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May 9, 2010 04:03 AM

Spot Prawn in Vancouver : Favorite Recipes & Restaurants' Menu Highlights


I went to the annual Spot Prawn Festival yesterday. It was a bit disappointing - only a single boil item on-the-plate! Although it was good but it was nowhere near last year's - which offered choice of several different prawn creations by some of the well-known local chefs.

Anyway, I was wondering if chowhounders could share what are their favorite spot prawn recipes and also list which restaurants are serving delicious prawn dishes in metro vancouver.

For starter, I saw Go Fish! is doing a Spot Prawn special which is possibly the freshest prawn menu in town!

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  1. Here's a couple recipes that might interest you. One from FAS & one thats featured in the BC seasonal cookbook.

    FAS also has a seafood boutique & bistro, 4675 Arbutus that you might want to check out as they feature daily catch.

    Also a link to the 20 best seafood restaurants from Food Vancouver.. I would think they'd all be featuring spot prawns right now.

    We were going to go to the festival but couldn't make it in the end, so good to see your post that it wasn't that great this year. Now I don't feel so sad we missed it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joyfull

      Koon Bo has a spot prawn with soy sauce dish that I hope we will be trying this Wednesday at our Chowdown.

      Koon Bo Restaurant Ltd
      5682 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5W2Z4, CA

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Spot Prawn Egg Castella:

        puree spot prawn meat into paste, add yolks, cream, sake/sugar syrup. A little flour and blend.

        whip egg whites till stiff and fold in the mixture into the whites. oiled/butter baking pan. bake till golden. slice and serve. ....can be reheated, toasted, fried, french toast etc etc

        yummy sweet omelette...

        4 Replies
        1. re: betterthanbourdain

          That Foodvancouver link "20 Best Seafood Restaurants" is a laugher-I doubt the author has ever visited any of those places.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            Gee, thanks for the putdown sam salmon. As a matter of fact we have visited some of places listed. The last two being the Fish house & the boathouse in New West. We enjoyed both even though you seem to think they're not worthy of being on a recomended seafood restauraunt list. I included the link simply because I thought the OP might not know of them and would like to check a few of them out.
            Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed perhaps?

            1. re: Joyfull

              Although I'm not sure I agree that you're going to get brilliant seafood at all 20 of these restos -- or at least, the ones I've been to -- I thought it was an interesting list. It points up the strange (to me at least) reality that though we live so close to the still-bountiful Pacific, it is relatively difficult to find simple, well-prepared sea creatures that won't break the bank. When visitors ask me for seafood recs I invariably seem to steer them toward Chinese restos to try to meet those criteria...

              Obviously the OP would have to call ahead to see if spots were on the menu at any of those listed as the poster suggests.

              Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar -- this one seems a no-brainer, particularly for the raw bar, but you want to go on someone else's dime for sure.

              Boathouse Restaurants -- not a favourite but I haven't been in a while...and I've only ever been to the English Bay and New West ones.

              C Restaurant -- embarrassed to say I've never been but we were actually discussing this place at a Chowdown on the weekend and it still seems to rate pretty highly despite the reported departure of chef Quang Dang (he is still listed on their website as chef de cuisine but I gather is now exec chef at Diva). Robert Clark has certainly done a lot with the Ocean Wise program as a champion of eating different kinds of locally sourced seafood. I thought it was odd there was no mention of that and lobster seems an unlikely entry on a C menu...

              COAST Restaurant - another place I haven't tried (I'm just not a higher end resto gal) but a board regular went there for Mother's day brunch and compared it to Cactus Club

              Dockside Restaurant -- I have had three bad lunch experiences here (poorly prepped uninspired food served cold for more money than I want to pay). Nice setting and location though.

              Dundarave Fish Market -- this sounds pretty good to me -- it is now on my list pending a bit more research.

              Finest at Sea -- I do like FAS for fish and chips and other simply prepped fresh fish, though it seems to depend a bit on who's in the kitchen. Their fish market is lovely if a bit pricey and they have a great selection of ready-to-eat items with and without seafood.

