TROLLS Restaurant in Horseshoe Bay has a diverse menu that includes other offerings than the seafood for which it is famous. The Horseshoe Bay location is the original Troll's, opened in 1946 by Joe Troll. His family still runs the place, and it's become legendary among fish and chip connoisseurs.
I considered Trolls a convenient place to eat if you are in a hurry or waiting for the ferry to arrive with a beautiful view of the water. The view is INCREDIBLE from here, a real privilege that this places takes for granted. I had been here twice before but didn’t remember having had a bad experience. This time around, I suggested to my boyfriend to make a stop at Trolls. Whyyyy?? We were practically ignored when we arrived and once we managed to get seated, it look our waiter nearly 15 minutes to bring us our menu. He didn’t even apologize! The food was not even good to my disappointment. My fish looked old and the chips tasted bland. The fact that the place smelled funky didnt help either. Bad bad experience.
Troll’s has been an institution in Horseshoe Bay for decades, and I go about twice a year to take in the view and eat F&C. It was a mellow summer evening and so my wife and I took our friends from distant Coquitlam for the experience.
The food here doesn’t change much, although I noticed two things that were different: The portions were a lot smaller (i.e. size of the fish pieces and the amount of chips) and the side of coleslaw (now called Trollslaw) is bigger. I had the cod and chips, another of our group had the halibut and chips, a third had salmon and chips, one hearty eater had the 3 kinds of fish and chips, and Mrs. Chasiubow who is ever contrary had the prawns and avocado salad. We started with a pound of BBQ wings which were 7 meaty pieces first fried in batter then dipped in BBQ sauce. They were pretty good, and they kept us alive until our mains arrived 30 minutes later.
The fish had a thick batter, but it tasted fresh, and it wasn’t horribly greasy. The chips were fresh cut, but from inferior potatoes and were not exceptional. According to my wife, the prawn part of the salad was okay, but the rest of the salad was wilted and stale.
They also have a Troll’s beer which is a nice brown ale. One of our group had a bottle of Canadian which arrived warm and sans verre. According to our server they were out of chilled glasses and the beer had just been put in the cooler.
The ambience is okay, and the staff tries to keep up with the onslaught of ferry passengers and tourists while maintaining their good humour. It just seems that the Troll’s of memory is always better than the reality of the place.
You cant really screw up fish and chips...so for me i didn't mind the meal, its the service that was atrocious!
Break it down:
took forever to take our drink / food order
water was left empty the whole meal - until asked multiple times to fill it
meal took FOREVER to arrive even though not that busy
waitress never asked how things were going
waitress took forever to clear our dishes
waitress took forever to give us the bill despite our flaggin her down!
wont be back ever..
Came here two weekends ago on a beautiful late summer day looking for a good feed of fish and chips.
Despite it being rather busy the friendly server found us a spot on the patio.
This is not a cheap fish and chips sort of place. A little higher than average price wise I would say and the portion size is more minnow than blue whale.
The fish I ordered was just fine, haddock two piece for around 16.00 bucks. It came with a smattering of fries and a thimble sized container of coleslaw. The fish was not overly battered or greasy but had little taste. Thanks to a few fresh squeezes of lemon I tried to kick it up a notch.
My dining partner ordered a bowl, and when I say bowl I use that term lightly, of clam chowder. Not sure if there was a contest on at the restaurant called "find the clam" in the clam chowder but if there was he was a grand prize winner. He reported one whole clam total in the chowder, easy enough to find in this very small bowl for well over six dollars.
I have no complaints about service whatsoever. Our server was very pleasant, prompt and attentive.
I realize Trolls is an iconic fish and chips place in the area but I'm just thinking it was probably much better back in the day.
Haven't been to Troll's for many years & I think it has improved. We got a seat at the window and it was great watching the ferries coming & going. I think our server was there the last time I visited many years ago & she offered super service. I notice lots of customers were there & they had lots of servers working so we didn't wait very long for our food
We went here for breakfast Saturday. The sausages are thick and quite tasty, the potato pancakes were very crispy and delicious. Would recommend the breakfast special here. We kept waiting at the door for a server but no one appeared for a long time so we had to walk all the way in before we spotted a server..
