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Feb 22, 2011 02:56 PM

"The One that Got Away " should have

TOTGA is a fish and chip place on a fashionable part of King St.
I used to live in Nova Scotia, where I had the worst, and in New Zealand where I had the best. TOTGA ranks with the worst.

Chowder. I asked for the Manhattan , but it was so red that it reminded me of Buffalo Italian restaurant tomato sauce. So I asked for the other. Not bad, with lots of stuff, and a really full taste , which made me think industrial mix.

Fish and chips, haddock
As bad as it gets . The breading was a heavy, oily sarcophagus, and smooth. I was sure that the product was industrial. To confirm, I asked, and was told that it had been breaded on the premises. I slit it and removed the fish. The breading stayed in one piece. The haddock fillet tasted like not much, except that it tasted very fishy in one part. It had not puffed up in cooking.
The chips were "dirty", which I like, but were dense and hard and had relatively little potato taste. I suspect that they had been cooked too many times.

Salad plate, barramundi
The thin fish fillet had been grilled hard and tasted only grey and vaguely fishy. It had been "blackened", but this treatment doesn't go with barramundi or or a thin piece of anything. The spice was coarse and offensive. But as a failure, it went with the fish.
The salad was a small mound of mesculn , with slices of cucumber and tomato on the side.
The mango "chutney that came with the barramundi was diced mango and a talentless nothing. The salad dressing that came with the salad was bad and I rejected it for the lemon wedge that came with . The tartar sauce with the haddock was good.

On the way out , the manger- front of the house asked me how it was. I answered "crap". Inter alia , I gave him an example . I picked up the breading sarcophagus ( whole) and dropped it on the tray (thud).

He said he was sorry.
Me too.

The person next to me also had haddock and chips and they looked better . So good luck, but don't be embarrassed to send the food back if you don't like it. I would have but felt constrained because I was using a coupon. I regret my reluctance.


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  1. In this thread there are various reviews:

    Most are positive, but some negatives lately. Wondering if they are having consistency issues or what. I bought some of those vouchers too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ylsf

      Probably once again another establishment trying to make up the margin of the coupon promotion.

      1. re: ylsf

        There were two guys in the kitchen. I thought perhaps that one of them was new. I was told that both of them had been with the place since it opened. I was brazen and asked if the coupon people get the same product as the others. I was told that they did. I can't figure out how my food could have been that bad without a deliberate rejection or neglect of standards: the place is just bad. After all , a fish and chip place kitchen isn't all that difficult, particularly after you have done it a few times.

        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

          i've eaten there more than once and it has never been as bad as you describe or even remotely close to it. not even sure where ylsf is finding "negatives lately" in the thread he's posted. there has been small issues here and there during their existence.

          have not liked the chowder on one visit and have no ordered it since though.

          it's not rocket science nor is it perfect, but anyone i know that has gone has been very very happy with their meals and if pressed to provide details have described the opposite of much of what you've reported.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            I admit I didn't go back to re-read that thread... I just seemed to recall that things were more "negative" near the end vs. at the start. I.e. some people reporting they were not impressed, but, maybe my memory is bad. Regardless, I am looking forward to trying it.

      2. I've also eaten here more than once and it was never as bad as reported. I ordered Halibut & Chips @ $12.99 --nice piece of filet, crunchy thin batter atop a heap of fries that had potato flavour and surprisingly not oily or greasy. It wasn't the best Fish & Chips that I've consumed aside from the fabulous Fish & Chips I've eaten throughout Ireland but it's not too shabby for a big city like Toronto.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I have to agree with pinstripeprincess on this one. I have been to TOTGA two times now and have never experienced the problems that Vinnie has. On each visit I have had a sandwich, one was the Barramundi and the other was the Halibut. The buns that they put the fish on are fresh and offer a perfect compliment to the fish. The toppings pair well with each fish. I really enjoy the fries that accompanied the sandwich they are proper "chips", nice and crispy and thick cut. The battered fish I tried was excellent with a nice batter to it and was not heavy or greasy as other shops in Toronto. I have been encouraging friends and family to go to TOTGA and will continue to go myself. Don't write this place off if you have yet to try it!

            1. The original comment has been removed