Victoria: The Fish Store

Happy new year! I figured I'd begin the new year of food blogging by concluding a set of food adventures to bring some sort of closure to the wild ride that was last year. I've still got a bunch of posts to put up so January will be a busy month. :) Here's the last and probably most fun food adventure we had during our stay in Victoria last summer during Nationals (for dragonboat). Eating at The Fish Store in Fisherman's Wharf was probably the most anticipated meal during that entire week. It wasn’t just the food and atmosphere that made it special; it was the journey, literally.

Fisherman's Wharf
Victoria, B.C 

 The Fish Store (@flotngfishstore):
"When it comes to seafood, fresher is always better, and whether you are looking for some seafood to take home with you or a bite to eat on the dock you can rest assured that our location right here on Fisherman’s Wharf means that only the freshest seafood is available. There are times of the year when many of the items in our store have never been on land…..until you walk off the dock with them!" 

For hours, check their site. Right now, their winter hours are 11am - 4pm, 7 days. 

This was our last day in the capital of B.C. (hands up if you thought Vancouver was the capital!). Like I mentioned in a previous post (Ferris Oyster), there were a few of us on the team that had been craving seafood and oysters since we landed in the west coast but abstained until after racing just in case our stomachs didn’t agree with our appetites. 

Well this was it. The day for oysters has come! To make the most of the day, we rented bikes (imma sound all valley girl here but only because the following statement is so true, “best idea ever!”) and rode around the shoreline. We stopped at Breakwater to relax for a bit, eat our veg snacks and ponder about life. Tim’s “life quotes” were horrendous, but entertaining. Ie. “Guys! Life—is like the waves, it goes in and out. You never know which way it’ll go.” 
A no-bullsh*t menu. Gotta love these.
While the sun wasn’t out, it was still great to be doing something active and having the mobility of a bike meant more exploration! We arrived at the Fisherman’s Wharf HUNGRY. I mean the five of us were ready to chow down. The Fish Store, like most other places that offer oysters, has a “Buck a Shuck” deal. We took advantage of that. 

The marina where boats are docked. Not that cool? Well how about this: while we waited for our food, a boat pulled in, FRESHLY caught salmon were divided into containers and slid right into the back of The Fish Store. It doesn’t get any fresher than that! 

For a dollar a piece, you get salmon scraps to feed to seals. The tricky part is the game of patience you play while waiting for seals to come to you. Tim couldn’t justify spending money on food that he wouldn’t be eating so he spectated. 

The ads for king crab outside the airport sat in the back of our minds until this moment, when we found out we could eat the fresh stuff, steamed to order. Can we have one please?! Sounded like a fantastic idea at the time, you’ll find out why not so much in a bit…

Our loot! We were pretty sensible. Some oysters, tacos, chowder (that came with some focaccia), and CRAB.  

3 Way Salmon Chowder – local salmon fillet, smoked salmon and candied salmon in a creamy broth with onion, potato and corn (12 oz, $7)
So good. If I could, I’d bring a vat of this home with me.  
“Our soups are made right here on the dock from the freshest ingredients. Focaccia bread is served with the 12 and 16 ounce bowls”

“Buck a Shuck” – between 3pm-5pm, $1 feature oysters!
These weren’t showstopping oysters, but they sorta hit the spot? Got a few bits of shell and grit here and there which didn’t help. Oyster craving—not fully satiated. 

Fish Tacos (soft corn tortilla, house smoked tomato salsa, shredded cabbage, citrus cream, fresh cilantro and lime
Salmon (1 pc, $5)

Pacific Cod (1 pc, $5)
These were good and grilled well. I really liked that they kept it simple and didn’t try to do anything super fancy to the fresh fish. Sometimes simplicity is the best way! 

Steamers (“shellfish gently steamed and served when just done, accompanied by focaccia bread”)
Local Dungeness Crab (MP,  it came up to around $9.50pp)
This turned out to be a lot pricier than any of us anticipated. Seems like it was around $20/lb. That could’ve been rationalized if you get the WHOLE crab, head, brains and all but nope, just the legs. What a downer. I know you be using that in your stocks but we paid for it and we’re Asian, so we’re not scared of eating it/making our own stock with it! Also, how unimpressive is this?! :( 
Verdict: A few hits and misses. That 3 way salmon chowder is still on my mind for all the right reasons while the rip off that were the crab legs sits as a poor reminder of how the meal ended. Still, I’d return if I ever find myself in Victoria again because besides the slight crab hiccup, the food is all prepared with integrity. Also, it seems like you can buy live dungeness crab from them for $6/lb. Will do that next time! And I really do like their motto, "fresher is always better!"

3.5 out of 5 NOMs
The Fish Store on Urbanspoon