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Fresh Fish in Montreal

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Does anyone know where the best place in Montreal to buy fresh fish is? I have tried the store on Monkland and it was horrible...any suggestions? Preferably around the NDG Montreal West Westmount area... thank you

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  1. A little bit of a trek, but New Victoria Fish (6015 Victoria, near Plamondon metro) might be worth a try. Their selection is somewhat limited, but what they have they do well, especially their grouper and smoked salmon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: davekry

      I second this. Their lox is excellent.

      1. re: berbatov

        third new victoria.

    2. I got some good lobster at the Poissonnerie Sherbrooke fish shop (aka Kosta's) at 5121 Sherbrooke St. West. I had done a survey of folks in the area when looking for lobster and several people pointed me to that place. I haven't tried their fish yet.

      http://www.poissonneriesherbrooke.com/

      I've gotten good salmon at the halal shop further west on Sherbrooke - I can't remember the exact corner, but I think it's somewhere near Wilson or Melrose, on the south side.

      1. Good fish and shellfish are such a rare commodity in Montreal you have to be prepared to travel for them. My preferred spot is Atkins/Les Délices de la Mer at Jean Talon Market, where the selection is limited but the quality impeccable. Nouveau Falero (Parc just south of Bernard) is not nearly as good as it used to be but still passable. La Mer, just east of the Radio-Canada building on René-Lévesque, has the widest range but also wildly variable quality. Noref (Molson south of St-Joseph East), Coralli -- www.coralli.ca -- and Gidney's (Henri-Bourassa and Marcel-Laurin) are also worthwhile, though far from centrally located.

        9 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          I had bad luck at Les Délices de la Mer this weekend. Virtually everything was filleted and the whole fish that was available (2 varieties, if I recall correctly) looked very sad indeed. I am not always 100% against buying fillets but I want to practice cleaning up fish myself.

          I had very good luck a few weeks ago at Nouveau Falero. Got some great whole fish and bought a small (very very small) bit of Chilean Seabass. I figured I may as well taste it so I can tell my kids about it... Honestly, I can well understand why it's in such demand. It's so forgiving to aggressive cooking and the flesh is superb. I suppose it's too tasty for it's own good.

          Against my own better judgement I picked up some fillets of salmon trout at Provigo (parc and sherbrook) and immediatly regreted it upon cooking. I know it can be a bit fishy at times, but this was rediculous.

          1. re: The Chemist

            Do you know of any restaurants around town that serve chilean sea bass? I know I have seen it before but for the life of me can't recall any except Psarotaverna du Symposium.

            1. re: hungryann

              No, I have not seen it recently. Although I suspect that I would not order it even if I did becuase I would feel badly about eating something that's threatened... publicly at least. This little indulgence was my little secret, and anyone who know my true identity off of chowhound, of course =D

              Furthermore, Chilean Saebass is probably one of those fish that appears on menus but is swapped out (either by the supplier or chef) for something cheaper and similar (basa, black seabass, etc.).

              1. re: The Chemist

                Actually, the fish's true name is the Patagonian Toothfish. Of course that doesn't sound appealing so it's sold under the trade name Chilean Sea Bass. It's a predator that hunts (among other things) the southern right-whale dolphin.

                1. re: Haggisboy

                  Thanks, but this is common knowledge.

                  But did you know that it's the main food of the elephant walrus and sperm whale, which are both endangered by the depletion of this fish?

                  1. re: The Chemist

                    I'll add again, just don't buy it! (see my post below)

              2. re: hungryann

                Les Mas des Oliviers has a nice Chilean Sea Bass

                1. re: foodluvr

                  Boo-ers to Mas des Oliviers!

              3. re: The Chemist

                I agree that Les Délices de la Mer has mostly sliced and diced seafood, readily marinated and microwave-ready... :( I usually go to Shamrock on the diagonally opposite corner of Jean Talon market, and I find they have become really good over the years. My other favourite is Nouveau Falero (I haven't noticed a downturn). I sometimes also go to La Sirene on Jean Talon, but while their selection is quite good, I find their service arrogant and unfriendly.

            2. Surprisingly, Metro in Westmount has some nice fish occasionally. I got some lovely fresh scallops there last week - pricey, but worth every penny.

              1. This is an easy one. There is a basement fish market in Chinatown. I think it is on Saint-Launrent, between 'Main china town ave' and 'the highway', on the west side of the street.

                They have tons of tanks of fish swimming about, and the small number of fish that are dead are on ice. But I'm assuming most are kept alive until the last second.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jackquack

                  Hi, Could you describe exactly where this fish market is in Chinatown?
                  I moved to Montreal from the UK and have been on the lookout for good fresh fish (and proper bacon!). Other than the main markets I haven't found anywhere that has 'live' fresh fish. I live a short walk from Chinatown so they could be ideal.

                  1. re: OddJob

                    I was hoping for a more clear description too! =D Does anybody know?

                    1. re: The Chemist

                      The full name and address are: Hap Hing Shing Trading Corporation
                      1021A, boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2Z 1J4, Canada. The phone number is (514) 878-3001‎. About three steps below de la Gauchetiere on the east side of the street. They are in the basement right next door to Chez Bong.

