Amongst the spectacular gardens and forests of Stanley Park sits the historic Fish House. Relax while we tantalize you with delicious fresh fish and seafood from the Pacific Northwest. Or sit back at the oyster bar with a micro-brewed beer, glass of wine, or a seasonal martini!
For a private event we offer three distinctive rooms, two of which feature patios opening onto the scenic natural beauty of Stanley Park. Whether holding a corporate event, a cocktail reception, family-style dinner or boutique wedding, we will create a memorable experience for you and your guests.
We celebrated my gf's dad's special day here after painstakingly deciding on a desirable restaurant that served well prepared fish. We were not disappointed.
Service was nicely redeemed after a brief mixup at the beginning. The staff (minus the busboys) are amiable and talkative and offered well thought suggestions.
Everyone ordered fish except for me, who instead opted for the steak frites. We had arctic char, smoked cod, salmon and ahi (yellowfin) tuna. All of us couldn't remember the last time we had such well prepared and cooked fish while the beets, asparagus and mash potatoes complimented the fish without being second string. The smoked cod was unfortunately overseasoned too heavily in an otherwise delicate and moist piece and my steak frites, well, was a typical cut. The cast iron mussels were a nice surprise, with a fantastic brown butter sauce that required substantial sopping while the lobster oil again was a welcome favourite. The meal was rounded off with the rhubarb and berry crumble and the buttermilk pie, both having met with approval.
The restaurant is simply decorated and understated with a simple yet elegant feel. It would be a fantastic place to dine on a sunny day with the windows open.
The gf's family have already earmarked FH on their list to return, which is a short list to begin with.
The Fish House is one of Stanley Park's gastronomic gems, a perfect place for a business or special lunch and easy to walk to from the West End. The service is efficient and friendly but it is advisable to let your server know if you have a time-limited lunch. The special of the day was fresh Halibut Cakes with a sweet potato/candied ginger puree that was out of this world, freshly buttered kale and a mild flavoured rice. Well worth the $14.95. Great appetizers and desserts if you want a 3 course lunch and an extensive wine list. Chef Karen Barnaby makes full use of the freshest fish and produce and the restaurant, which has recently been renovated, is both comfortable and stylish. We will be back for dinner!
Now it's just sub par. In the last couple of years, the food has really gone down. Way down. It doesn't seem to be as busy as it used to be when I visited at least. Never going back, but was sad to lose this place as one of my favourite dining spots for fish and creme brulee.... None of it is any good anymore. And are more often than not overcooked, and not at all tasty like it used to be.
Karen Barnaby has been around for quite a while as head chef at the Fish House. She was nice enough to even visit my highschool many years back for a presentation in my Career Preparation class. Years later (September 2004), I would visit her talked about restaurant and come away with a certain impression that had Barnaby's signature stamp on it.
The restaurant is built from a historic building and has the old Victorian-era feel to it; from entry, there was no doubt it was part of Stanley Park and its grandeur. There is an understated elegance to it that anyone can admire, particularly the old Grannies who believe they have affinity with the Queen of England. And to no surprise, besides quality seafood preps, the Fish House also happens to serve tea and biscuits during afternoon tea hour (a past time that is foreign to most Vancouverites who don't have any ties to England)
For lunch, we had the Asian-inspired Warm Salmon Entree Salad, a Special-of-the-day grilled salmon with tamales, and a cold seafood appetizer sampler. I especially enjoyed the sampler - fresh mussels, calamari and cocktail shrimp - each with their special garnishes and sauces. The Asian Salmon salad was a nice attempt, but too busy in texture and flavors to my exact liking. The bread served was also nice and baked fresh.
