when the shucking knife goes in, they're just as fresh at Mandarin as they are at Starfish. And quite likely came from the same place.

              Now if you're insinuating that some restaurants may serve oysters that have left this life and have moved on to oyster heaven but are still sitting on ice and are being served, that's another story. But seriously - I can't really believe that any reputable Toronto restaurant that prides themselves on their oyster selection would be foolish enough to serve duds.

              Quality may vary from one place to another based on the the origin of the oysters and individual tastes, but there is no such thing as "fresher" when it comes to raw oysters. They're either alive when you eat them or they're garbage.

              1. re: SherylKirby

                Out of curiosity: can the "freshness" of live oysters change depending on their living conditions? Ie the difference between a 20-year-old living in a nice clean house with a hepa filter on the furnace and a 20-year-old living in, say, Turkish prison. I'm sure the taste changes but I wonder if you could consider that a freshness factor-- the freshness of their surroundings.

                Now, I know basically nothing about oysters and less about Turkish prison, but maybe you know what I mean. Let's face it: this post will probably be deleted anyway.

                1. re: Manybears

                  Agreed go to a fresh fish market and look in the live tanks.. if you see a fish that is alive but sluggish and green around the gills per say it has probably been in the tank a long time.. vs a more freshly caught live fish.. there will be a definate taste difference.. just because something is still alive does not mean it is the best quality..