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The Hunt: Fish n' Chips

flying101 May 7, 2009 01:31 PM

I started to post reviews in a old and long thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/326399
but often find my post can be lost, I don't know if the admins prefer me to cont posting in that thread, or just start my own?

I have compiled all my reviews/Pics here... Any suggestions on locations for me to try would helpful.

for larger images click on the 'all sizes' button, I have tried to order halibut if available (always is in toronto)

Harbord Fish and Chips
Crispy flaky batter, sweet fish, amazing fries, large portion

Chippy's (Bloor Location
Pale batter, not crispy, bad fries, dry fish, large portion size

Buster’s Sea Cove (SLM
Really crispy batter (separates from the fish easily), unique fries.

Penrose Fish & Chips
Fluffy batter, chunky fries, my reg stop, smaller fish portion

Olde Yorke
lighter batter, sticks to fish (good), avg fries, good fish quality
3.5/5 (4/5 just on the fish, fries aren't very good IMO


New 'Old Galley'
Penrose style fries (not close to as good), really crispy batter, does not stick to fish, dry tasting fish.

Places I have my eyes on for fish n chips,

Reliable Fish & Chips
British Style Fish & Chips
Deep Blue Fish & Chips
Bob's Fish & Chips

New Galley
10737 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C, CA

600 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M4S2M8, CA

147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

490 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X8, CA

Olde Yorke - duplicate
96 Laird Dr, St Catharines, ON L2P, CA

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  1. w
    woodsey RE: flying101 May 9, 2009 07:56 AM

    I recently had a "taste off" at my cousin's house, since her husband prefers British style and I love Deep Blue. Neither mind was changed-- you get a big piece of fish at British style, and I did prefer their chips, but I like the very crisp light batter at deep blue--as well as the different flavours of batters and their apple-root veg slaw!

    2 Replies
    1. re: woodsey
      deabot RE: woodsey May 9, 2009 09:48 AM

      Very comprehensive list! It's making me hungry!

      1. re: deabot
        deabot RE: deabot May 9, 2009 02:43 PM

        I tried Deep Blue today; not bad but not great. The batter was crisp but too greasy. Fries were decent. Olde York remains my favourite.

    2. f
      fitzlicious RE: flying101 May 9, 2009 03:19 PM

      I agree on Chippy's and Harbord. I want to like Chippy's since they promote sustainable fishing, but their fish and chips are just not that good - both are greasy, soggy, and heavy. I love Harbord Fish and Chips - I've seen blocks of lard on the counter, so that probably explains how their food gets so crispy. Penrose sounds delicious - can't wait to try it!

      2 Replies
      1. re: fitzlicious
        jayt90 RE: fitzlicious May 9, 2009 03:26 PM

        You can promote sustainable fisheries yourself just by ordering haddock or Pacific halibut, or lakefish when available. Cod and Atlantic halibut are out, and the F&S shops need to be reminded of this.

        1. re: jayt90
          flying101 RE: jayt90 May 9, 2009 08:57 PM

          Harbord buys pacific halibut, I had a lengthy talk with the owner, he buys the hole fish, and fillets it himself every. Well not the whole fish but like a 80lb side i am guessing.

          I have not talked to penrose about about where they source their fish from (tho I am somewhat friendly and on a familiar basis with them, i will ask next time I go in to pick up some fish.

      2. d
        deabot RE: flying101 May 15, 2009 05:49 PM

        I finally got around to trying Penrose today-my gut will definitely pay for this at the gym tomorrow and I gotta say I liked it! Fish portions were a tad small but the batter is crunchy and golden (though I prefer Olde Yorke it is lighter and thinner), fish fresh and moist and the fries are better than Olde Yorke. Some people are bothered by the beef drippings they use but I think it gives the fish and chips a nice greasy flavour, the chips kinda reminded me of how Mcdonalds fries used to taste!

        1 Reply
        1. re: deabot
          flying101 RE: deabot May 15, 2009 06:27 PM

          McDonald's used to fry using beef tallow. Hence why the 'flavour' of the penrose fries would remind you of fries of years past @ the golden arches.

          Glad you enjoyed it.

