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Feb 7, 2009 06:07 AM

Starfish - mainly photos, a brief review

My fiancee had the opportunity to take pictures of Starfish for an unnamed publication. The owner gladly had her try everything she shot.

This post is more of an image-heavy post instead of a detailed food review, so I hope you enjoy.

First, she tried a whitefish dish:

This item isn't on their online menu, so details are sadly sparse. It was baked with a bacon-like texture. She enjoyed it quite a bit.

She absolutely loved the peat-smoked salmon:

The cream cheese mouse was an excellent touch. It was smoked Ireland style (instead of the traditional North American smokehouse style most are used to).

Here's a picture of the sardine dish:

Their oyster platter with Pacific and Atlantic oysters topped with a shucked scallop:

I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you wanted to add your own reviews on these dishes, please do so.

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  1. Hmmm yummy love food porn :-)

    Have to go back there it has been a while...

    1. Thanks for the photos. The sardines look great. I don't remember any of my dishes plated that nicely when I visited for a normal meal!

      14 Replies
      1. re: BokChoi

        The long time lady executive chef left a while back. Current exec., is her sous. May be he has added some 'master's touch' to the plating?

        1. re: Charles Yu

          I think I went back in November and found my visit quite disappointing. I guess the famed 'fish chef' had already left. The fish I had was overdone and lacking anything special. The sides were also uninspired. Too bad, I was hoping to find a good fish resto!

        2. re: BokChoi

          That's what the food looks like, from what I remember. However I find that most everything looks better with good lighting and an expensive digital camera. The colours are more saturated and intense.

          1. re: ostracario

            No, I'm pretty sure the food was very boring and lackluster on my plate. Too bad, I would have liked to try what was on those plates! From what I had, I would never recommend Starfish to anyone.

            1. re: BokChoi

              Food was great, ywo days ago! Stand out was the sea bream!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                That's too bad that the day I went the food just was not up to par. The hostess didn't look like she wanted to be there either. Maybe it was just an off day. I also didn't appreciate how they washed the liquor off all my oysters. That's usually my favourite part. They were big and meaty though, and very tasty! Just wish I had my liquor...

                1. re: BokChoi

                  Washed the liquor off your oysters? I know Pat and all of his shuckers there and that is something they definetely DO NOT DO. The liquor is a huge part of eating an oyster. Don't know if you have any experience as a shucker, but part of shucking is taking your thumb and running it around the edge to remove the grit, maybe a little liquor goes with the grit, but I know they do not purposely wash the liquor off.

                  1. re: locachef

                    I thought it was really strange, because that was the first and only time I have ever been served oysters without liquor. It was so strange. The oysters themselves were so plump and fresh though. Not sure what was up with that order though. There was zero liquid around each of my oysters. They were dry as a bone on the outside. But juicy and plump once you bit into it.

                    1. re: BokChoi

                      Funny you mention it - I have never had that problem at Starfish either but then here is a quote yesterday in Patrick's blog:

                      "Bruce Halstead of Durham county to the rescue. He had a special keg, able to screw off the neck, and add the liquor, one keg at a time. So we came up with our method of the Oyster Stout.
                      Approximately 4 liters of oyster liquor is saved off at Starfish. Oyster liquor is the clear liquid residing within the shells of the oyster. When it is time to make a batch, I bring the liquor up to boil and simmer for 15 minutes,
                      cooking or pasteurizing the liquor. I then chill it over night, and hand it off to Bruce, where he adds the liquor to the keg first, then fills the rest with his Black Kat Stout, and brings it back to Starfish."

                      All you need to do is drink the Stout and you'll get your liquor back ;)

                      1. re: mramage

                        They don't poor the liquor off to save it for the stout. They collect some from shucking, the overspill and from "unperfect shucks". Pat and his shuckers wont serve an oyster unless the meat is in perfect shape and they haven't cut it so that goes to the "collection" as well. 4 litres isn't a lot of liqour too save. A week or so of being busy and you've got that much. They do freeze the liqour as they go to preserve the freshness for the stout. The lack of liqour was probably due to the size of the meat inside the shell. Have you ever shucked oysters? Look around your work area, there will be a lot of liqour on the table and still quite a bit in the shell.

                        1. re: locachef

                          My comment was made tongue in cheek - I really like Starfish.

                        2. re: mramage

                          mramage. Sounds interesting! I wouldn't be too surprised. locachef, I have shucked my own oysters before and there is still a minimal amount of liquor left on my oysters even when I mess up. The oysters I received appeared as though someone actually drained it. Not sure why.

                          1. re: BokChoi

                            do you remember what type of oyster it was? was it the first time you've had it? some oysters just tend to be on the drier side because they naturally drain a bit. even your beloved diana's told me i should expect that from their belons, though they didn't even provide fleshy meat!

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                              There were several varieties, including some that I have had before. I had gone the next day to pick up some additional oysters from Diana's because I enjoyed the flavours of the ones I had at Starfish. They had the exact same varieties during my Diana's visit. All had liquor when I shucked them at home. Maybe there was just something off about the batch I was served. Not sure what happened.

          2. Didn't the original exec chef go to FRANK?

            I haven't been since she left, but try the frites! Yummy!