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Mar 28, 2009 11:03 AM


Looking for good oysters & seafood downtown. Any suggesyions?

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  1. - Starfish
    - Oyster Boy
    - Rodney's Oyster House

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rabbit

      That pretty much sums it up. I'm certainly all out of suggesyions.

      1. re: Rabbit

        From recent comments on chowhound:
        Zee Grill. ''Really excellent seafood restaurant with a nice atmosphere. Reservation: 416-484-6428 - Not cheap. – 641 Mt Pleasant Rd - Toronto - Tel (416) 484-6428 -- Monday thru Saturday From 5.30 pm --Restaurant Seats: 62 -- Patio Seats 24: --Smoking on patio only -- Book Your Dinner

      2. There is an oyster bar in the distillery district. Last week they had a selection of 8 types, nice room.

        1. Just had a great meal at Starfish tonight, before the earth hour lights off.

          They had 4 west coast and 4 east coast oysters plus Galway bay flats. The Bluepoints, the West Virgins and the Galways were stand outs. They also have a 'Savory Bay?' scallops which was presented with roe and all! Sweeeet!! Fish entrees tonight include Lake Huron white fish, Atlantic rainbow trout, European sea bream and sea bass. For hot appetizers, they also have grilled Moroccan octopus, Portuguese sardines and New England Oyster chowder.

          For me, I had all bi-valves tonight. Oysters, scallops, clams and mussels! Cholesterol galore!

          11 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            The scallops with roe sounds amazing. I have only had something similar in HK. Now I have a craving - thanks for the headsup Charles Yu.

            1. re: BokChoi

              Many of the chinese restaurants in Toronto which has steamed live scallop available has roe and all included on shell as a whole ...

              1. re: skylineR33

                Good to know. Any favourites? If I steam them, I like to go to Bill's Lobster and pick a couple up for home steaming. I was assuming that Charles' was raw. I have not had it in quite a while.

                1. re: BokChoi

                  That's true, it is not raw like Starfish. The steamed one (steamed with black bean or garlic ...etc) at chinese restaurant are bigger and more expensive like $3 to $4 each. They are all quite good, like ElegrantView and Maple Yip ... but they only have a certain amount available if they have it on their "daily fresh" menu. I too have a craving for it now !

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Thanks for the info. The ones I usually get at Bill's Lobster comes in at about $8 each! And I still have to cook it at home. But it was the best I have had outside HK. Amazing quality. Huge in size. Elegant View is close to me, I should give them a try soon - I haven't yet!

                2. re: skylineR33

                  Any name to suggest, in particular? Thanks

                  1. re: lamaranthe

                    I have pointed out 2 restaurants which are pretty good in my reply to BokChoi 2 post above.

              2. re: Charles Yu

                was there this past weekend based on your declaration of great scallops and it looked like they were "weathervane" for us... not sure if they were the same for you.

                i was a touch disappointed when we showed up because they were described to us as "the big scallops" over the phone and they were quite small/average. they were ok in their flavour and i don't know if i really appreciated the "sashimi" style with it all cut up willy nilly. the frill that i usually toss was interesting to eat this go round.. quite crunchy but the roe was the best part of it all. nice soft texture and held up well with a good natural umami. i will have to consider eating them raw only from now on.

                the razor clams were the best part for me, wonderfully sweet... the rest of the oysters while good, plump and tasty for what they were... just didn't fit the flavour profiles i wanted. from my understanding i should really be eating oysters around september me thinks.

                grilled moroccan octopus was a bit mushy and ill textured but the puy lentils and the livery sausage was quite delicious. i had the sea bream and found it a bit overcooked but the arancini style rice ball was wonderful. it was creamy, smooth, just the right softness to the rice and a good hit of tomato-y flavour. loved the braised leeks in it as well and was surprised to find a few cold clams lurking about. did not like the temperature contrast though.

                service was as dubious as it has always been and i'm sad that they don't make any real effort to improve it. when it's rammed it is totally all over the place but when it settles you can usually easily get what you need.

                not my best experience there but i have faith.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  Sorry to hear that! Was the place busy? BTW, when you mention 'flavour profile' for the oysters. What do you have in mind? I doubt there's a huge difference in brine level and taste between March and September oysters?! May be next time I go visit Starfish I'll ask Patrick the question.

