Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Aug 9, 2012 08:58 AM

Anything similar to Kettle of Fish?

Will be in Vancouver for a week but probably only two nights out for dinner. We loved Kettle of Fish. Is there anything similar to that now? I've looked at all the reviews here for seafood/fish restaurants as well as a stack of other websites and I'm not coming up with anything that is casual, fresh, simply prepared...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Take a look at Fishworks on Lonsdale: Dunno how similar you'd find it to Kettle of Fish as I hadn't been there in decades before it closed, but Fishworks fits the bill for casual, fresh and simply prepared. The space is pretty, the food is solid (though I haven't been for a while) and the prices are not outrageous, at least by the BC seafood-in-restaurants standard. It is an easy trip by Seabus from downtown if you don't feel like driving or don't have a car.

    4 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      i was on Lower Lonsdale yesterday and that little stretch of restaurants esp on the south side of Esplanade is looking really attractive. The Italian place on the corner, Burgoo etc etc. and then one would be continuing UP Lonsdale toward Fishworks. You're right - it's easy to get to from downtown via SeaBus - scenic too.

      ps - there was a guy waiting nearby in a gov't truck and he said that the relatively new Pier 7 restaurant (Shipyard Square --- ) is mixed reviews --- that's what he's heard around the neighborhood --- it looks like a 2012 version of Bridges, but smaller. The lounge area in the Pinnacle Hotel on Lonsdale looked nice and styllish, if one likes that "metro" kind of look. i prefer a diff look but it seemed nice but not really a big view venue tho (the lobby where you enter and check-in has the view toward Shipyard Sq).

      1. re: Georgia Strait

        Well I just got a taste of my own medicine. When people come to visit DC, they are always brimming with ideas about places to try - the tourist spots, of course, but also restaurants. For tourist stuff, I put them on the Metro. Problem solved. But for restaurants - they invariably want to go someplace that is a real hassle to get to or no parking, or whatever. So I told my friend Fishworks in Lonsdale and sure enough - don't want to bother going to north Vancouver.

        1. re: Just Visiting

          No worries, JV, we Vancouverites get funny about crossing bridges too :-). You will just have to manage your expectations about the quality of food you will be getting if you go to one of the view places -- even Fish House can be dodgy if you don't stick with the eponymous foodstuffs. I once went with a non-food-fussy friend who insisted on ordering a pork chop. She was not impressed. I managed not to say I told you so but just barely!

      2. re: grayelf

        Thanks! Looking forward to additional replies, but yes, Fishworks looks like a good choice. I am amazed at how many places are considered to be fish/seafood but their menus don't have many fish/seafood choices. OTOH, I am assuming that is because if it is really fresh, it is going to have to be a special.

      3. If you're seeking casual, fresh & simply prepared, I'm a fan of the seafood and fish that I've had at the Flying Pig. It's not, as you may imagine, exclusively seafood, but their seafood is exactly as what you've described as wanting. Not fussy, delicious, casual environment, etc.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Florentine

          Never would have thought of Flying Pig for fish etc. Love king (better known as chinook or spring) which they have on their menu.

          For the OP: it's a strangely difficult task to find really fresh, simply prepared fish/seafood in this town, even if you pay $$$ for it. I used to like the Fish House for this because they actually have "simply grilled" fish on their menu but I haven't been since Karen Barnaby left (I believe the KB Classics are her recipes). And it is $$$. But you could take a look at the menu: It is in quite a nice setting though no real view.

          Another thought might be Fraiche:
          which has several seafoody apps and a couple of fish mains but also a lovely view. While I haven't eaten there yet, I've heard good things about the chef and his food, as recently as last week from someone offboard whose tastes I trust.

          1. re: grayelf

            Having lived on various coasts around the world, I was very surprised at how...unremarkable... the Vancouver seafood scene was when moving here. That said, there are some gems to be found.

            Completely agree that Fraiche will do any seafood main course justice ( but it is on the higher end of the budget spectrum. I've yet to find a place that has both a great view, and great food, that doesn't hit that price range though.

            1. re: reiney

              I think the current board seafood favourites are Fraiche, Yew, Blue Water. I agree with you reiney - a good moderately priced seafood restaurant is nowhere to be found. (..unless you count the Cantonese restaurants of course).

              1. re: fmed

                Yeah, broken record here, if you want fresh seafood that won't break the bank, ya gotta look at a Canto place or even a sushi bar.

            2. re: grayelf

              I agree w/Flying Pig for fish. I had fantastic hailibut there at the beginning of the season.

          2. hello again - i just clicked on your Chow name and i see you might be from the southern seaboard DC area --- so if you're going to pay to eat, you'd better have a decent table with a great view - cuz that is what we've got, great views and theoretically, fresh ocean food.

            the trip across on SeaBus is beautiful --- it's like a much smaller Staten Island Ferry -- but way nicer. (and quicker and cleaner terminals)

            i know that people will cringe when i say this - but if you find yourself somewhere where there's a
            "Boathouse" restaurant --- i think that you can't go wrong for the combo of price point / view / decent food etc.

            be sure to look for the OCEANWISE symbol on the menus --- that is fish with enviro considerations.

            6 Replies
              1. re: Georgia Strait

                Why do you say the seafood is theoretically fresh?