I've heard about Troll's at Horseshoe Bay since I moved to the Lower mainland years ago. I finally got there last week but was disappointed with the food and restaurant in general. I don't understand what people rave about? The view and location is naturally spectacular but the restaurant itself is mediocre at best.
It started with a 10 minute unattended wait to be seated even though there was no line up and the restaurant was only at 60% capacity. Got a seat eventually and service was provided but I'm not sure if it was sarcastic or just plain retarded. Waiter found the order for an O'Keefe's Extra Old Stock incomprehensible and when the order was finally changed in exasperation to scotch and water on the rocks, he wanted to know if we wanted hot or cold water with the drink? WTF ? The food was decent, but I'd rather spend my money in some place that has earned its reputation and not just relied on Mother Nature to do all the heavy lifting. Don't bother.
It's been 6 months since I've been to Trolls, once upon a time we used to go a lot but not as much as some of the food hasn't been consistent in taste.
I went back today and decided I will never return. They really have downhill that we left extremely dispointed. Spending $9 on a sandwich you would think it would be yummy and lots of, but no. We ordered the shrimp sandwich because I remember how awesome it used to be with the shrimp in an incredible dressing.
What did we get? You know those long toothpicks that they use to hold the sandwiches together? The bread on my sandwich was not as wide or long as the toothpick - that was the tiniest bread I've seen in my life. It's sad when the toothpick holding the sandwich together is longer than the bread. The shrimp sandwich had no dressing in at all. It was toast (not fully toasted) with 1 slice of lettuce, tomato slices, shrimp but no dressing, mayo or anything. It was so bland I was so disappointed.
And the fries - they were so uncooked they were mushy. And the amount? Half the amount of fries there used to be. Tiny sandwhich, few fries and I paid $9 for that? that "child size" meal should have cost no more than $5. We both ordered the same sandwich and both had the same disappointing reaction.
The server was quick, except when I wanted to ask for more ketchup as the ketchup on the table was empty no servers would attend to us.
And to top of it off, the table was wet that my sleeves were soaked after resting them on the table.
Sorry folks, but the service and food was such a disappointment that I left feeling that they cut way too many corners to save a buck in their budget. Their cutting to save cut us out as repeat customers. With so many choices in Horseshoe Bay I'll just have to try out some other restaurants there.
This past Sunday, myself and two other friends decided to stop at Troll's for lunch, having been enticed by the fish and chips advertisement on an outside sandwich board.
I don't want to comment too much on the cleanliness of the outside of the building or the inside decor of Trolls as I have eaten in a number of restaurants with outdated decor but incredible food and service. Trolls is not one of them.
Friends and I sat down on oddly low chairs and booth seats. The atmosphere was busy with patrons who were a mix of ferry passengers and locals.
I had been interested in the fish and chips but found the prices to be overly expensive for one piece of fish. So, I opted for the warm artichoke and crap dip.
The crab dip arrived on a plate with multi-coloured tortilla chips which were cold and it was obvious that I was given the bottom of the bag with more broken dime size chip pieces than whole. The crab dip had cheese melted on the top and was then covered with salsa...salsa? Weird.
They only way I knew it was crab dip as it was impossible to see pieces of crab was when i had to pull out three pieces of crab cartiledge. Nice.... As as for artichoke, I did not see any evidence of that in my bowl. The flavour was okay but the food was somewhat greasy so I didn't finish it. I have had artichoke crab dips in the past that were less creamed cheese and more artichoke, crab. This crab dip was more akin to a puree.
We decided to have some dinner while waiting to pickup a friend from the ferry and thought we hadn't been to Troll's in such a long time why not give it a go. Big mistake,,,i remember it when the fish and chips tasted so fresh and the chips were piled high and had home made tarter sauce and nice crispy coleslaw.
