So imagine this scenario. It's April and Christmas has long passed. We were cleaning up the house and found some Christmas presents we had never opened. Somehow they got pushed to the back pile of stuff. Yes, there are piles of stuff everywhere in our house. When you have kids, stuff begins to accumulate. Excitedly, we start to open some of them. Hey, it's Christmas all over again! Finally, we get to a large gift basket from Guy Smiley. Okay. Blanket, cookie ingredients, chocolate, gift cert from the Cannery, marshmall... WTF?!?!!? The Cannery! OMFG! The place is closed! Oh no! This can't be happening! Free food gone down the toilet. Wait. Not all is lost. The Fish House belongs to the same group that used to run the Cannery. Maybe I can use it there. One quick email and yup, they were going to make an exception. Phew, that was a close one! And hey, I can use my Entertainment coupon as well. Score!
So off we went with the whole family including the Grandparents. It was another glorious summer day which is perfect for a Sunday at the Fish House. We got a few appies to share before our mains. The first was the Steamed Mussels in a coconut milk, tomato, cilantro, lime & chili pepper broth. Finishing off the dish was raw sea asparagus and a papadum dome (I had to remove it to take the picture). This was a solid if not unremarkable order of steamed mussels. Nothing amiss, the mussels were sweet and the broth was a nice compliment providing contrasting flavours with the lime and cilantro. I'm not sure why I picked the Shrimp Spring Rolls as our other appetizer. Being that we could easily order this dish at a Chinese restaurant for Dim Sum at more than half the price, this probably didn't make much sense. With that being said, the filling was pretty tasty with a combination of shrimp and veggies. The rolls could've been a bit more crispy though. I think the moisture from the filling compromised the wrapper. I didn't really bother with the dip, it was a combination of sweet chili and peanuts.
For my main, I had the Westcoast Benedict which is essentially Eggs Benedict with crab meat, tomato and avocado. There first 2 things that struck me about the dish was the plethora of crab meat and the obvious use of a mold to poach the egg. Although the egg was poached perfectly with a nice runny centre, there is just something about a free hand poached egg that I'm impartial to. I really like that there was plenty of crab; but as my mom remarked, it would've been better if it were lump meat. Lots of crab; but little in the way of crab flavour or texture. The Hollandaise sauce was not bad with a nice buttery/lemony flavour. I just wish there was more of it. So much crab and other ingredients that need saucing. Now the side of fried smashed potatoes was just crazy! Look at it! 5 whole (albeit small) potatoes. They were good being soft inside and crisp outside; but no way I could finish it.
Dad had the daily feature being the Grilled Swordfish with a skewer of shrimp. Swiss chard, asparagus and a corn/crab butter sauce finished off the plate. As expected, the swordfish ended up being quite dry. This is by no means a criticism since swordfish is very lean. The shrimp were grilled perfectly and the multitude of items in the sauce added sweetness. Viv went for the Croque Monsieur which is egg dipped brioche griddled with shaved ham, Gruyere & Dijon
mustard. As you can see, there was no absence of ham. She liked the soft brioche; but thought there wasn't enough mustard (which can easily be rectified). It was served with the same potatoes and she could only finish one of them.
Mom had the Big Breakfast which included 2 eggs, 2 turkey sausages, bacon, toast and once again, the smashed potatoes. This was your typical breakfast, except the for the turkey sausages. Despite appearing quite dry, the sausages were very juicy and moist. She requested her eggs be done over-easy and as you can see, they were executed properly. By looking at the next picture, you might think we ordered 2 full-sized breakfasts. However, that was not the case. The second one is actually a Kid's Breakfast believe it or not. It came with scrambled eggs, choice of meat (we got 2 turkey sausages) and 2 smashed potatoes (I think we cleaned them out of their potatoes!). Seeing how this also included choice of beverage and dessert, not a bad deal at only $8.95. Once again, don't let the dry appearance fool you, the turkey sausages were moist. We found the eggs to be scrambled perfectly being fluffy while cooked all the way through. This is not small feat. It's not often we get good scrambled eggs.
Of course, we go from good value to not-so-much. While my daughter attacked the kid's breakfast, my son settled for... Pancakes. Well, at the very least, they were fluffy and light. As if Denny's didn't provided an obscene amount of butter for their pancakes, there was enough here to make a loaf of pound cake. Whatever the case, my son didn't bother with any of it. In the end, I was lucky enough to be able to use the old Cannery gift cert. I'm not sure if this is applicable universally. Best to email them directly to check first. I also used a couple of Entertainment coupons which made the total bill obscenely low. However, I didn't find the regular prices to be out-of-line for brunch. Remember, it is located in Stanley Park and the food is quite decent. Nothing great, but not bad either. As for dinner, the prices are on the higher end; yet once again, you are paying for location as well. You can't expect a restaurant to cover the cost of operation in Downtown without charging a bit more. With that being said, ultimately they still have to provide a good product. Our visit for brunch was pleasant accented by good service.
- Lovely environment, especially on a sunny day
- Kid-friendly with a kid's menu
- Acceptable food
- Dinner is pricey (although there is an Entertainment coupon)
- Parking is pricey