- beth Jun 11, 2003 11:53 AM
This may have been discussed before but if not, where in TO can I find the most fresh and best seafood? I have found that Mac's lobsters on Warden Ave. have the best lobsters but have not been so lucky with crab (alaskan king) and fish at other places.
You're trying hard. The place mentioned in your post under Fast Food is called Pisces (one of the five thieves).
But, be realistic, Toronto isn't on the ocean and Lake Ontario isn't fished commercially, so how 'fresh' can it be? (I know you can find 'live' fish in tanks, but who knows how stresssed they are).
My advice to out-of-towners is to forget fish in Toronto - they're likely to be disappointed. For residents it's a question of 'best available'. And if you want fresh, it will cost you. Or settle for the unsatisfying available stuff. And follow the ethnic cuisines that are based on fresh fish.
I've found the best available fish comes from the various Portuguese restaurants (one reason why they are relatively expensive by Toronto standards). I think that most get their fish from Newport - a wholesaler on the NE corner of Dufferin & Dupont, which also sells retail. However, none of the fish is identified or priced and Portuguese is the language of choice (they do speak some English and the quality is good, but I suspect they charge me a little more).
I've NEVER found fresh tasting 'large' crabs here - but the small ones are often available in Chinese markets (and restaurants). King Crab is ALWAYS frozen. It develops an ammonia smell almost immediately, so is frozen at source.
Newport is good. So is Taro's, a Japanese place way up north and east (3160 Steeles Ave. E. (at Victoria Park), Unit 6, 905-944-1377). Both places have been featured in The Toronto Life "Where the chefs shop" section and Pisces was mentioned in a Globe piece on where Michael Stadtlander shops. Persoanlly I wish they'd stop these articles -- If I had to work so hard to find them (blah blah balh...)
By the way, live King Crabs are sometimes available at Lobster Island in Kensington Market -- they're REALLY scary to look at in my humble opinion but strangely fascinating.
On the whole though estufarian is, as usual, right on. We're not a port and our expectations should, I think, reflect that.