The food was well done, but I can't help but notice that the clientele is largely made of... well, there isn't really a nicer way of putting it....old folks. In spite of Karen's Barnaby's visible experimenation with Pan-Asian flavors in her cusine, you'll be hard-pressed to find young, hip, and beautiful Vancouverites dining here. Still, this was an enjoyable experience and the food was good - all stamped with Ms. Karen Barnaby's charm and culinary experience
In absence of the Cannery, we went to the Fish House to soak in some westcoast seafood goodness. Party of 7 adults for a birthday celebration and our meal did not disappoint. We started with some appies to share. Notable mentions were the sizzling cast iron mussels and salmon frites. The chorizo sausage really added the punch to the mussels. The salmon frites were fun and very similar to popcorn shrimp. The aioli dip added the real flavour. Hubby and I shared the $75 Seafood Cornucopia which came with king crab legs, lobster tail, scallops, prawn skewer..and oh yeah, a salmon or beef steak. We substituted for sablefish and were quite pleased. For two people this was definitely a seafood feast. Sable fish was well prepared and the scallops were monstrously big. The overall taste was lemon butter sauce. Very fresh seafood.
The service was attentive and professional. Our server made the extra effort to make it a memorable night for the birthday girl. Management gave the kitchen a heads up to present an extra "amuse bouche" between the appies and first course. The cream cheese filled salmon rolls were to die for and would be a hit if they added this to their regular menu. Desserts were solid but not particularly different or interesting. We ordered the creme brulee and some minty-chocolate cake for sharing.
Ambiance wise, the fish house is a mix of traditional and old country rose for the 'seasoned' folks. The building is old and the reno's are aligned to the heritage facade and history. Tables were spaced apart and perhaps it was due to the clientele, it was eerily quiet that evening. I prefer a lively atmosphere so knocked off a star rating for ambiance. The bathroom area in the basement is clean but felt dank and had a musty smell to it. I think during the summer, the patio would look gorgeous overlooking the park.
Value wise, it's comparable to the other seafood houses in the downtown core. Most seafood entrees hovered in the high $20s range. Good selection of fish and they did not skimp on the quality nor portion size. They had a decent selection of moderately priced wine. We ordered a locally produced pinot gris for $50 something. You're not getting the best value here but at least you're getting a wide selection of fish, some locally sourced.
Last night, I went to the Fish House to celebrate my Mom's b-day. I've actually been to the Fish House several times in the past and it has always been consistent and never disappointed me.
Our party of 4 started off with caesar salad and yam fries. The yam fries were delicious. For mains, we ordered 2 specials (halibut and lobster), steak frites, and crab cakes. The halibut was very tasty, very fresh and cooked to perfection. The steak frites was tasty too and it's a good deal at $21. The crab cakes were only okay.
Service was really good throughout the night. Our waitress knew it was my mom's b-day and took extra special care of her. She even gave her a balloon and took a picture of us with the restaurants' camera and printed it out for us on the spot.
Overall, it was a nice evening and I would definitely come back again.
ive been here a couple times and ive enjoyed it both times..
first time i came was with a date and we were treated very nicely when we walked in, the service throughout the night was very prompt so we were pleased with the overall service which always makes the dinner more memorable.
i order the pork loin but it was wayyyyy too salty, i like my food a little salty sometimes but this was overboard, i asked the waiter what they do with it and apparently they marinate it the night before with salt and other ingredients and cook it again (with more salt probably), i ended up having to "return" the dish and the waiter substituted it with the steak frites.. this was much better and more to my liking!
second time i came, i brought family from out of town because they were craving seafood/fish and thought this place would fulfill that urge.. they ordered the artic char with this sweet spicy chilly sauce and they loved it! i ordered the steak frites again because thats what made up for my previous experience so i knew i couldnt go wrong... its always nice to bring guests and have them be content with the food, i was happy and so were they.
the prices are not through the roof. it is reasonable for what they have and for the quality of the meal so its a great place without having to pay high prices
i would come here again without a doubt, would probably try something different though and im sure i would enjoy it just as much... awesome place and would recommend to anyone who wants a great meal!
I have been dining here for special occasionals for over 11 years. I find the service and food to be consistantly good.
Yes, there are other restaurants that are more trendy, have more innovative dishes, etc. However, when I have guests visiting from outside the Lower Mainland, I always bring them here. I have never been disappointed with this restaurant.
The fish is always fresh and perfectly prepared. The dishes are tasty. The wine list is extensive (with a lot of BC Wines). The staff are knowledgable and take pride in their work. They are pleasant and accomodating without ever showing "attitude."
