Sherman's Food Adventures: Harbour Oyster Bar

Harbour Oyster Bar

By virtue of its location, Vancouver is not only known for being the hub of Asian Cuisine (specifically Chinese), but for a great place for seafood.  Fresh seafood can be found on most menus and there are restaurants featuring seafood (Blue Water, Coast, Joe Fortes).  However, most of them are rather expensive and high-end dining.  What if I told you there is a place on the Drive that features seafood but is much more casual and reasonably-priced?  Harbour Oyster Bar is exactly that and they offer happy hour oysters @ $1.50 each from 11:00am - 5:00pm everyday!  We checked them out a few times after Sunday morning hockey at Brit nearby.

So about those Oysters...  They have been featuring Chef's Creek the last while for $1.50/shuck during their happy hour (which is almost all the time except for dinner).  All the condiments are included such as horseradish, mignonette, cocktail sauce, lemon wedge and an array of Tabasco.  Don't let the price fool you because these oysters were creamy and slightly briny with a clean finish.  One of the better deals in town considering the extended HH.

Also on their HH menu is the Steamed Clams in butter, garlic and white wine served with garlic bread for $12.00.  These were prepared perfectly with every clam being open and buttery soft while retaining a bite.  They were briny and sweet while fully flavoured with the broth underneath.  The side of charred garlic bread was the perfect vessel to soak up all of the buttery clam juices. 

Another HH option is the Garlic Prawns in Cajun lemon butter sauce for $12.00.  These were also quite good with buttery prawns that had a sweet snap.  These were tasty on their own, but the ample and sinful butter sauce was flavourful with the acidity of the lemon and accompanying lemon wedge.  Our only suggestion would be a side of the same garlic bread as the clams to soak up the butter.

Out last HH item was the Lobster Poutine, also for $12.00, with jalapeño, corn, cheesy béchamel and cheese.  This was only average as there wasn't a whole lot of lobster to be found.  Fries were crispy and held up well to the sauce and the addition of corn provided pops of sweetness.  Didn't notice the jalapeño much.  I found the sauce to be creamy and mildly flavoured with sweetness.  Could've used more spice.

Onto some bigger items, I tried the Oyster Po'Boy on my initial visit.  This consisted of 3 mini-brioche buns with one fried oyster each dressed in remoulade, slaw, corn and tomatoes.  This was so delicious as the oysters were creamy and briny while sporting a crispy spiced batter.  Brioche was soft and toasted and each one just ate so well.  On the side, the made-to-order Boston Chowda had to be one of the best I've had in town.  Lightly creamy, well-spiced and full of fresh clams and mussels, this featured natural briny and sweet flavours.

Milhouse has been one of most trusted eating companions since the start of this blog and I thought I should actually mention him by name as he ordered the Blackened Cod Sandwich with asian slaw and sambal mayo.  Although the piece of fish was a bit small, it was moist and flaky with a noticeable spice crust on the outside.  The slaw was crunchy while the mayo was only mildly spicy.  Brioche was toasted and held everything together being airy and soft. 

On my other visit, I split my Lobster Prawn Rolls with Tonya (not her real name) so I could get half of her sandwich (more on that later).  These featured the same soft brioche buns as the po'boy.  Inside, there was a good amount of both lobster and prawn which were texturally on point and also dressed just enough.  The side of fries, much like in the other dishes, were crunchy and stayed as such until the end.

Okay, the item I shared with Tonya was the Lobster Grilled Cheese on grilled sourdough.  This was really good with plenty of melted cheese and an equal amount of tender and moist lobster.  The sourdough was buttery and evenly crunchy that offered up the right texture contrasting the cheese and lobster.   So this is pretty clear, but I'll reiterate - the food at Harbour is solid and reasonably priced.  A good place to get your seafood fix in a casual spot with great service to boot.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Reasonable pricing
- Good service

The Bad:

- Seating is somewhat tight


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