Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Fish Counter

Located on Main Street in Vancouver is a business that focuses on sustainable seafood, The Fish Counter. The shop has a fish market along with a kitchen that offers fresh and made to order food, and C'est la vie a Maggi and I came for the food. When we walked up to the front doors, we did not know which door to go through and chose the one that leads to the restaurant side. As we entered, there were open cupboards blocking the entrance and a cashier staring at us without saying a word, so I felt guilty because I thought we walked through the wrong door.

Fortunately, Maggi confirmed if we could enter and the cashier responded with a "yes" before walking to close the cupboards, so I did not feel bad. After looking around, we noticed the menu posted on the wall and proceeded to the cashier.

The atmosphere was a bit awkward and not inviting because the cashier was not friendly, but we did not mind since The Fish Counter can be considered a fast food joint. As for the interior, it looks fairly nice and the shop is well ventilated. The fish market side of the shop does not have an overwhelming smell too.

The menu is posted on the unfinished wooden walls and looks very playful. There are cute ocean creatures and an easy to read but playful font. As for the selection of food, The Fish Counter offers fish n' chips, sandwiches, tacos, soup and one kind of salad. We arrived during a slow period so the seating arrangements were not an issue, but the seats are quite limited. There is only one table and a bar, along with a couple of benches.

Since I dislike wasting food, I suggested for us to share an order of fish n' chips and to add on another piece of fish because every order comes with fries and coleslaw. Neither of us are huge fans of fries or coleslaw anyways and we agreed to not waste food.

HALIBUT, "Served with fresh cut kennebec fries, kale and coleslaw, and house-made tartar" ($11.00)
We started with the halibut which is flaky and not overcooked; however, the fish does taste dry. The dryness was not a big deal though when paired with the tangy tartar sauce. The tartar sauce has a nice consistency and plenty of dill flavour. As for the batter, it is light but very crunchy. I personally prefer a light crisp batter over a crunchy one.

WILD SALMON ($7.90).
Moving towards the salmon, I enjoyed the fish more than the halibut because of its moist and flakiness. But again like the halibut, the batter is too crunchy for me. I actually removed the batter from the fish which is a first for me and I usually roll my eyes at people who do that lol!

When we removed the fish from the plate, we were surprised at how large the portion of fries are! One order of fries is more than enough for two people, at least in our case. The fries are freshly fried and taste pillowy on the inside, while not tasting too starchy. There is not much of a crispiness but the fries are not soggy one bit. As for the coleslaw, there is a fresh pickled flavour and lots of tang.

B.C BOUILLABAISSE, "A selection of fish, bi-valves simmered in a rich broth" ($6.90).
I wish The Fish Counter offered a New England chowder but the shop only offers a Manhattan, which neither of us prefer. The both of us were craving for a rich and creamy soup too! Regardless, we decided to settle for a bouillabaisse because it was a miserable rainy day and we wanted some soup to warm us up.

The stew is served hot and packed with seafood! There are a couple of clams and mussels, along with a variety of fish. None of the ingredients are overcooked and are actually "just cooked", tasting moist. As for the broth, there is a nice tangy tartness from the tomato and a fresh tomato flavour. The stew does not have much of a seafood taste in the broth, but there are plenty of ingredients to make up for that.

OYSTER PO'BOY, "Fried oysters, arugula, spicy cabbage, tartar" ($8.10).
We asked if the oyster po'boy could be served ten minutes after the rest of the food because I hate feeling rushed just to avoid having warm food rather than hot. The sub includes three fried oysters, a bit of arugula, spicy cabbage and tatar. When I saw the kimchi, I was pretty disappointed that neither of us bothered to read the description. I assumed the shop offers a traditional oyster po'boy rather than one with kimchi.

The oyster po'boy is fairly big so we had one fried oyster on the side and left two in the sub. The fried oyster has a crisp exterior and tastes juicy, I actually liked them more than Rodney's. As for the sub, the bread tastes fresh, soft and chewy. However, the kimchi did not work. There is a light pickled kimchi flavour without a spiciness and an awkward sour soft crunch. Furthermore, the kimchi lacks that nice "fresh" flavour and just tasted like old left out kimchi. A traditional po'boy would taste so much better and we ended up removing the kimchi, adding coleslaw, and asked for more tartar - which resulted in a better sub.

TOTAL: $35.60.

The Fish Counter offers fresh as well as quality ingredients, and the decor looks nice. In addition, the food is made to order and the price along with the portions are great. But, I cannot get over the crunchy batter which is subjective. As for the staff, one of the cooks was very friendly! He asked how the food was and mentioned he could always give us more tartar sauce if needed.

- Seafood is well executed
- Fresh, quality, and made to order food
- Friendly cook

- Batter is so crunchy
- Kimchi could improve
- Cashier could be friendly or at least say hello

- Bouillabaisse (3/5)

Food: 2.5/5
Service: N/A

The Fish Counter on Urbanspoon


  1. I was going to go today but I changed my mind LOL! Maybe I'll go tomorrow! :)

    haha you don't like the crunchy batter? Neither does my mom haha, she always peels off the batter on everything fried!!

    I thought it was weird how the oyster po boy had kimchi in it too lol. Doesn't sound like the flavours would work together! haha

    1. Yeah, I prefer a light crispiness than a hard crunch when it comes to fish n' chips! The kimchi may have worked if the cabbage tasted more fresh too, it was just awkwardly sour and limp.

  2. I like your oyster po boy strategy, ain't nobody got time for cold deep fried oysters amiright??



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