                Yes, I am from DC, but wouldn't pretty much anyone want a nice table, a great view, and fresh food?

                1. re: Just Visiting

                  the "cringe" says it all ; )
                  that is funny - the irony is that best views sometimes have the cheesiest (and not in the dairy sense) establishments

                  really - Boathouse - it is not like you're heading in to a Red Lobster or Outback or TGIF etc.

                  that said --- i am not an expert on this topic but i suppose that the vast populace of general eaters don't want to pay for the real cost of local and/or hassle with the parking and / or the wardrobe required --- distance to get to establishment etc -- --- perhaps somewhat along the lines of making the time and parking hassle etc of attending a farmer market and paying for fresh cherries and other decent "local" BC produce === there are days when i don't want to bother with all that stuff either.

                  anyway - have a great trip - and for those of us who grew up in this city ===your fav restaurant, it was an institution --- we recall when there was a Victoria Station location right near that Kettle of Fish.

                  now that should elicit a cringe or two ;)

                  1. re: Georgia Strait

                    Ha! Victoria Station - Fun steak house and the site of some notorious staff after-hours partying ;)

                    Kettle of Fish went down in quality a lot the last few years of it's existence but it was popular and decent quality, especially when they had the little Steamers annex on the side.

                    As for wanting a view with your food. Of course, but sometimes great restaurants and especially bang for the buck whole-in-the-walls can be downright grungy on the outside.

                    Boathouses are more formulaic but "safe" tourist style restaurants. Surf and turf being their style and they are often in really nice locations with comfy dining rooms.

                    My votes go to Fish House in Stanley Park as mentioned above or Provence Marinaside as two very good replacements for Kettle in both style and selection.

                    1. re: eatrustic

                      Hey all - what about Fish Cafe in Kerrisdale?

                      1. re: Just Visiting

                        That place is a grease pit-greasy tables/greasy chairs/greasy walls and the ceiling looks greasy too-it certainly is discoloured.

                        Frozen fries, below average service and overall poorly cooked often lukewarm food mean it's a lower echelon destination at best.

                        Not Recommended.

              2. I've had very good fish preparations at both Monk McQueens and Dockside recently (and surprisingly)

                4 Replies
                1. re: islandgirl

                  Reporting in. Turns out I am among people who are not interested in eating fish. Which, for two of them, is understandable as they live in Fairbanks and eat fish (caught themselves) nearly every day. So so far, I've had two meals at Banana Leaf (lunch at Denmon location, dinner at Broadway in Kitsilano) and both were very good. Also dinner at Salade de Fruits. Food, service fantastic but restroom situation is funky. The restroom is in the adjacent building, up a grungy staircase, and the restroom itself is grungy. Otherwise, enjoyed that experience quite a lot. A fantastic lunch at Coco Et Olive - lemon panini and ginger chews. The bread was out of this world and the filling was good, too. A bit of a service issue - I asked if the iced tea was hot-brewed tea poured on ice and the owner though I was asking for cold-brewed tea. He brings over a plunge pot filled with cold water and loose tea. Obviously, it would never infuse. I asked the waitress how it would infuse and the owner came over and gave me a really hard time, then returned with the plunge pot filled with warm water. It did infuse. I think serving loose tea without a strainer is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with using a tea bag. So I had a cup of lukewarm tea filled with loose tea, poured over ice. Notwithstanding this service issue, I would recommend this place as the food is very good. We have one more meal in Vancouver - finally, a fish place. It is over near Denmon and I don't know the name. Will report back.

                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    You must have been at the Coco et Olive on Broadway... glad it's mostly going well.

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Continuing the theme of "ask your guests what they would like to eat and then don't take them to that kind of place" we ended our Vancouver stay with an incredible meal at Adesso. This is a lovely restaurant in the residential neighborhood of West Denmon. It is on the ground floor of a hotel and has a very pleasant patio. The food was absolutely fantastic and the service was pitch perfect. Every bit the equivalent of a Danny Meyer experience; the service was just as wonderful as we've had at the Gramercy Tavern. I started with a Negroni. I was hesitant to order this drink as they are rarely made properly but this one was. It was fantastic. Then a shared app of house-cured buffalo sliced paper thin and topped with arugula and Gran Padano. It was listed on the menu as bresaola. My husband and I each had the halibut on a bed of beans. Perfect. We finished with a cheese board that featured the best gorgonzola I've ever eaten, two mild cheeses, and a Brie-like cheese. And a glass of Remy Martin. Our waitress knew her wine list inside and out and was friendly without being obtrusive. She was always there when needed but never hovered or interrupted.

                      So I did get a good piece of fish after all but on my next visit to Vancouver, I will try to avoid dining with friends who aren't interested in eating fish.

                      1. re: Just Visiting

                        Glad to hear it worked out for you, despite being amongst friends who refused to eat fish. Just looked up Adesso as I hadn't heard of it yet, and I see it's in the former location of Parkside (which was the former location of Delilah's). Parkside was fantastic and I was sad to see it go, but looks like Adesso has picked up where Parkside left off - will definitely have to check it out the next time I'm in the West End.

                        p.s. Slight detail correction: the neighbourhood is the West End, the street is called Denman. :)