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Fish Counter - Worth Trying

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Stopped by for an oyster po' boy and was not disappointed; light crispy batter on three large juicy oysters accompanied by some crunchy coleslaw with a mayo based dressing in a nice baguette- a little heavy on the mayo but otherwise really well done. It was about $8; they also have many kinds of F&C ranging from about $13-$18 for 2 pieces as well as fish tacos. I picked up some clam chowder in a jar but haven't tried it yet and they also have a variety of prepared food and other delights; good selection of fresh fish but I didn't buy any this time. Small eat in section, just a few tables.

3825 Main Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
(778) 228-6517

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  1. Great area for a crawl. Start out at The Acorn, hit Fish Counter then finish off at Portland Craft :) Heck, keep it going with a few skewers at Zakkushi.

    1. I second that, stopped by this week for an oyster Po Boy. Juicy crispy oysters, nice bread, dill sauce. Wasn't a huge fan of the slaw. The fries were quite nice, love being able to drench them in malt vinegar.
      I did find the room a bit dis-jointed. You order at the counter on the left and they run your written order over to the cooking side on the right. Only their 4th day so I'm sure those 2 guys will do well.

      4 Replies
      1. re: FAM04

        I had lunch there a few days ago it was delicious-couldn't be Happier.

        The burst of flavour when the battered fish meets the maize Tortilla really took me back.

        It's early days yet and you can see there are a myriad of details still to be worked out but like all labours of love it's a work in progress.

        Hope to make this place a regular stop!

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          Please say more about the taco, Sam! What type of fish. Cost? Slaw? Thx.

          1. re: grayelf

            White fish probabaly Ling Cod-which is found in Baja California BTW and is much more common that people think.

            Slaw fairly bland Cabbage mix.

            White Sauce was standard as found all around Baja.

            $5-$6 IIRC.

            I ordered two Tacos and a soup and it was too much food so the place is good value.

            Note these are real double Tortilla Tacos not the bullshit 'tacones' as found @ Go Fish.

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              Mmm, love ling cod. Had a great fish taco at Seven Lives in TO today -- can't wait to compare!

      2. They were selling gift cards in various denominations with a deal that if you bought $500 or more worth, you'd get 10% off future purchases. Don't know if it is still on but seemed like a good deal to me. http://thefishcounter.com

        1. Mixed review on the fish & chips with the qualifier that we got it to go - went about 15 min between it being packed and us sitting down to eat.

          We had: 2 pc halibut and chips, 2 pc pacific cod and chips

          The good:
          generous portion of fish, fresh, light tempura batter, outstanding tartar sauce (I'm not a big t.s. fan but this was lemony and delicious - I was scooping it up with my fish).
          Areas for improvement:
          Fries cut too thin - might have been good fresh out of the fryer but by the time we got them home, still warm but hardened up by the time we got home (and there were too many of them). Kennebec potatoes are well suited to a thick english-style chip: crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside (C-lovers does a respectable chip in this way). These were neither. Cut thicker, might have survived the trip home.
          Packaging - everything piled into one take-out box (per order) doesn't keep the heat in as well as old-fashioned newspaper wrapping. The coleslaw (not bad, not great) was piled in the corner of the box so all fries in contact with this got cold and soggy and the slaw got warmed. The plastic container containing tarter sauce was tucked in among the f&c - and melted next to the fresh out of the frier fish (and warmed the tarter sauce).
          Also didn't like the fussy handles on the takeout boxes - hard to carry together in a bag.

          The po-boys looked wonderful, as did the soups. Will definitely go back, but will eat in next time. The U-shaped space next to window on the fry area side could accommodate more if they set it all up as standing counters.

          Nice little selection of grocery and prepared goodies (I love Spinnaker's malt vinegars and they have them there) and lovely looking fresh fish.

          1. I just ate there today - I ordered the 1 pc Ling cod and chips, delicious!! Fish was super hot and crispy, tartar sauce was fresh and lemony, dashed malt vinegar all over my fries - no need for ketchup! The slaw was OK, my only quibble was the kale pieces were too big for the compostable forks to handle.

            I then headed over to the other side hoping to take home some Octopus salad, sadly they were out, however when I asked about it Chef Rob overheard and said if I could hang out for 4 minutes (yup, he said 4) then he would whip some up for me. Woohoo! I chatted with the other owner (whose name I forget) and he gave me the story behind this place etc, also turns out we were at UVic at the same time! Then Chef Rob was finished putting the salad together so I took a tub of that to-go and some Spinn's Malt Vinegar.
            I'll be back.

              1. I liked the ling cod fish and chips, slaw was only ok. Lots and lots of fries. I had to wait a bit so they offered me a fish taco while I waited for the F&C. This was even better than my original order. I overheard the cioppino's very good and a fast seller. And Philx is right about the small eat-in section. Actually, I didn't see any tables: just a long counter by the window and a few benches. Great service too.

                1. Some pics of menu and location. Ironically I had fish & chips at The Fish Shack downtown just before passing by Fish Counter, so I don't have any pics of their food. (BTW the batter was too thick and crunchy for me at Fish Shack. Fries passable.)

                  1. Went for 1st time and had oyster po boy and dairy-less new england clam chowder (?). The po boy was awesome..the slaw with it was meh. The chowder was pretty good with quality clams, but nothing spectacular tasting..will try the cioppino next time.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: 1newyorkguy

                      tried the boullabaise..would avoid, bland with no depth of flavor. guess just stick to fried stuff.

                      1. re: 1newyorkguy

                        Po' boy was outstanding yesterday-the chips excellent.

                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                          Was planning on going Thurs but the place was packed to overflowing around 2 pm. May try to swing by tomorrow for a late lunch/snack...

                    2. Like the battered fish but it really is a shame about that coleslaw (limp, too much celery seed). Also not a fan of the candied salmon -- the one we got (might've been called "salmon chips") was much too sweet. Have yet to buy actual fresh fish, but plan to soon!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: queueueuq

                        Did not notice the celery seed in the taco's slaw (thank goodness) but wasn't crazy about the sweetness of the corn and mango salsa they use in combination with the sweet marinade on the slaw -- I'd prolly pass on the corn next time. The fish was nicely prepped, light batter and cooked well. Best value is to go with a friend and order 4 for $20; $5.95 for one felt a bit dear. Also note that there is only one tiny two top, plus a window counter for four and a bench for four.

                        Watched them construct a po boy and it looked grand. If only I liked oysters :-(.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Just remembered that they list Dona Cata as the supplier for the tortillas, which tasted fine but were not warmed properly, resulting in them sticking together. I'm more of a white corn tortilla fan these days anyhoo. But I'm delighted they are using corn as the default (I'm looking at you, Tacofino).

                      2. Hopping business at Fish Counter today. I had the famous Oyster Po' Boy. Great stuff. I appreciated plain undressed slaw as a counterpoint to the rich deep fried oyster and mayo/tartar/dill/whatever sauce. Nice kimchi-ish topping on the oysters too. I'd eat it again.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: flowbee

                          Actually, I think the slaw did have something in it...celery seeds...bit of tang... I didn't mind it.