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Oct 30, 2009 05:05 PM

Reliable fish and chips...blah

I've walked by a hundred times...after tonight's experience, it should have been 101 times.

It wasn't terrible, but the fries were soggy, the fish was mediocre and the tartar sauce was skimpy.

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  1. Interesting... I've always wanted to go there as I worked on their Restaurant Makeover episode but every time I've tried to go they're closed.

    1. I haven't been there in many months, but I've found them to be - reliable (oy)

      I've really liked their halibut, cod, and fries, and found their slaw okay. I never had a problem getting extra tartar sauce (which isn't special). Most of their other menu items have never been good, but they were always honest about what was fresh, frozen, canned, or fake (all of the "shellfish").

      I hope you just hit an off day (of which every resto around here has far too many) and not another Toronto eatery that has stopped caring.

      1 Reply
      1. re: embee

        Reliable has become unreliable.

        Reliable used to be my go to place for F&C. The fries, while fresh cut, sucked, but, the fish was good with a thin, thin batter and always very fresh. Things are no longer so unfortunately. The fish sizes continue to shrink to foolishly thin pieces that can't be anything but horridly overcooked when served (or else the batter doesn't brown at all) and the pricing is high for what you get.

        The owner is a really, really nice guy. I would like to continue to patronize his business. But, my last order (about 2 weeks ago) will be my last for a long while.

        I will be giving my business to British Style. When Ali sold to his assistant a year or more ago, there was an initial dip in quality (problem with things being greasy or not cooked correctly). However, my last couple orders have been as good as any in the past.

      2. Tonight I had a fish and chips craving and went to Reliable to satisfy it. Meh.

        As grandgourmand says, soggy fries, runny tartar sauce, and the fish was just ok. While the batter was crisp, my fish (I had the trout) had a slight taste of rotting leaves, something I've noticed in inferior quality farmed fish.

        The service, as always, was friendly and efficient.

        This was probably my 10th time going there. Maybe they're having an off weekend?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Big Trouble

          That's the place on Queen East? I've always liked their fish & chips. It's near us, mind you, I don't have fish & chips all that often, but it's always been good.

          1. re: SusanB

            Yep, the one on Queen East near Carlaw. Could have been an off day but judging from other posts, perhaps not.

        2. I agree. I've been wanting to try this place for a couple years and I drive by all the time. Finally stopped in with the gf and we were both very unimpressed. Very expensive for what you get, but I wouldn't mind the cost if it tasted good. I had salmon, she had cod, both were very bad. The salmon seemed like it was still a bit frozen in the middle.

          This was about a month ago.

          1 Reply
          1. re: szw

            The salmon has never been good - it is a weird prep and never fresh.

          2. they use frozen fries. when you specialize in fish and chips and half of your specialty is not fresh nor made in house, you wonder about them.
            their chicken fingers are also frozen and imported

            3 Replies
            1. re: atomeyes

              As I noted above, they have been honest. Only the "standard" white fish were ever claimed to be fresh. They were usually very good. The salmon, "basa", chicken, and onion rings have always been frozen, the gravy canned, and the "shellfish" fake.

              Are you sure about the chips? If they are now using frozen spuds, things are - indeed -going downhill. I've been avoiding things like F&C lately, but I'll try to get in there soon.

              1. re: embee

                I was never a fan of this place but went once in a while because it's in the neighborhood. However everything has gone downhill since the Makeover episode. The last straw was when I was served a piece of halibut that was barely half a cm thick and charged $11 for. I still find Old Yorke to be the gold standard for fresh fish and chips with reasonable portions.

              2. re: atomeyes

                Are you sure about the fries? I was there last over a year ago, and I definitely saw buckets of fresh, what appeared to be hand-cut, fries. No way they were frozen.