This place has gone so far downhill,,,this was the greasiest fish I have ever tasted and I had to ask the waitress if I could have more then 10 french fries, even she was embarrassed. The coleslaw was bagged and so oily with some prepackaged dressing it was soggy, uneatable!
Franky I would never go back here,,,the food is awful the service sucks hugely and it is so OVERPRICED...
Sea Lovers has Troll's beat hands down for fish and chips if you can imagine that!
I think there must be new owners or people who only care about quantity and not quality, we won't be back
The Troll's of yesteryear is long gone........where you had a friendly face meet you at the door to seat you, not a condescending teenager with a part time job who could care less to even be there. Waitress's who are more interested in chatting about boys etc and not the paying customers, its a shame,,,Troll's name was built on good food and a great place to eat........what happened is anybody's guess,,,sign of the times I suppose
Never going back
The location and view are really spectacular - the hustle of the bay with backdrop of the mountains. Really beautiful.
The food...sucks. Disgusting manhattan clam chowder, pretty bad burger too. No fresh oysters ?! How can you not have fresh oysters at a seafood restaurant ? They hadn't run out, they were just not on the menu.
If I came back it'd be for a coffee, so I can sit down and enjoy being there without having to shove down some nasty grub.
I have been going to Trolls for years as my family is always early for ferries, so when me and friends had some time to kill and rumbling tummies, my vote went for Trolls. Both boys disagreed with my but since I'm pregnant, they caved!!!
Troll's has gone so much down hill its not even funny, its a combination of overcooked discussing overpriced food and terrible service. I had chicken strips, who can mess up chicken strips? Well they were not only taking their sweet time cooking the food but they were noticeable overcooked, so when I tried them it was no surprise that they were completely dry and disgusting. Now normally it would have been fine but our server never checked in how our food was. I had to track her down and tell her about our food. She didn't apologize, she just said "I'll get you another one" but in a tone that less than satisfying that I was complaining. I waited forever to get another meal which needless to say was just as unsatisfying as the previous. Our waiter yet again, didn't come to see how I was liking my meal only came when my friends flagged her down. By this time, I had lost my appetite, and didn't want another else. I told her once again about the meal and she just walked away with it and eventually got our bill. I was disappointed to see that I had to pay 100% of my meal... which made me 100% unsatisfied...
In all, service is terrible, I had an empty glass of water the entire time and gross food as did the rest of my party. Luckily for them, we had to leave for the ferry, so didn't have any more time to complain.
When I got home, I told my husband who said; "I could have told you that, I went there not too long ago and it was disgusting"
Needless to say, I will never be going back. I'd rather have ferry food which I might add has gotten way better over these past years. Can't say I didn't warn you!!!
This is the 3rd time we had breakfast at Troll's & every time you can smell the urine that came from the Men's toilet.
This morning the whole restaurant smelt of piss so we had to sit in the outside patio. The female server was exceptionally rude "everyone here is waiting for the ferry" when I simply told her that we have been trying to flag down a server to order our breakfast to no avail after 10 minutes, when they are not even busy this morning.
Food was mediocre except for the hash brown patties. This will be our last visit but Vancouver Coastal Health should be knocking on their door....hopefully before too long..
What to Do About Bad Restaurant Service
So They Got Our Order Wrong, Dirty Table, Wet Chair, Bad Attitude, had forgotten the drinks and Bathrooms were Not Working, Late to serve customer, Again? On top of that, there were Extra unrecognized Charges. I'm sure we've all experienced bad service at one point or another. So, what do we do about it? Most people just never go back to that restaurant again, but is that really going to hurt them, if just one or two people quit coming to their restaurant? No. There are things we can do to make up for the bad service though. It all depends on the level of bad service we received.
Level One: The wait staff never checked in on your table and let your drinks go un-served or empty. I did not expected to be a lot worse, but the best thing to do in this situation is to not leave a tip. The wait staff at most restaurants make below minimum wage and depend on their tips. So get them where it hurts: their wallet.