If I want a quiet, pleasant dinner out with the dear husband. I will happily shell out money for a babysitter and come to dinner here. I know that I will have a good meal in pleasant surroudings by competent staff. No surprises. That's a good thing when dinners out are a rare and (with babysitting fees) an expensive treat.
Speaking of prices, the prices are not "great" however, there are entertainment coupons available, which make the dining experience more affordable. They also have an early seating special.
Went today for a girls lunch and we had a great time! The whole meal was wonderful from start to finish. We had the steamed mussels for a share appetizer and it was soooooo good! OMG! The mussels were huge and the portion size was great for sharing. some places give you barely enough to taste the food. Our dish had about a dozen huge meaty mussels in a lovely coconut thai sauce with tomatos. The deep fried tortilla shell(?) wasn't great tasting though. Tasted funny to me. Maybe the oil. I had the fish & chips and the fish pieces were very generous. A nice and tasty beer batter without being heavy in the stomach. My friend had a fish hash dish and she said it was really good. For dessert,.... creme brulee of course and it was fabulous as always. A generous portion with a yummy sweet carmelized top. Soooooo good. We love coming here for girls lunch and we're never disappointed. Service is almost always with a smile and the food has never let us down. Love it!
Outstanding seems an appropriate description for the Fish House, but I prefer "very good". I hadn't been for years and ended up there on a whim. We were seated without reservation and received prompt and friendly attention from the outset (and throughout the course of the meal). Had a special of three types of salmon with veggies and a couple glases of house Gewurtztrameiner. All was well until... the dreaded obnoxious American tourist made his presence known. We were peppered with some innocent questions but mostly bullshit throughout our meal. I can't really hold this against the Fish House though: were they to eject every obnoxiuous American who entered the place they'd be out of business. We finished the meal with some innovative and attractive desserts and left with a reasonable tab. I've heard the Fish House sometimes described as a kitschy touristy restaurant, and it may sometime be avoided by locals for that reason. However, I have always been well treated and served above average seafood everytime I've been there and, so, obnoxious tourists be damned, I'll go back there again (though next time I'll get a seat in a corner).
My last time at the Fish House, my fish was overcooked so I sent it back - only to get the same piece returned to me. I don't mind giving a place a second chance but please don't insult my intelligence and respect my time and money.
I go to the Fish House whenever my friends visit from England. I am consistently impressed by the food and the service. One thing that is irritating is that they got rid of the sampler platter, which was always what I looked foward to.
I take back what i said in my previous review,
This place is hit or miss which its never been before
but i went there three times in the last month and have been
extremely sorry. The Ahi Tuna comes over done now to the point where its burnt! Same with the creme brulee, it came with a black top instead of the regular brown. Everything else is an inch above par. I can imagine they've changed staff quite a bit i never really see the same staff twice, it looks like they've hired very underage servers. The waitress who took my order had purple hair and looked 12 (A true sign of class folks) I wouldn't have had any problems though had my meals come within an hour of being seated. I'm sad to lose this place its called the fish house but the fish now comes burnt and with attitude when you ask the servers to replace it. I wont return or recommend.
the fish house isn't much to look at but the food fricken rocks it out like nobody's business. dishes are impeccably prepared with the most outstanding scrumptious flavours known to man. service is surprisingly unpretentious and genuine and really made the experience wonderful. value is decent considering you're getting food that is definitely fine dining, but probably more affordable as a special occasion than an every weekend thing. i seriously can't wait to go back!
Did our anniversary dinner on a week night. Food is good ... I was impressed with the Ahi Tuna; but less impressed with the seafood platter my wife had. It was a weeknight with tennis players in track pants and what seemed like casual diners (jeans/tees) in big groups ... we were expecting something a little more romantic and upper class - but it's probably different on the weekends. Our waitress was a star ... she gave us just the right amount of service and gave us all the time we needed. Try it for a solid dine out.
The ambiance of the restaurant was above average I would say, pleasant decor, clean, and presented as a high class restaurant.
The service was good, maybe a little nervous or unsure of the menu though.
The food, well, not so good.
