|Jackpot! The place we were looking for :D|
What? The Olde Yorke Fish & Chips for what else other than fish & chips! :D
Where? 96 Laird Dr (off Eglinton ave east, East York)
The skinny: Touted to have “the best fish & chips in Toronto”, I decided to hit up this family-run pub (yep, they’re licensed!) to have my first fish & chips experience. Line-ups out the door are not uncommon for this joint so there's also a take out option (separate entrance). Recommended were the calamari app, halibut & chips, haddock & chips, and homemade key lime pie.
|Halibut & Chips|
There were four of us who came. Don’t want to be mean, but the rainy (London-like) weather kind of set the mood. In a good way! It was sprinkling, Mike was wearing his wellies, and we were going to eat fish & chips, how oddly perfect is that?! Haha I’ll admit, not really. But I was super excited about chatting up with some friends over an expectedly good meal. :)
Check out the beautifully thick chips (aka fries)! --->
(more on that later)
The décor is homey and welcoming. Awesome traditional red leather booths in the dining area by the bar.
|Red suede stools by the bar.|
The menu’s concise and straightforward. I like that. It's focused and the quality can be maintained throughout each item.
Was going back and forth between getting the haddock or halibut. We asked our server (Vera; who was fantastic, attentive, and funny!) and she recommended either the cod or haddock (the latter being her fave). She had sound reasons for her preference so I was sold!
We got started with some bread and butter. The usual. Nice soft bread.
|Our view outside. (across the street is a construction site...) haha|
More of their cute, homey touches such as this mini lamp with a red lampshade that matches their overall colour scheme.
|Crested plates. Pretty cool! OOH! I just noticed the bell in the corner of the bar. Neat!|
Our food came fairly quickly, probably 10-15 minutes after we ordered. It was hot, fresh, and calling to us. Or well, I speak for myself in this case…my tummy was audibly growling at this point :] Took a few quick shots and then we all dug in.
Shrimp & Chips ($11.90)
Funny story. Phoenix ordered this before remembering that she doesn’t like “battered shrimp” (aka shrimp tempura). In the end, she didn’t change her order and actually warmed up to it.
|At first glance, it's a little difficult to discern the shrimp from the chips, but you'll see it. ;)|
|My attempt at a close-up of the shrimp.|
The shrimps were plump, juicy, and the batter was light. The cocktail sauce that came with it was tangy but not entirely necessary. Nice way to add some punch to the shrimp though.
Cod & Chips ($11.20)
Pretty darn fantastic. Same light batter. Not greasy at all and the tartar sauce went with the fish really well. Mike thoroughly enjoyed his fish. The portions are rather substantial and they are definitely filling!
|6 oz of pure, real cod. Check out those crispy bits of deep fried batter!!! So exciting!!|
(try your best to leave room for dessert…But we all know that we ALWAYS have room for dessert. If that means sharing the remnants of your main or eating less comp bread, then so be it. ;D)
|Can you see the texture difference from the haddock (left) and the cod (right)?|
Haddock & Chips ($11.20)
There were two of us who had ordered this upon Vera’s recommendation. I was willing to shell out the extra toonie for the halibut but was glad that I didn’t. The haddock was so enjoyable! As usual, the batter was light and not overpowering but the fish was thick. I do love those crispy bits where the batter kinda clumped up slightly. Mmmmm….deep fried deliciousness.
|6 oz piece of haddock. See, no intensely oily sheen reflecting off of the fish! :)|
|Lemon & coleslaw|
No, there was no grease and oil dripping from the fish---a (now past) longstanding fear of mine. :) The haddock had a nice, almost buttery texture—creamy may be a better word. Still flaky though, in the good sense.
Each dish came with chips (aka fries) and coleslaw. The chips were thick and plenty. I’m used to fries where the “potato” isn’t staring you in the face. With these, you encounter real, freshly cut fries that are “meaty” and slightly floury…I enjoyed them!
|The paper thimble is about 2/3 the size of your palm--kinda substantial?|
The coleslaw was coleslaw. Served in a big version of a paper thimble (think fast food chains’ ketchup thimbles x4), it was nothing special. It did provide a different flavour, texture and colour to contrast the fish & chips.
|One for the each of us.|
Surprisingly, the tartare sauce didn’t come with the fish but was given upon request, in small plastic containers.
Dessert time! I was hoping that we would order 2 different desserts but everyone was mainly eyeing the “Homemade Apple Crisp”.
|Originally with vanilla ice cream|
The apples are sliced super thin and the layers are stacked high and topped with a great crumble. It wasn't soft to the point of being mushy so you can differentiate each layer! :D:D The scoop of vanilla ice cream is essential to contrasting the tart sweetness of the apples, it’s warmth, and the crisp of the topping. I really would’ve liked to try the deep fried pineapple rings and the homemade key lime pie. Next time!
|With chocolate ice cream. Can you see the apple layers!?|
P.S. Yes, there exists a certain deep fried treat with the words “mars bar” in its title. Be intrigued but know that it’s not what this place is known for ;)
|The rain had subsided by the end of our meal. (imagine the clouds parting) :)|
|There's a door further left of this one, for take out|
Verdict: Great way to be introduced to fish & chips. I can see why people enjoy it so much. With great service, a warm atmosphere, good company, the great food is appreciated even more. :D This joint’s fish & chips are pretty legit so I’ll definitely be returning in the future. Perhaps order the calamari app and the chowder to share.
5 out of 5 NOMs