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Hooked Seafood - New fishmonger on Queen

I just went to this new fishmonger called Hooked Inc @ 888 Queen St E (416-828-1861) and was very impressed. They are focusing on sustainable seafood with very knowledgable people manning the counters.

They have board listing the seafood they are selling. I ended up buying some Halibut, line-caught, from the Bering Sea and it was absolutely delicious. The fishmongers that focus on sustainable seafood and that actually post where the seafood came from and how it was caught are few and far between, if any, in Toronto.

I'll be making this a regular place to purchase my seafood.

The website is http://www.hookedinc.ca/

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  1. Looking forward to visiting this place soon - saw them on my street-car ride and haven't made the time to get out there. Glad to hear about the positive experience!

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    http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

    1. can you comment on pricing a bit? do they do whole fish or only fillets? variety in terms of mullosks or other? i've been waiting for something like this, just wish it was further west!

      4 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Pricing was pretty good. $19/lb for line caught halibut seems pretty reasonable. What else did I see...I think albacore tuna was $18/lb. Striped bass, about $20. I'm not 100% sure about these prices, but what I'm sure about is that they prices didn't seem outlandish.

        They had three kinds of oysters, $10/dozen. I forget the varieties and the owner couldn't really tell me much about them. They were ok, pretty salty. But I was in Boston earlier in the week and having some phenomenal ones, so my taste buds were a bit picky, I guess.

        They had mussels, spot shrimp (frozen from last year, I assume), various smoked fishes.

        Variety was pretty good, but nothing like Diana's, or anything like that.
        I really hope they do well, because a fishmonger needs the turnover.

        1. re: grandgourmand

          good to know, i just don't want to make the trek over there for a healthy butcher situation. i get that organics are pricey which is why i opt for the naturally raised but it is definitely not within my budget to pay 5x more for "healthier" meat.

          1. re: grandgourmand

            From my memory i think these prices are in line with large supermarket pricing. Cheaper than Diana's depending on the day etc it seems. Still have to make a visit but if they have some fresh pickerel at reasonable prices i will be a regular!

            1. re: CoffeeAddict416

              Well, I know Pacific Halibut, you can get closer to $12/lb when it's in peak season at Sobey's, for example. But for line caught, if you value that, the premium isn't that bad. 60% or so (and that's vs. a sale price).

              In contrast, the gap between $9/lb "Angus" at Loblaw when it's on sale vs. Cumbrae's is about 150% or more. I'm ok paying that Cumbrae's premium as well. I don't eat steak that often, though.

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              Cumbrae's
              481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

        2. I'll be heading there this week - I live in the hood and my daughter's daycare is right across the street - and will definitely report back. I mostly buy my fish at Bill's, and like those guys a lot, but I suspect I'll be Hooked often too. Very curious to see the pricing on Ontario lake fish like pickerel and white fish as that's what I'm most interested in eating more of.

          11 Replies
          1. re: childofthestorm

            I too have been buying almost all my seafood at Bill's and really like the way they deal with me as a customer (with the odd trek out to Diana's Seafood which is pretty far from me). I've bought line-caught halibut from Bill's, but their halibut is from the east-coast which is apparently a no-no in terms of sustainability (not sure whether the Greenland halibut they often sell is sustainable or not). So, I was very happy to see line-caught Bering Sea halibut at Hooked and was impressed that they are supporting local fishermen. I too look forward to their pickerel as I remember fishing for pickerel at my Grandmother's cottage on a lake in east Ontario as a child and having the freezer full of pickerel by the end of the week. . One of my favourite fishes but not always easy to find and hardly ever from Ontario.

            I think it's great that there is now a seafood store whose raison d-etre is sustainable seafood with an emphasis on local.

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            Diana's Seafood
            2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

            1. re: Flexitarian

              We are really looking forward to checking them out. I'm tired of having to plan our fish nights with a visit to Pisces. We were desparate for a fishmonger in the area so good on them!!!

              1. re: millygirl

                Did you not like Bill's Lobster? The "Ocean Treasures" fish store at Carlaw and Danforth has a good selection, and is near you.

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                Bill's Lobster
                599 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  I've only been to Bill's once and long time ago. Parking isn't the greatest there and beyond that, not sure why we don't go there - just don't. I have heard good things about it for sure.

                  Ocean Treasures I bought shrimp many times but as far as fish goes, I don't find they have a huge selection, at least not when I've been.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    I have NEVER had a parking problem when I go to Bill's. I usually go there between 4:00 pm and 6:30 and always find a spot within a 1 minute walk.

                    Ocean Treasures has a pretty good selection. I don't go there often as I should considering it's a very short walk, but when I have, the fish have been fine. Their fish selection is also different from Bill's as they cater to the Greeks and what they like to eat. It's worth a visit.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      I guess that's just it. Being non greek the fish at Ocean Treasure didn't appeal to me.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        Ocean Treasures sometimes has that "off" fishy smell.... the Greek fishmongers who used to operate on the Danforth years ago were much better.