Level Two: The wait staff was rude, argues with customer, threw your food on the table, and treated you poorly. This is when it's time to get a manager involved. The waitress was extremely hateful and had thrown our drinks on the table and never would bring our food to the table, her excuse was changing shift and she is off for the day, we had to wait for the next server 40 minutes later. People who had gotten there after us were all getting their food, but we weren't. Eventually another waitress brought our food and was wrong order, our drink was on the bar sitting for 12 minutes,so we had to get up and help ourselves. We spoke to the manager when leaving and he insisted on 30 % discount paying for the meal, charged for 3 Halibut instead of snappers, but then served snappers instead of Halibut. In this situation, Are we there for cheaper bill or were we there for enjoying pleasant serving and good food would definitely not go back to this restaurant despite the manager fixed the problem. We did not ask for discount to being with!
Having visited Troll for the past 31 years and ate more than 8 times a year, I was proud to take my friends from out of town there, I certainly enjoyed the food then, but for the past two years, something has changed. All I can say is that this is not the place that it once was!! I question myself if I should give it 'another chance' as I am always hoping that it lives up to my 31 years of good memories of each wedding anniversary. The owner needs to stay on top of things. They are letting things slip too often. The service is getting poorer. Servers keep making unfounded excuses for poor service well it is one of those days, because 'they are busy' really! Our food was salty, dry, dirty glasses, wet chairs, wet tables, late serving the food up to 1 hour. Husband Ordered his usual moist Hamburger, very disappointed, it was too dry, no taste, what happened to his usual moist meat. Driving from Vancouver to Horseshoe bay is not cheap on gas either, but to reach there and find that they served you snapper instead of Halibut and the server trying to convince me that it is Halibut, get real! , but when you get the receipt, you will find they charged you extra to cover their mistakes for ordered were not even served. So, what happened to the 'chips' and the so called Trollslaw... as in fish-n-chips and side dishes? They have downgraded these to the flimsy pale skinny fries I expect from a food court and tasteless slaw. The quality of the fish is inconsistent, overcooked, onion over fish!
Common guys! Not ideal. The service is terrible... forgotten items / wrong items / wrong sides, one served and other 4 waiting for extra 30 minutes. I asked my husband, is this a 'White Spot' atmosphere? Their quality no longer matches their prices. Where the owners keeping tabs on things? It is a big (Q) if to go back there!
Having lived nearby this place for over 35 years, I have had the chance to eat here off and on over the years. All I can say is that this is not the place that it once was!! I keep on giving it 'another chance' as I am always hoping that it lives up to my memories of how it was 10-15 years ago. I think that they forget that there is now more competition nearby... and they need to stay on top of things. Instead, they are letting things slip. Great location / great views. But, the service is poor. I hate the way restaurants excuse away poor service because 'they are busy'. This place has been here for so many years... they should be prepared for the busy dinner hour on a Mother's Day Sunday.
Yes, most of our food was fine.. and my seafood club was great. But, what happened to the 'chips'... as in fish-n-chips? They have downgraded to these to the flimsy pale skinny fries I expect from a food court. Gone are the quality chips they once had. And yes, as others have commented.. the quality of the fish is inconsistent. Not ideal. The service is terrible... forgotten items / wrong items / wrong sides.
If you want a place with a 'White Spot' attitude where the kids can drop food on the floor and color on the table.. and nobody cares.. then go here. If you want 'ok' food with poor service in a great setting.. then go here. But, their quality no longer matches their climbing prices. I miss the days when the owners were there... walking around.. saying 'hello' and keeping tabs on things. I don't think I will go back.
a shame really.
Was at Troll's in Horseshoe Bay over the weekend and found the food and service to be substantially improved from some of the previous reviews (which I read while at my table, and had me more than a bit worried).
We both ordered fish & chips (salmon and cod), and got large portions of fish in a nice, light batter, as well as a huge heap of chips that were very tasty. Food and service was standard, and there were no restaurant cleanliness issues as noted in some of the other reviews.
