Monday, October 31, 2011


Fishbar (@_fishbar) on Ossington is a tapas style wine bar dedicated to oysters and seafood. The Ossington strip is home to some of my favourite restaurants in Toronto such as Pizzeria Libretto, Foxley, and Golden Turtle. It's definitely a very happening neighbourhood in terms of food.

I went with a group of seven friends to Fishbar several weeks ago. We wanted to try it out because Fishbar is very active on Twitter, constantly tempting their followers with pictures of ceviche and oysters haha. Most of the seafood offered at Fishbar is also sourced locally and is Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood.

The sign outside Fishbar (left) and a list of oysters available that day written on the mirror near the entrance inside the restaurant (right).

Oysters on the bar.

Our table was at the back of Fishbar. As you can see, the restaurant is very long and narrow.

My view...

A cool set of mirrors above me. However, my friend Diana (@pronosher) didn't like it after awhile as she was getting a bit dizzy from looking at it (especially because the ceiling fan was on). 

Octopussy Martini - Vodka, fresh oyster (2 oz, $11) - I had to get this because it is Fishbar's signature cocktail. I didn't like it though; I found it really salty. Others took a sip and thought it was ok...maybe I just don't like martinis.

Shrimp Caesar Cocktail - Fresh horseradish, vodka, wild caught shimp (2oz, $11) - Went back to my favourite cocktail, the Caesar (I couldn't finish the Octopussy Martini). This is not just any normal Caesar but a SHRIMP Caesar with a ball of horseradish on it! Ohhh this was so good and tasty =) I could drink probably 3 to 4 of these.

My friends Mack (@MackChiu), Dan (@deguzzi), Jason (@LO_TEK) and I shared the following 6 dishes.

1) Two dozen oysters - I don't have the price for these. The oysters were good but nothing spectacular. 

Various dipping sauces for the oysters. From left to right: Cocktail sauce, Ponzu, and Apple Jalapeno.

2) Crispy Calamari - Sriracha aioli ($7) - I loved these deep fried calamari. The outer layer was hot and crispy and as for the aioli, sriracha is one of my favourite hot sauces so this combo was perfect.

3) Fried Ocean Smelts - Sea salt, fresh lemon ($6) - These were good but not amazing like the calamari.

4) Non GMO Local Edamame - Nori salt ($6) - We were all very disappointed with the edamame. They were limp, had zero crunch, and most of them had brown edges! To be honest I've had way better edamame for free at Japanese restaurants.

5) Fishbar Ceviche - Coriander oil, sweet potato matchsticks ($15) - The ceviche was very tasty with decent size fish (I do not like fish that is chopped too finely in a ceviche). I did not care for the sweet potato matchsticks as they were not crispy and kinda wet. The portion here was extremely small - the four of us only had one very small small spoonful of ceviche and it was already all gone.

6) Fishbar Sashimi - Mackerel, pickled plums, honey wasabi ($14) - The mackerel was really fresh - very shiny, pink in colour and glistening under the light. The honey wasabi was nice and went well with the mackerel.

I didn't get to taste the following three dishes. Nancy (@soda_ninja), Diana, and Vicki (@momwhoruns) ordered their own dish and didn't share with anyone *hmph* =P

Catrina Bay Scallops - Humita, chorizo oil ($14)

Beer Battered Fish & Chips - Line caught Pacific Cod, hand cut fries, tartar sauce ($12) 

PEI Mussels - Spanish chorizo, tomato ($9)

After our six dishes, the four of us were not even close to full. We knew if we wanted to be "full" we would eat ourselves broke at Fishbar (it doesn't help that all four of us were extremely hungry going in). We decided to get the bill and walked over to Golden Turtle for pho (we dropped by Pizzeria Libretto but it was packed out the door).

Except for the edamame, the food at Fishbar was tasty and of high quality. However, I found the portions to be way too small, even for tapas-style dishes. 

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