                2. I always wanted to start a post on where to buy sustainable fish and seafood but never got around to it. Is there a single fish store in Montreal that actually promotes sustainable product?
                  Nouveau Falero still works because it has high turnover. For fish you want to see a lineup.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: everyonelovessushi

                    everyonelovessushi, check out some of the sites (eartheasy.com, nrdc.org, edf.org, etc.) that provide lists of endangered fish. This is helpful when shopping or ordering out. Some of these sites list retail/mail order locations where you can purchase sustainable fish. Some restaurants have noted on their menu that they will only purchase sustainable fish.

                    1. re: everyonelovessushi

                      This is an excellent site, promoted by David Suzuki:

                      http://www.seachoice.org/

                      And yes, the trendy "Chilean Seabass" is one of the WORST fish to eat, on almost every level (inherent biology/reproduction cycle, by-catch, method of fishery, etc.).

                      http://www.seachoice.org/profile/3/view

                      1. re: everyonelovessushi

                        Those are excellent sites. Thanks. I was wondering if there was a fish market that actually did the work for you. Something like green lighting certain fish with origin and seachoice (or whoever) approval clearly marked. I know Loblaws has committed to having only sustainable fish and seafood product by 2010??? and already has some product approved by somebody. But they're Loblaws, so I'd rather go to a real place.

                      2. I've never been disappointed with Norref.
                        4900, rue Molson
                        Montréal, Québec, H1Y 3J8
                        http://www.norref.com/

                        1. I agree with kpzoo, The Poissonnerie in Westmount has a very nice fish selection. They recently started selling Alaskan Black Cod, which was really nice! Did the whole miso glazed thing.....slurp, slurp. I also get lobsters from them (for lobster wonton tacos...burp, burp!). Someone on the ch board was looking for xl-shrimp. They have them....bleepity-bleeping-huge. They have Boss Brand jumbo lump crab, which is my fav, as well as Big Fellows fav, Phillips.

                          I also like Maitre Boucher for shrimp, scallops, salmon. Occasionally sea bass.

                          I don't get over to New Victoria much anymore, but they're great too. If you don't mind the cash only policy and the man wielding the salmon tipped machete. I like that kind of adventure when I shop!

                          Agreed, the place on Monkland is bad.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: minisma

                            It's sad because a couple of years ago it was a very good fishmonger. Before Cyrice (or is it Cyrille?) sold the place. I bought shrimps there once after the change of ownership and vowed never to go back.

                            I now stick to Délices de la mer on the weekends and Le Maître Boucher during the week.

                          2. Sadly, a lot of people find themselves in this situation. I tend to point them towards Loblaws and the larger Provigos (Smaller ones don't really have a seafood counter). They tend to have wider selection and lower prices than the smaller markets in my experience, and better quality than many of them, too.

                            1. I agree with Kpzoo and minisma that Poissonnerie Sherbrooke is the best in Montreal. They are consistent in their quality (ALWAYS HIGH) and have been doing this for years. I go in every saturday and I get their organic Salmon and Tuna. Try it out it is amazing. I try something different each time for my fish meal and they can always make great suggestions. Yesterday night we actually changed it up from having our Salmon and Tuna tartar and had them good us up some lobster. Amazing!. Best place in town.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mtleater123

                                What exactly is organic Salmon and Tuna? Whose designation?

                                1. re: EaterBob

                                  EaterBob, Organic salmon is farmed Atlantic but they do not feed it all the garbage that they do the regular farmed. I was not clear about the Tuna (Sorry) the Tuna is not organic its wild.

                              2. I think that Poissonerie Coralii on 8955 Meilleur just above the Metropolitian Blvd is the best in town.Once only a wholesale outlet a few years ago they added retail business.They have a huge Air transport business and on Thursday's you can buy fish that were swimming in the Mediterrian a few days before.A little out of the way but well worth it.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: finefoodie55

                                  I frequent Coralli as well but if you are not a fan of fish farms don't be fooled into thinking all his supply was swimming in the Mediterranean. Yes, the small smelts, sardines, etc... that he has behind the counter are definitely wild but the Mediterranean Sea Bream, Bass, etc... are all from fish farms from across the pond, mostly from Greece I believe.

                                  I had asked them last year about actual wild caught Mediterranean fish and he had said that yes they occasionally do receive some. I guess with dwindling stock these days from years of over fishing it's really tough to get the actual wild stuff from that part of the world and I bet the restos get first crack at them. I still enjoy the Bream he has but just be wary that it is farmed hence the reasonable prices as well.

                                  1. re: JerkPork

                                    The farm raised issue is something to be aware of at all larger fish mongers today.I buy my Barbounia from him and I am sure its fresh as I ask him the question.When it comes to Salmon today you almost have to conduct a DNA test to be 100% sure.

                                    1. re: finefoodie55

                                      Most salmon available is farmed and if you ask for wild you may encounter negativity and resistance. Wild salmon is very expensive.

                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                        I have always questioned our skepticism of farmed fish. 'We' tend to think nothing of buying 'farmed'animals but think it is disgusting to buy farmed fish. I am sure that not all farmed fish are the same. Some farming practices must be better than others, right?

                                        1. re: Gloriaa

                                          No, actually most industrial farming practices whether on land or in water are not particularly good for the animals, the resulting food or the health of the consumer.

                                          They are however quite good at being extremely efficient and very profitable.

                                2. My favorite place is the fishmonger at the Atwater market. I have never been disappointed. As well all purchases are put on chipped ice, I have not seen this done elsewhere in a long time.