New (Old) Galley Fish & Chips in Richmond Hill?
As many of your northern GTA'ers know, the Old Galley Fish & Chip joint closed down. I was fortunate enough to have tried it for my first time just before it closed its doors.
This weekend I drove passed the small strip plaza on the north east corner of Yonge/Elgin Mills and noticed the "T-Jays" sports bar has turned into "New Galley". I also noticed "Fish & Chips" somewhere in the title too.
Wondering if this is Old Galley's new location? Or somebody trying to cash in on the name? Anyone try them out yet?
I had a craving for fish and chips yesterday, so I decided to give New Galley a try. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was disappointed. The batter was crunchy, and shattered when I took a bite, but this is not good batter. It was too dense. The batter should not be all uniform and look like a block. It should be crunchy, but light and with a golden brown colour. The fish should look something like what you see in this picture:
The fish at the Galley looks nothing like this. They need a lighter, more airy batter. Second, the fish was overdone. The batter was a darker brown instead of the golden brown that you see in the picture. And it was overcooked and a bit on the dry side. Definitely not moist as I was hoping.
The fries were a disappointment as well. While they are fresh cut and not of the frozen variety, they did not have the slightly crunchy exterior and creamy soft texture of twice cooked fries. They were quite limp, which some people like, but again they seemed a bit overdone on the outside, while the inside seemed slightly undercooked.
Overall, I am not impressed. A place like this would not last a day in the UK. It is miles away from even the most ordinary fish and chip shops. On that note, if any of you are ever over in the London, don't miss North Sea Fish and Chips. Perfect, light, crunchy batter and cooked just right.
10737 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C, CA
Um, you do realize there's barely a spot in the UK that is more than 100 mi from the ocean, while Toronto is over 400 miles from the nearest ocean fishing grounds? With such an advantage in getting fresh, not frozen, fish, I can fully understand why UK standards would be higher.
And, having had their fresh made fries at both locations, I can tell you everyone in my family thinks they are the best (in Richmond Hill, at least). We're from Quebec originally, and no one there (outside of FF chains) makes their fries McDonald's-like crispy; they all have a firm but yielding exterior. You can't snap them in two like you do McD's.
And to the OP: We used to stop at Long John Silver's in Cambridge many years ago, when we spent many weekends commuting between Detroit and Toronto. IIRC, it was crazy cheap. A meal would be 2 pc. of fish, coleslaw, hush puppies, fries, and a drink for $3.99, and you could add an extra piece of fish for $0.79. Yeah, everything was breaded and deep fried, so it looked and tasted like a french fry, but it was quick and OK for an off-the-road, on-the-road meal. Later, they did add broiled fish and baked fish, but that was slightly more expensive. Haven't been by in years, but I suspect they're gone.
Ummm.. and what does being 400 miles from the ocean have to do with the batter being too dense and the fish being overcooked?
And yes, my fries were scorched. Whoever was operating the fryer that day did not know what he was doing. If you think that these fries are the best, all I can say is that you haven't eaten too many fries. I have had fries from the chip wagon in front of city hall that are better, way better.
After reading some negative reviews, I was leery of trying out the new spot.
Pleased to say my wife stopped by on Friday and got fish and chips to go. Everything was exactly like it was at the old place - great fish, fresh fries - and we were all happy. Glad they got their act together.
Grabbed some takeout tonight, $7.75 for halibut & chips. I haven't been in a few years and the quality seems to be exactly the same, reliable as always.
Personally I think the fries can be fried a bit longer, that has always been the case though. I also don't think they double-fry. Fish is perfect...
We were supposed to go to my golf club for dinner tonight, but for some reason it was shut tight, so we thought "Hey, let's try out the New Galley!". Wife, two daughters, and I piled in about 7:45 on Wednesday night.
There were two men at the bar, attended by a youngish waitress, and us. The rest of the place was completely empty. We were waited upon by an older woman, who I suspect is the wife of the owner. Taken quickly to a table, where the kids quickly started flipping channels while wife and I perused the menu. The older lady, who was the only one who waited on us, came by to take our drink order. "Coke" says older daughter. "Pepsi OK?" was the response. Oh-oh, I think, strike 1. "Pepsi's OK" says OD; I tell her she has to sit at another table. Younger daughter wants Sprite. No. 7-Up? No - ginger ale. "OK" she says, and wife has one too. I order coffee. We wait.
About 10 minutes later, she shows up with the drinks. The place is friggin' empty, and she takes 10 minutes to get three soft drinks and a coffee? OK, let's place an order. Wife and OD want fish and chips, I want fish only with a tzatziki appetizer, and YD wants deep fried shrimp and chips.
Five minutes pass, and tzatziki arrives, with a single pita. I'm sharing with everyone, so I ask for another pita before she leaves the table. The tzatziki is not bad - I've had better - but this wasn't bad by any stretch. The first pita disappears in 30 seconds. We wait.
Five minutes later, she appears with the second pita. Again, if the place was busy and she was run off her feet, I'd understand, but we were the only friggin' table in the place.
Ten minutes later - this is 20 minutes after ordering, mind you. She appears with four plates. Two fish and chips, one fish only, one garlic shrimp with chips. As soon as she arrives, she goes "Oh-oh, I think I made a mistake". We ask YD if she'll try them, but no, she wants the deep fried shrimps. Back go the garlic shrimp - which actually looked quite tasty, and she promises to bring back the deep fried shrimp.
