On a stormy Vancouver evening, Jenny and I decided to indulge in some of the best seafood this city has to offer. Fish house has long been a monumental restaurant to the history of Stanley Park, being erected in 1930 as a sports club and then more than half a century later, in 1990, becoming the Fish House that we know today.
From the moment we entered, we were immediately greeted and our coats were taken. The atmosphere in this space is very intimate and classical. The service given really transcends the physical feeling of the restaurant. We were given a corner window seat at around 5pm on a weekend and from the beginning until we left at 7:30pm, we felt as if we were dining in our own home but with exceptional service and a very romantic feel. The seating arrangement here is conveniently coordinated so each seat is very well spaced and gives you a very comfortable feeling.
For our drinks, we started with a glass of the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which has a really crisp, sweet taste to it that pairs magnificently with the seafood. Jenny got the Lychee cocktail which was surprisingly refreshing and wasn’t overwhelming with artificial syrup flavours.
We kept the meal simple and straight forward today, ordering a simple bowl of their famous mussels, followed by their ‘surf and turf’ seafood platter. The mussels are cooked with chorizo, creamed leeks, white wine and garlic toast. The broth was perfectly balanced with richness and creaminess, whilst still retaining the soft texture and flavour of the mussels. The chorizo was very strategically added to this as well, not being overly salty or spicy.
The main that we shared was one that I ordered ahead of time. The surf and turf seafood platter is made of 2 6oz Sirloins, Alaskan King Crab, Alaskan Wethervane Scallops with Grilled Prawn Skewers, roasted garlic mash, broccolini and asparagus and a red wine jus. We also added on a 1/2lb Baja Lobster Tail as well. The total for this platter was $120 but was definitely worth its price in simply the size of the dish, not to mention the quality of the products and the perfect cooking of them. Starting with the sirloins, I was really shocked to see how well a seafood restaurant was able to cook a steak so perfectly to medium rare. It was really something special. The king crab legs, which are typically not my favourite because of the saltiness that comes with them many times, were surprisingly refreshing here and quite light. The Weathervane scallops were enormous and so soft all the way through, just to re-confirm the culinary experience and expertise these chefs have when working at a restaurant as well known as this. The lobster tail was probably my favourite piece to this dish. Just looking at it, the meat was bursting out of the shell and glistening. Not too often do we get to eat this type of lobster here so I really savoured every last piece of it.
Our experience at Fish House in Stanley Park was exactly what one should come to expect when eating out at any restaurant of this caliber. The model they have from food to service is well established and should really be duplicated in all restaurants of this style. The price was definitely higher than what I would normally spend on a meal, but unlike most fine dining restaurants I’ve dined at, I can safely say that if I could afford it, this would be a place I could spend many evenings dining at on a regular basis.
Quality – 5 of 5 – Fresh, Fresh, Fresh and very well cooked
Ingenuity – 4.5 of 5 – Mainly made up of classical dishes, some newer flavours incorporated
Atmosphere – 5 of 5 – By far one of the best in town!
Service – 5 of 5 – Phenomenal service, unmatched almost
Value – 4 of 5 – expensive, good for special occasions, but portion size balances out
Overall – 4.7 of 5