              The Fish House in Stanley Park -- order fish/seafood here -- especially the simply prepared options and you will get a tasty if pricey meal. It's a beautiful setting and location location too.

              Go Fish -- I ate at Go Fish on Friday after a hiatus of several months. It's still very good but the line ups are really silly and it takes them a long time to get the food to you even if you luck out with the line. We went at 5:30 and waited 15 minutes in a line with only three groups ahead of us, then 20 for the food to be ready and my fish was just lukewarm when I got it. One neat thing is that you can sub in one of their special mayos for the tarragon-heavy tartare sauce (I had the shrimp mayo). And it does have more than two tables per the writeup though you're better off to get your meal and walk down the seawall a few paces to perch by the duck pond than wait for one to free up. Better view...

              Goldfish Pacific Kitchen -- went here once and it was just so not for me. Sceney, loud, expensive and (to me) lackluster fusion in a sterile-feeling room. But that was one visit.

              Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse -- haven't been here in a hundred years so no comment.

              A Kettle of Fish -- again, three bad experiences here (all dinners) struck this one off my list many moons ago. Maybe things have changed...

              Mr Pickwick's -- I last ate at the Marpole location in March and I liked it. They have a few tables out on Granville and it was pretty nice on a sunny day. Tasty deep fried pickles too.

              Pajos -- I eat here a few times a year and it seems to vary both from visit to visit and location to location. Always a big lineup and the service can be glacial especially at the one in the park.

              Provence Marinaside -- Only been here for brunch a few times -- used to love it but the last two visits were not as good (really awful fries which is sad).

              The Salmon House -- it's been way too long since my last visit to comment usefully but I will say they had one of the best bites I've ever had at the UBC Feast of Fields a couple years back.

              The Sandbar -- I end up here about once year and I always think, fun location but why isn't the food better? If you order carefully you can do okay but it doesn't really strike me that seafood is a strength here.

              Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant -- "The best dim sum in town" – now them's fightin' words :-). I stopped going when they switched to a la carte ds as their ordering system is way too chaotic IMHO. There are other Canto seafood places I prefer to frequent for dinner, partly based on price (Sea Harbour for example) but many do love SSW. Obviously they serve spots here.

              Tony's Fish and Oyster Cafe -- meh for me but I love the sculpture above the door, I think of herrings schooling. Go Fish is a better bet if you're on GIsle, I'd say, especially for spots.

              So the next time you think Seafood – don’t be overwhelmed by the restaurant choices before you – we hope our list has narrowed down your choices.

              Images supplied in order of appearance by COAST Restaurant, Blue Water Cafe, Boathouse Restaurants

              By: Sheila LoGuisto

              1. re: grayelf

                had spot prawns @ RainCity Grill,.... heads on ,.. on top of pasta,.... yummy!

        2. we ate 3 lbs of them today, since only $8.88 / lb now live @ T&T. ate most of them straight from the BBQ, and the rest as a ceviche. A few got sashimi'd, then the heads were dropped into very hot oil to crisp and eaten whole. Good seafood stands on its own, I don't think they need fancy preparation. My friend likes to fry them with garlic, a good load of sambal chili and a splash of rice wine.

          1. thanks every1 for your opinions. i hope to try atleast a few of the recipes+restaurants and would report back w/ my prawn-hunt experiences!

            please also pls. keep sharing your all-time personal menu/recipe favorites & 2010 spot-prawn dishes that you may come across in Vancouver+BC restaurants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: miraj2k

              so i ended up doing a two-way spot prawn feast. the 1st was a simple boil & the 2nd dish was a recipe by Rob Feenie [link below]. prepared 3 dips: warm butter & garlic; mayo+chili+lemon-juice; and this 1 found on the label of a bottle of coconut vinegar frm T&T: soy-sauce+vinegar+sugar+olive-oil. washed down w/ SaltSpring Island organic IPA.


              Sautéed B.C. Spot Prawns with Garlic, Jalapenos, Fresh Herbs and a Spicy Mayo