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    my preference for september oysters was a bit determined by patrick... i think. this was a couple years back and he's really the only person i've talked to about different oysters so i'll strongly assume him.

                    it wasn't that there were distinctive flavour profiles seasonally for one particular oyster but that the ones i favoured tended to be harvested around that time? something along those lines. i gravitate towards the more creamy, metallic, melon-y oysters and they are typically japanese or french i believe though i've had some success with ones from washington.

                    they were pretty darn busy when we got there and busy for the majority of the time we were there. even so, there were just such basic things that even patrick was doing that really gave me the impression he's only striving for minimal service unless you were a regular. it won't stop me from going but i can see it as offputting.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      From what I know, September is the start of the 'Flats' season ie., Belons, Galway flats etc. Definitely a difference in taste than the other varietals

              3. Just wondering does Starfish or other places in TO has Belon 000000 ? The Belon I had at Starfish before is not as big. Thanks.

                12 Replies
                1. re: skylineR33

                  I haven't had any that large here before. 000000 is what, like 175g?

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    The biggest Belon I've seen In Toronto was 000. I've seen 0000 at HK's City-super. Doubt the French will export their biggest and best though?!
                    Going back to the raw scallops, the best part was the thin muscles surrounding the white centre. Sweet, crunchy and crispy!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      There are Belon 000000 at Oyster & Winebar of HK. The size can be as large as 200g ! I wonder if there is such a thing in Toronto, why don't Rodney or Starfish get them as Toronto is so much closer to France than HK !! The Belon in Toronto is so small...

                      1. re: skylineR33

                        I guess they can import them if they are available. However, whether people are willing to pay the premium is another question, especially when Canada has excellent ones from both east and west coasts.

                        1. re: Charles Yu

                          That's right.

                          Talking about the thin muscles surrounding the white centre, it reminds me 帶子or Pen Shell (Not sure if this the right English name for it ?). It has more "thin muscle" and less "meat" than scallop. Want to eat it again ! Wonder if any restaurant in Toronto serve it ? Anyone know ? I like the steamed "whole shell" with black bean version of it !

                      2. re: Charles Yu

                        the scallop sounds amazing. What size were they? Price?

                        1. re: BokChoi

                          Fairly big! White muscle bigger than a loonie. $4.75 each.

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Nice. Thanks for the info. The diver scallops you mentioned also sound amazing. I really need a seafood fix now...

                        2. re: Charles Yu

                          Gordon Ramsay says he never cooks the scallop w/ the roe as the roe takes twice as long to cook.

                          My opinion, I always want the roe attached. My favourite are the ones steamed w/ ginger and scallions.

                          1. re: aser

                            The Michelin 1* Maison Blanche in Paris served a plate of 6 huge diver scallops with roe as entree. Simply pan-seared with herbed butter. Aromatic, sweeeeet and even had a bit of 'wok-hay'!!! Alternate white meat and orange roe pretty appealing to the eyes too. One of the best scallop dish I've ever tasted.
                            Though served without the roe, the sauteed bay scallops I had at NYC's Cafe Boulud was pretty amazing too. Hard to describe the aroma and taste. Just very very addictive!

                        3. re: skylineR33

                          As far as I know, belons from Brittany (Ostrea Odulis) are round, flat and rather small. See - - and And they are the best... IMO. But they are not the only ones called Belon : See --
                          For the customer to find out where the belons were cultivated... and where they come from.

                          1. re: lamaranthe

                            Belon (from Brittany France) are usually small, big one are rare to find.

                        4. Does anyone know when Rodneys by Bay (on Temperance St.) comes to life? I passed by about a month ago and it seemed like they are going to open soon. Or is it open already?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: exquisite

                            Yes - they got their liquor licence today, and will be open for drinks and oysters tomorrow (Thursday, April 9), with the full kitchen open on Monday, April 13.

                            1. re: CarNut

                              Thanks CarNut. I actually called them yesterday to find out when they are open, since I wanted to go this evening. I am looking forward to next week! Will post feedback.

                              1. re: exquisite

                                exquisite, did you ever post your Rodney's By Bay review? I can't find one. If not, I'll post a few comments and they'll all be positive. Well mostly all.