This restaurant in Stanley Park is a civic institution. Not only does it have views of English Bay and Stanley Park's forests, it offers some of the ... More
Fish House in Stanley Park (The)
This restaurant in Stanley Park is a civic institution. Not only does it have views of English Bay and Stanley Park's forests, it offers some of the city's best seafood. Start dinner with a trip to the fresh oyster bar, one of the city's best. Starters include the Flaming Prawns (sauteed with garlic, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, spinach and feta, and flamed with ouzo, CAD12.95), while main courses feature Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops (CAD26.95). The impressive wine list includes 13 by the glass (Marlborough Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, CAD11 per glass, CAD54 per bottle).
We have been customers of the Fish House for 30+ years; having brought our elderly parents here on special occasions, and often enjoyed lunches and dinners too. However, this past Saturday (~ 2PM, October 20, 2012), we were stunned by the rude, arrogant, and dismissive (French Canadian) man standing behind the bar, who wanted to know if we had reservations (mind you this was 2PM on a wet Saturday afternoon). He said they just received notice of 2 large parties (not present), that we would have to sit and wait a while before we would be seated, without any apology. There were empty tables throughout the dining area. We said we only wanted a quick salmon burger and beer as advertised throughout the park, having just paid for the parking too. The man’s demeanor made us feel like he did not want us there. We left feeling like we were just pushed out the door. Stunned, I called the restaurant wishing to speak to the manager and informed him of what had happened. The manager recapitulated the same comments as the man who turned us away. Not once was there an apology by this manager on the phone, only excuses of why they behaved as such, and that their preference was to provide service to the large party coming in.
This event has changed my mind on ever returning to The Stanley Park Fish House. We heard that the chef just left the restaurant--perhaps all of the good staff left too. There is a disconnect between their advertisements throughout the park, hailing customers from 2-4pm without reservations, and the attitude you get if you dare walk through the door. Do yourself a favour and look for the many other great restaurants and service in town.
The service was fantastic, I will say that. The food itself left something to be desired. I ordered the 1st Salmon entree dish and it was nothing to write home about. I would say that it is probably not worth the money.
Also, make 100% sure you know how to get back to your hotel if you decide to walk, getting turned around in the park at night is not the best end to an evening.
The setting for the restaurant is beautiful and our waiter was outstanding. He was very helpful and he was very nice to our kids and made them laugh and feel comfortable.
The problem is the menu and the prices! Our son ordered a Pancake (note: no s on that) and it was $8.25! That's right. $8.25 for a single pancake! I ordered crab cakes and got 2 small (about 1-1/4" diameter by 3/4" tall crab cakes). Thank goodness they served bread with the meal so I could actually have some real food to eat! We had a coupon book so 1 entree was free and it is a good thing. Not recommended at all if you care about what food costs.
What more can I say I continue to be disappointed with the service, expense and food at the Fish House. I haven't been to the place for several years and only returned because a friends going away party was being held there.
We had a group of 20 people coming so we preordered to make things easier and to speed up service. Not only was the service exceptionally slow, it took nearly an hour for the first meals to arrive and another 20 minutes for the rest of the orders to arrive they did not have many of the items that were on the menue they sent us to choose from.
I highly do not recommend this place.
We dad dinner at the Fish House on December 19, our second time this year. We decided to go back because we had an okay experience last summer, and since we received a $20 coupon we thought it wouldn't hurt to give it another try. Were we ever disappointed.
We ordered the cod fritters, which were okay (a little too salty for me), and the shrimp spring rolls which were nothing to write home about because I could have made some at home that would have been better because I would not have burned it. We also had the sticky chili sable fish, which, again, was okay but I thought it was too heavy on the butter. The salmon (daily special), was very dry, and the scalloped potatoes that came with it was also too dry and lacked flavour.
Service from our server was very good, but the maitre d' was quite condescending. We witnesed him being rude to a Japanese couple telling them in a really patronizing manner: "you're not supposed to be here" because one of their staff seated them at the wrong table. He did not apologize for their mistake and just shuffled them along. And this was not a one off. As we were leaving the restaurant, we gave him our coat check ticket, and he gave us the wrong coats. So I told him the coats he gave us were not ours. He went back in the room and could not find our coats so he motioned - with his finger - for me to go to him and told me: "you're gonna have to get in here and show me which ones are yours." So I did, and again, without apologizing, all he said was: "I guess we gave you the wrong ticket."
So all in all, I would not go back to this place again, even if they were offering a free meal. I would not waste my time.
As a side note, my sister and I met with their event planner about a year ago (against my better judgment) to see what they could offer for a wedding reception. This man was VERY CONDESCENDING and made us feel like rifraf who could never afford to pay for a wedding reception there. He told us - in a haughty tone - that if we were to rent the restaurant for the evening, he would have to shut the restaurant down and we would need to pay them in excess of $24K. Because of his attitude, he actually lost out on an event because my sister went with another restaurant and spent in excess of $30K for her reception.
This is a fine place to eat in a beautiful setting overlooking the park with an attractive menu offering a good selection.
We thought the courses we ordered were generally below the excellent quality remembered on a visit to The Fish House several years ago and what we have recently found in other restaurants. Considering this, their prices seemed out of line
The Fish House apparently offers specials and coupons and if you would like to try this restaurant I suggest you take advantage of these.
The Fish House in Stanley Park is a great place for a romantic dinner or group gathering. Great seafood in a town of great seafood is in store for you. Although it can be crowded and a bit loud at times, it is a great place for a romantic dinner or a gathering of just about any kind. The menu is great from main dishes to deserts and the wine list, although not gigantic, is large enough to find something for any meal or taste. I would recommend it to anyone.
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