                        1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                          The"off fishy smell" in Greek or Portuguese places is usually salt cod, and it never really goes away even when they clean the racks.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            That's correct. It's definitley not from the fresh fish. And what is a store that cleans and guts fish supposed to smell like? Apple Pie?

                            1. re: foodyDudey

                              I get what you both said FoodyDudey and jayt90, but by contrast, Bill's Lobsters in East Chinatown smells like the ocean when you step in the door. No stinky or suspect odours.
                              OceanTreasures - perhaps I stepped in on an "off day" there were no other customers and few staff - The "fishy" smell put me off.
                              It is not run my a Greek man anymore.
                              Dried salt cod is available at many Italian grocery stores in my neighbourhood, and it does not stink. It's inert.

                              -----
                              Bill's Lobster
                              599 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

                              1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                Inert??? Salt cod is available in my neighbourhood too. It definitely smells like fish.

          2. Visited today near closing. Great, passionate, and knowledgeable people working the shop. A good selection of fresh fish, scallops, oysters and the like (depending on availability). Loved the coast-to-coast "guided tour" I got of the various seafood they had on offer during a lull in traffic.

            Product is brought in on a regular basis and it seems the sell-through is pretty quick right now, so things aren't sitting in the case very long. The only farmed fish in the case when I was there was trout from a farm near Collingwood that raises the food they feed the trout (don't quote me on that - I was eavesdropping at the time).

            I took home a pickerel fillet (from the southern basin of lake Huron) and some diver-caught scallops (Gulf of Mexico) and flash-frozen on the boat. The scallops were especially sweet and delicious.

            Good stuff!

            --
            http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

            7 Replies
            1. re: jlunar

              Did you happen to notice their hours? I emailed but haven't heard back.

              Thanks!

              1. re: JennaBean

                They're on Facebook

                Location
                888 Queen Street East
                Toronto, ON
                Hours
                Tues - Fri: 11:00 - 19:00
                Sat: 08:00 - 19:00

                1. re: Helen

                  Lovely! I checked the website and couldn't find them.

                  Thank you!

                  1. re: JennaBean

                    The hours are hiding on the info tab of their FB page.

                    FYI if anyone cares, I'll have photos up in the next couple of days.

                  2. re: Helen

                    The hours are also on the contact page of the website.

                    I was there last night and bought some Pacific halibut which had recently arrived, they said it was still in the ocean that morning. The owner said he had just returned from the airport after picking it up and that it was caught in the Bering sea. It tasted great after I pan fried it for a few minutes. I served it with beets and jerusalam artichokes.

                    I really like the store. The fish they have is a completely different selection from the other stores in the area.

                     
                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      That's great service. I would really like to see fish stores provide provenance for their product.

              2. We need this place in the west end.

                11 Replies
                1. re: acd123

                  We popped in on opening day and were very impressed with the passion of the owners.

                  Ontario lake fish on offer was Pickeral ($19 a pound) and Whitefish (I believe $12 a pound). We asked about Perch and they are planning to stock soon.

                  They also had amazing looking Striped Bass which they said was from sport fisherman in the Connecticut River area. We found this very interesting as rules prevent similar sales arrangements in Canada (you can't sell game that is caught unless it is a commercial enterprise). We'll be back for some of this very soon.

                  They also mentioned that they had plans to build a smoker and to start smoking Whitefish in the spring.

                  Well worth a visit.

                  1. re: jgloverwork

                    That's a ridiculously high price for whitefish. However, maybe the high price will cause Toronto gourmets to start to appreciate it.

                    Earlydrive below is agreeing with someone else.

                    C.

                    1. re: acd123

                      No kidding. I've been saying that for ages. It's the one thing the east end has on the west side. Cue east west throwdown. ;)

                      1. re: jamesm

                        We have something else you don't have yet, but you will have it by May or so....

                          1. re: acd123

                            No, that's not it. I can't say yet, but it will be something I think many west end people will like, especially if you are in the Bloor West Village area.

                          2. re: foodyDudey

                            Very interesting....I'm racking my brains right now....

                          3. re: jamesm

                            They have Diana's, Bills and Hooked. Newport moved far away. City Fish is too far north. Pisces is too far east. Fiesta Farms in ok. Two places next door to each other on St. Clair west of oakwood are ok too. Places in Kensington sometimes less than ok. Sobey's at Dupont and Shaw good for wild bc salmon in season.

                            Although not storefronts, www.fisherfolk.ca is at Wychwood on Satrudays, although maybe only in spring/summer/fall. Akiwenzie also. Fresh farmed ON trout at Trinity Bellwoods on Tuesdays in spring/summer/fall.

                            Anyone been to the portuguese fish place on the west side Ossington, the second storefront south of Dundas?

                            http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=dundas+a...

                            1. re: acd123

                              I have never bought fish from there, but the place's back alley reeks out the Communist's Daughter bar during the summer!

                          4. re: acd123

                            In the west end, Mike's on Queen St N in Etobicoke isn't bad.