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Big Fish - Calgary

TSAW Feb 14, 2011 02:51 PM

We checked out Big Fish again, after about 5 years. Our experience 5 years ago wasn't that great, jammed up to the bar, small portions and an arogant jerk waiter, so we just never went back. Well, since then we moved closer to there, and have been trying so support Restos in our area so decided to give it another go, on a busy Saturday night.

I love fish but it's so expensive and sometimes not great in Calgary so I don't have it that often. So this was definately going to be 'fish' night out. I started with the butter lettuce and crab salad with citrus buttermilk dressing. The lettuce was very fresh. The crab was not so great. It tasted fine, but it was a darker color and I often bit into shells bits or sand. It wasn't picked that well. The dressing was delicious, however the salad was not properly dressed, just dressing poured on top so there were quite a few pieces of lettuce with no dressing at all. Hot Date had the fish chowder, which was absolutely wonderful, hot and creamy. I wished I'd ordered that!

For an entree I had the Sablefish Hot Pot ($26) with honey glazed parsnips/carrots, served with ginger rice on the side. I guess I really don't know what a Hot Pot is.. I was expecting it to be more of brothy fondue with pieces of fish, but it was a single piece of sablefish perched on top of the carrots/parsnips mixture served in a cast-iron covered dish with very little liquid in the bottom. The fish was cooked appropriately, but the carrots were quite hard, and undercooked. The parsnips were good, in comparison. The rice was un-inspriring and a little crusty around the edges. Overall the dish was mediocre. I wouldn't get it again, but there was really nothing 'wrong' with it. Hot Date had the evening special, which was a whole seabream fish ($29) topped with chimichuri sauce, served over baby potatoes. It was very good. Hot Date loved it and ate every last bite. But we warned, that it is a whole fish, head, eyes, tail and all.

We brought our own bottle of wine. The corkage was $20. A little steep, I think, but it was Saturday. There was a mix up between our waitress and hostess, so we there we sat with wine on ice and glasses but no one opened it for some time. But after we got the wine going, the service was attentive and friendly.

We ended with the Open Range coffee (Coffee with maple whiskey and frangelico) ($6). Good quality coffee, nice and hot. Desserts were $8 each but we didn't see anything that appealed to us so we passed.

I think I would go back to check it out again, especially for the chowder. Do any Chowfriends, have any favorite menu items we could try next time?

Big Fish
1112 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3K4, CA

  1. Roarasaur Feb 14, 2011 03:58 PM

    I've only been here for dinner once and a couple of times for brunch. When I went for dinner, it was for the oyster special on mondays and everything was great. We did start off with the chowder and it was by far one of the best chowders I had the opportunity to eat in a long time (ever since the last time I was at the Pike's Place market :D). However, I cant remember what else we ordered that night, besides the oysters, chowder, and a bottle of wine but I remember leaving happy.

    The few times I've been for brunch though, the best thing I've had there was the baby shrimp, candied trout and chive omelette. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. It was one of the best cooked omelette's I've ever had. The gouda was sweet and smoky and matched well with the candied trout. On another occasion I had the chance to order the wild mushroom, truffle, and cheddar scramble on the duck confit hash but was taken back by the strong odor of the duck. My date however had the raisin brioche french toast and there wasnt much to complain with her dish. I do love the idea that their ketchup and jam is made in house and their hashbrowns are always cooked perfectly. Its been a few months since I've been so things might have changed, but from what I remember, it was always good.

    1. DeeDub Feb 15, 2011 07:04 AM

      I have been to Big Fish three times... all for lunch. Each time I have had the same entree; the Soft Shell Crab club sandwich. Outstanding. Also their salt and pepper Frog Legs as an appetizer are really good.

      Big Fish
      1112 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3K4, CA

      5 Replies
      1. re: DeeDub
        ybnormal Feb 15, 2011 11:05 AM

        +1 for the Soft Shell Crab sandwich - I must have it at least once a quarter for lunch (and the oysters). You can't get this sandwich for dinner.

        1. re: ybnormal
          ybnormal Feb 15, 2011 11:08 AM

          This photo is a bit better

        2. re: DeeDub
          TSAW Feb 16, 2011 02:14 PM

          I've always wondered what soft shell crab was like. The thought of it, seems like eating a huge grasshopper, which sounds kinda gross to me. Is the shell noticeable at all?

          1. re: TSAW
            ybnormal Feb 16, 2011 02:29 PM

            The shell isn't noticeable at all. Have to admit that I never thought of a grasshopper before!

            Hard to describe - it is one of nature's rare treats. Do you like oysters? Sort of like a deep-fried or tempura oyster.

            Get someone else to order one, and steal a claw for a bite! You'll either love them or hate them (just like oysters actually). Big Fish does it well - I will admit that other restaurants may not, so it is a good place to try it.

            Big Fish
            1112 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3K4, CA

            1. re: TSAW
              23skidoo Feb 16, 2011 03:16 PM

              Another way to try soft-shell crab is to get a spider roll at a sushi place.

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