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Oyster Shack

Going to the MMFA tomorrow and need info on Oyster Shack. A few people have told me about their Chowder (That it's wonderful), I however, am not a chowder fan but I do love seafood. Anyone tried it?

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    1. I've tried it, but I'm not a fan of seafood (so I had the lamb, which was good but very salty). The people I was with had fish, though, and they liked it. There's also a clam chowder poutine!

      1. I like Oyster Shack well enough. It is nothing special, but it is reliable. I did enjoy the dishes, but I can't say stuff really stood out. As you love seafood, I think you will be all right.

        1. Just want to add my thumbs up for Oyster Shack since the thread is titled so.

          Been there on two occasions since the start of this year. Staff is very friendly. Resto is decorated to look like a seaside seafood shack - very relaxed yet still white-cloth napkin service!

          One Thursday happy hour night (customer appreciation night? not sure.) there were non stop rounds of free fresh raw oysters, fried shrimps, shrimp cocktail and bruschetta. And they were all yummy! The bruschetta was done nicely - the right crunch noting its freshness and non sogginess and a hint of basil - TASTY! Their fish & chips was heavenly - if I remember it is catfish. Batter was light, cripsy, and no taste of re-used oil. I also had the clam chowder poutine and it was also good and very filling!

          1. Going once again tomorrow night. Not too fancy, but for Montreal it has decent seafood. I say this with some qualification as I was the chef/owner of a good Vancouver seafood/fish restaurant.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bigfellow

              Does anybody know what type of catfish they use in their fish and chips, as well as their burger? Equally, from those who have been there, do you think, or know, if the servers would be able to tell you? The only reason I ask is because I'd want to know if they're using the Vietnamese variety commonly called Basa here in Montreal (if you buy it frozen from Super C, they use the name Pangasius), or if it's one of the two true "classic" American varieties such as Blue or Channel catfish.

              1. re: Haggisboy

                interesting, i often buy cooked pangasius at metro seafood counter for a lunch, didnt know it was catfish, but i have been enjoying this fish, not expensive--if i had known it was catfish probably would have skipped the purchase!

            2. I don't see what's so special about this place... nothing they do here is particularly great. It's all good to passable fare. The seafood is nothing special. Chowder is good for Montreal, I guess? It's intentions are good but I find it a mediocre experience overall. You would think that (not unlike MTL bbq for the longest time) a restaurant specializing in a certain type of regional fare or cuisine would make it a point to serve the absolute best since it's in their agenda, but perhaps the lack of these types of restaurants makes the city accepting of mediocrity. The one thing I can say is that every time I've passed by it's been completely dead inside which is a bad sign. I wish them well, but don't expect them to be a longstanding operation in the area. I think it's an awkward location as well, as if they're almost relying on a downtown walk-in attendance rather than discerning eaters. That said, I wouldn't want to dissuade anyone frome ating there... but it's far from the shanty shack coastal experience you might come to expect from reviews and such!

              7 Replies
              1. re: OliverB

                The Oyster Shack just got a new chef. I believe he may be changing their menu for the better. Check out the Valentine's day menu. Quite different from their usual fare.

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                Oyster Shack
                1242 Rue Bishop, Montreal, QC H3G2E3, CA

                1. re: Emeraldblack

                  I had never heard of this place but it sound like it is worth a visit. Thanks.

                  1. re: oana

                    It's really not. Unless this new chef does something vastly different and improved. Their menu looks exactly the same to me. Lots of fried and deep battered stuff, nothing done particularly well or with any distinctive taste. It's an entirely bland and boring experience, overpriced and unmemorable. No reason to go out of your way to eat there when you can get everything (oysters, chowder, fish & chips, crab, lobster rolls, etc) at much better value and preparation elsewhere in the city. This is just another typical downtown eating establishment that doesn't really strive to be anything more. I think the only reason that there was any talk surrounding this joint last summer (or whenever it first opened) was because of the novel idea that was falsely delivered of a coastal-Maritime sea shack experience. Not even remotely... it's the Baton Rouge of seafood in Montreal.

                      1. re: Shattered

                        what are you trying to suggest by the comparison to baton rouge? baton rouge is more or less solid.

                        1. re: celfie

                          Really, when's the last time you've been? I used to like their ribs for what theyr were and found it a decent family restaurant, but it's basically an Applebees or TGIFridays now. Completely terrible.

                          Oyster Shack turns out the same kind of bland uninspired food aimed at the lowest common denominator, but what's frustrating is that their whole marketing schtick would lead you to believe otherwise. They dish out overpriced fried clams and chicken fingers and happy-hour bar style shrimp drowned in syrupy sauces. Their burgers taste like they're cooked up from a frozen supermarket box. They serve a $16 lobster roll which fails to satisfy alongside tasteless french fries. Their fish and chips are greasy and bland. The crab cake is pretty well done and I liked their chowder (not even comparable to anything I've had outside of this city though!), but everything else I've tried has been a miss. I've never bothered to order their $30 scampis or surf & turf platters because frankly, I would never go to a place like Oyster Shack to pay those prices for that kind of food. It's a good concept in theory but is extremely poorly realized and while nothing on the menu is outright terrible, noithing is particularly good either. It's all passable uninspired fare which would be fine for conventional maritime shack snacks if they dished it out competently, but nothing they do is worth my time or consideration, personally speaking. Hence the comparisson to a middle of the road and run-of-the-mill resto like BR.

                          1. re: OliverB

                            You've saved me a trip that will be better spent elsewhere :).
                            Tanks OliverB :).