        2. d
          dafydd RE: flying101 May 15, 2009 07:31 PM

          I don't go downtown to toronto all that often but if you feel like trying something in Brampton you might try Heritage fish and chips. i guess that it's british style (haven't asked them) only because of the decor inside.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dafydd
            nbisnar RE: dafydd May 19, 2009 01:16 PM

            i agree.. i like the fish and chips of heritage fish.. good size portion halibut and deep fried to perfection.. my biggest thumbs down is their location in queen st and airport road doesnt have their home made tartar sauce..

            my go-to place in mississauga is family's fish and chips at lakeshore and shaw.. quaint little hole in the wall plus they huge portions, perfectly cooked chips and the sauce to die for..

          2. jayt90 RE: flying101 May 15, 2009 08:23 PM

            I went to Highland Fish and Chips in east Scarborough today, and confirmed my last visit there. The fish was done just right, moist, hot, and in a crispy, bubbly batter.
            And once again the fries were tasty but soggy. They were yellow-fleshed, and had no exterior crispiness. Russets would be better, or a thin-skinned Kennebec.

            Highland Fish & Chips
            3357 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1C1H1, CA

            1. k
              KevinB RE: flying101 May 16, 2009 01:51 AM

              I posted about Bob's in another thread. The decor is, um, "plain", and service curt, but the fish is fantastic. Incredibly crispy, not at all greasy, good sized portion. The chips are OK - not great, but OK.

              But the one thing that really bugs me at most fish 'n chip places is the ridiculously high prices charged for tiny containers of coleslaw. I can buy an entire head of cabbage, and a jar of mayo, for what they charge for two small tubs of slaw, and make twenty portions. So, most of the time, since I feel I'm being ripped off, I just don't buy it. I'm sure most places would sell more, which would increase both their income and the freshness of the product, if they would just get real about the pricing.

              1. s
                sf toronto RE: flying101 May 19, 2009 01:47 PM

                I would recommend adding Oyster Boy's fish & chips to the list. I've been away from Toronto for too long and have been missing the city more than usual lately. In particular, I was craving Oyster Boy's fish & chips just the other day when someone was asking me about where to eat while they're there. And they'll even do a half order if 2 pieces of fish is too much. Divine...

                1. Davedigger RE: flying101 May 19, 2009 02:07 PM

                  While I've only tried Harbord and Chippy's, my visits were the exact opposite. Chippy's fish was crispy and light and cooked perfectly. The fries left a lot to be desired. Soggy and greasy. Harbord on the other hand had crispy and marvelous fries, but their fish was over-cooked and greasy.

                  Next time I might pick up some fries at Harbord then swing up to Bloor to grab some fish from Chippy's.

                  1. Dr Butcher RE: flying101 May 19, 2009 03:26 PM

                    I too am on the quest for the perfect fish and chips. I'm in the east end so here are a few I've experienced.

                    Highland Fish & Chips (3357 Ellesmere Road) - A light, crisp, slightly oily batter, not too thick, excellent fish and capable chips (they seem to vary each time I go, not sure if they have a supplier or buy what's available).


                    Malt 'N Salt Fish & Chips (285 Lawson Road) - Highly crisp batter, not at all oily, excellent portion size and tender, flaky, fresh fish. Fries are good but not outstanding.


                    Tugsey's Fish & Grille (277 Port Union Rd) - Measly portions and very fishy, the batter was a little soggy and the fries were small and the skin to flesh ratio was way off, giving them a bitter taste.


                    Hooksey's Fish & Chips (3050 Garden Street, Whitby) - Very large portion of halibut, it seemed a little on the dry side, the batter was very similar to Highland and is slightly oily. The fries were a letdown, they were very pale and tasted like they'd been sitting around for a while (I think the fry cook must have prepped the fries the day before).


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dr Butcher
                      deabot RE: Dr Butcher May 19, 2009 06:37 PM

                      Malt N Salts looks nice, thanks for sharing!

                      1. re: Dr Butcher
                        jayt90 RE: Dr Butcher May 19, 2009 06:50 PM

                        Malt 'n Salt in Pickering is good, too. Lot's of care goes into my order, but I have tobe careful when ordering, as the Korean family at the counter might misinterpret the way I want the fish cooked. No matter, they are capable of good crispy haddock and fine flavorsome chips. I don't always get this at other places in the east end.

                        Malt N Salt
                        750 Oklahoma Dr, Pickering, ON L1W3G9, CA

                      2. flying101 RE: flying101 Jun 3, 2009 08:52 AM

                        Here is a small update...

                        More Penrose

                        and from Peterborough On,
                        Captain George Fish & Chips
                        this place had a very good serving size, the fish was meaty and full of flavour, crispy batter stuck to the fish, great meal, next time I am in peterborough I will deff go again.

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