Poor YD waits, filching chips off other plates while the rest of us tuck in. The good news - the fish is still excellent. The batter is crisp, not greasy, and the fish is generous and tasty. The chips, as others have noted, are a disappointment. Although they are now thick chips, not thin ones, they are still cooked from frozen, and have the mushy interior texture that's unmistakable. The coleslaw is OK; it's a creamy slaw, but not overly sweet. Didn't look like it was made fresh that day, but to me, really, that's no biggie; I usually keep my slaw for 3-4 days in the fridge at home.
Finally, when the rest of us are nearly done, the deep fried shrimps arrive. Now, my wife is Chinese, and when we get deep fried shrimp from the local Chinese take out, they are big with a generous batter coating not unlike the batter that coated our New Galley fish. What showed up were six or seven flattened disks about the size of a toonie each (and not much thicker, either). The coating was like a bread crumb, not a batter, and the filling looked more like chopped and reconstituted shrimp than any crustacean I've ever seen. To me, this was clearly another frozen product, not something homemade.Plus, they tasted overcooked and burnt. YD had one, and pushed the plate away; I had one, and agreed.
When the shrimps were dropped off, OD requested a refill on her pop, and I asked for a glass of water. The pop arrived promptly; the water never did. Finally, after we'd finished our fish, the waitress arrived and we quickly asked for the bill. She wanted to know if we wanted dessert (offered us rice pudding or ice cream, but no mention of whether it was to be comped or not, so we assumed not). YD just wanted to get home where we had har gaw waiting.
As we left, I mentioned that they really had to go back to their handcut, homemade chips. The waitress told me they were trying different things, and had given up on the thin chips. I said it wasn't the size but the difference between fresh and frozen.
I know they've only been open a short time, and I'm willing to overlook the fries issue as they flounder around, but geez - the place is empty, and you can't get around to your ONE table? Everything else seems fresh made, but you have some pre-fab frozen shrimp on the menu and you don't mention it? (I mean, if you went into a fish and chips place, and they served you Highliner fish sticks, wouldn't you be annoyed?) NO dinner check to see if things are alright, and really - when you take four orders, three of which are fish, how do you get the other one wrong? If she suspected (rightly) that we wouldn't like the deep fried dreck, why didn't she say so? I can see problems with suppliers, product, etc., but service in an empty restaurant should not be a problem.
Very disappointed. I might get fish only for takeout, and I might give them one more try in a month's time to see if they got the bugs out, but they really need to turn things around.
So yesterday I called the old number and got the "this number has been changed" message.
The new number is 905-918-1731
We visited on what turned out to be opening day (16th Feb). The location is indeed the old T-Jays on the NE corner of Yonge and Elgin Mills.
A few familiar faces but several new ones. Whoever the old owners of this location were, they left pretty much everything behind, including some musical instruments and various tacky club items such a mirror ball still hanging from the ceiling. I guess any work the Galleyites were doing was in the kitchen because the place definitely needs decorating - the colours are hideous. One big plus from the point of view of my kids however was that there are TVs in the booths so they were able to watch while they ate.
To the food then - which was regrettably not as expected. Firstly, no mushy peas (though they were on the menu)…OK I'll forgive them that - it was the first day.
Next, no choices in portion size for the chips. Our server told us they found they were putting too much on the plate and people often left food so they cut back. Personally I always ate mine and would prefer to have the half fries/full fries option.
The big kicker however came when the food arrived. What we got was not the 'hand cut' chips we expected, but the thin fries you usually see in other restaurants. Portion appeared small too. Very disappointed indeed. I even got the impression that the plates were smaller to make them look fuller, but I may be mistaken. The fish was exactly as good as it used to be however.
When questioned, I was told this was temporary and they expected to get back to the 'original' chips in about a week. I surmised that they order them in pre-cut, which considering the quantities they must get through is probably to be expected, but it struck me that it wouldn’t have been much effort to cut some chips themselves in the interim, especially as it was not exactly busy yet. The other thing I thought was that anyone new to the "New Galley" would have been less than impressed. First impressions count a lot and the quality and quantity of chips were the main reason we go there.
On the whole, glad they're back but they need to work on some things to avoid losing the loyal clientele. I'll try them one more time and unless they improve quality and quantity I might not go back.
Tried it out this weekend.. I used to think this was the best fish & chips in town (but ever since I discovered Mr Fish & Chips, I believe they can both share the honor), and I couldn't wait to try it out once I heard it was back. I was not disappointed!! It's now more of a bar and restaurant than a family-restaurant, but the menu is still very similar and the halibut is just as delicious as remembered. The fish is fresh and firm, very thick cut and covered in a very tasty batter. The fries seem to be store-bought instead of fresh cut like before. However, the server told us they had just opened this week and they were just using these fries until they could get something similar to their previous ones. Prices are the same, $6.60 halibut only, $8.80 for halibut & chips, and cheaper if you choose take out. They also have haddock and orange roughy, and a ton of other non-fish menu items.. but I always come back for the halibut. Yum! Glad it's back.
EDIT: posted some photos of the meal --> http://www.chow.com/places/46243
I was about to start a new topic covered in exclamation marks until I searched and found yours. I too was at the plaza the other night and noticed the "New Galley". I went to the door but the door was locked. But people were inside, as I was looking around the new place low and behold I saw THE OWNER! It's the old guy that was always in the kitchen at the OLD Galley at the old location.. I also saw a few familar faces from the old location. so from what I've seen this IS THE OLD GALLEY FISH AND CHIPS..... simply in a new location and completley redone, it's now a "bar and restaurant" type place. It looks nice inside and somewhat similar to the old place. It looked almost complete so who knows, could be 1 or 2 more weeks till we get the Old (New) GAlley back! Just not sure why they changed the name as people may not exactly know that the New Galley is actually the Old Galley.