We had the fish and chips. Presentation was interesting but a little cumbersome. The fish looked as though it had come straight out of a box bought from the freezer at Safeway. It wasn't that particularly tasty or spectacular. If you are expecting British style fish and chips then forget it.
Also had the grilled salmon cakes that came with a salad, walnuts and feta cheese. The salad had too much dressing on it, way too overpowering. The salmon cakes were ok, not spectacular, a little dry, they tasted much better soaked in tartar sauce...which took the taste of the cakes away.
The best thing they gave us was the mini croissant at the beginning of the meal. If the restaurant focused on those croissant rather than the seafood I might go there again!
The toilets were clean and presentable although a little difficult to find. No good if you wheelchair access as far as I could see since you have to go down a flight of stairs to get to them.
The was a recce to see if we wanted to bring our family here, the answer to that is we won't.
Sorry, I really did want to mark the restaurant higher but couldn't.
As a Toronto local, a trip to Vancouver provides an opportunity to have fresh seafood. It was a special dinner as I was visiting a friend that I was not able to see that often.
I decided to splurge and have the King Crab. You can imagine my dissapointment when the crab came to the table frozen. Not just cold.....frozen. Obviously the Crab was not fresh and had been taken from the freezer not the ocean that was feet away. It all was down hill from then.
When I pointed this out the manager apologized however the waiter did not seem that upset and almost dismissed us. In my opinion we should have been provided a complimentary dessert or treated in some other way.
I found the Fish House to be very mediocre. All sides were the same and it did not have a chef feel. Next time I will not venture to Stanley Park Fish House. Feels like it might have been nice once but has a worn out, low star rating feel. A chain would have been better and more value. Do not go for a special dinner.
Not a great expereience and I would not recommend it.
Had dinner recently at the Fish House and must say I was disappointed though not surprised by the food, given the location (Stanley Park) and the restaurant ownership (off-shore corporation). I had only ever eaten there once before at a function and had a decent meal at that time. On my most recent visit, I ordered the crab cocktail as a starter and the chili-sauced sablefish. The crab cocktail was made with rock crab, which I have never had before. The serving was very generous, with more than half a cup of crab meat. Rock crab however can't compare in flavour and texture to Dungeness; I won't be ordering rock crab again. The sablefish was perfectly cooked but the accompanying vegetables (golden beet, squash, kale, asparagus and risotto timbale) didn't compliment the fish or work well together. There was just no interplay of flavours at all. Dessert was a generous slice of heavy Black Forest cake that I immediately regretted ordering. Coffee was good. Service was efficient and friendly. The Fish House makes a laudable effort to support sustainable fisheries but serves the most pedestrian banquet-style food. There are a dozen restaurants in Vancouver that do a better job preparing the same types of fish at better prices.
Over the years The Fish House has pleased me like no other restaurant.
The veranda gallery was set with comfortable chairs and well spaced tables.
We sat under the canopy facing the ocean on this pleasant afternoon.
I have enjoyed many fine meals here.
We were serviced with gusto by an attentive staff.
The libations were made with care and the selections of wine were noteworthy.
My wife and I ordered a selection of starters, Prawn Spring Rolls, Coconut Cream Mussels,
Crab Louies Salad and a bowl of made to order Clam Chowder with fresh manila clams.
Each presentation was generous and tasty.
The Lobster Balsamic dipping sauce for bread made a most perfect flavour hit!
The greens were fresh and crisp and the sauces well formed.
The Spring rolls were bursting with good flavours and the chilli nut dip was right on.
The mussels and the chowder made our flavour buds come alive with layers of flavour.
Even though Chef Karen was absent the food and service was perfectly executed and she should be proud of her co workers that they were well rehearsed and performed well.
When most chain restaurants charge large for mediocre fare and drinks with little satisfaction.
The Fish House has and still is one great restaurant to entertain your taste buds and make you feel like you just received some good old fashioned service with pride.
I frequent the Fish House because I love their sablefish. Granted it's not a large portion, but I guess it's enough for me to come back again and again.
The ambiance is very quaint and the servers are always attentive. The wine list is extensive and they have my favourite bottle of wine, which is usually sold out in speciality liquor stores by the time I get there. So try the Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser.
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