If I'm in the mood for fish & chips and I'm in the area, I would definitely come back. Pajo's in Steveston still has a slight edge on the taste, but they're also a bit more expensive than Troll's (which is a bit odd considering they're a take-out place).
What happened to this place?? Used to be a dependable, decent stop for great fish and chips. Nothing fancy, but the fish made up for it. Went there last Sunday, and could not believe it. The place was an absolute pig sty. We were sat right away at a table that had a complete layer of food beneath the table on the floor. Right away we were very turned off, as on closer inspection the booth and chairs were just as filthy, and we're talking french fries and such, so there's no way the staff could miss it. We then asked for a high chair and were given another piece of filthy furniture. Because this has always been a favorite of ours we tried to be positive. When my husband asked for something to clean the highchair with, the person at the bar gave him a wet cloth, like it was perfectly acceptable for the customer to clean his own table and chairs before sitting down. As if this wasn't bad enough, the condiments were all equally coated in food, as well as the cutlery. (You'd think we would have left by now right?) No we decided to trudge through it, and we regretted it. We should have went with our first instinct and left.
So I took my family from burnaby to it on the weekend. We order their 3X sampler platter with salmon, cod and halibut? The food took over 30mins, when it did come all the fish batter were soggy, the server acknowledged. We had order milkshakes, salad and yam fries. All were good, but when the fish came again (another 30 later!!) It was frustrating as it wasn't that busy and how long can it take to fry? we were all full. the fish this time were way over cooked to a deep brown. The fish was dry. We complained to the manager and she say never apologize but instead brushed it off. I had to have a 5 min conversation before she would knock 30% off the bill.
Bottomline, pride has been lost. This was once a great restaurant.
We were travelling from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo via the BC Ferry and had a stop at Horseshoe Bay. What a treat we had. The shops were wonderful to browse in but the best part was getting a table at Trolls for fish and chips. I had heard so much about it and wondered if it could live up to the hype - well the answer for me is a resounding YES. The staff were all super friendly - we had two small children with us who were made to feel right at home with colouring books and crayons. There were fish and chip plates for children which was nice along with a childrens price There were cartoon drawings of all the people who come to Trolls on the walls that the kids loved. Our fish and chips came out perfect - crispy and light not greasy - and the french frys were to die for - I know it said on the menu they use a special kind of potato but whatever it is - it reminded me of the old style chips.
The staff were all "gung ho" and took the time to stop by to talk to the kids and comment on their colouring - they now think they are the new piccasso!
Had a great time, will definetly make the drive again to Trolls even if we are not taking the ferry.
Add Trolls to the ever growing list of iconic local spots that has obviously let quality and service slip away in the name of profits.
I was visiting Whytecliff Park with my girlfriend and suggested we go get some "good" fish and chips before heading back into town. When we parked she pointed at C Lovers and asked if that's where we were going. I laughed and scoffed at the idea of going to a "chain" for fish and chips when a landmark like Trolls was nearby.
Boy was I wrong!
Started by being seated directly adjacent to the opening to the kitchen where the staff all congregate and pick up orders. We were not so entertained by the adolescent staff throughout the entire meal goofing off, talking about partying and swearing like sailors. Probably heard about loud 100 fbombs. Very professional guys!
I ordered a two piece halibut. At $19 this is the high end of what you would normally pay at any fish/chip spot. So expectations were high.
10 minutes later I had the saddest excuse for a plate of food dropped in front of me. Two small and very dark pieces of fish (dirty oil? burnt? both??) on top of about 15 chips and a handful of greasy stubs. Garnished nicely with a tiny paper cup of prefab slaw and another cup of mayo - which I'm assuming was supposed to be tarter.
Despite being burnt, one fillet was obviously a nice piece of fish at one time. The other however was greasy, gray and smelled off. My illness later that evening can back that claim!
It was shameful and had me ranting afterward about the decline of yet another iconic spot. Looks like C Lovers next time. I guess we live in an era where you are now better off going corpo because at least they have standards to uphold.
Shame on you Trolls. Maybe when the owner won the lottery a few years back, he stopped giving a shit about the restaurant....