We had a late lunch today at Finest At Sea Boutique & Bistro on Arbutus & Valley. The establishment actually reminds me a lot of the deliciously exquisite El Pescador Fish Market & Restaurant in La Jolla, California. Both are fresh seafood markets offering their respective local fish, and serving hot and prepared foods as well. We always try and support local establishments in whatever city we’re in — we receive fresher products resulting in superior taste, and we’re contributing to the local economy. Also, ocean-wise, sustainably-caught fish is better for the environment and healthier and more nutrient rich for consumption.
This deli and seafood bistro, specializing in 100% wild BC fish, is located in the same strip as Starbucks and M&M Meat Shop, but Finest At Sea also has another location on Granville Island, and one in our hometown, Victoria.
Along with live seafood like crab and prawns, they also have an extensive variety of fresh wild fish like salmon, cod, and halibut. We picked up some live spot prawns (wild and sustainably-caught) a couple weeks ago to take home and cook for dinner. Since it was spot prawn season, we called in prior to reserve our prawns. We were sure glad we did because when we arrived, they were all sold out, but had kindly set ours aside. The spot prawns (approximately $11.99 per pound) were super fresh and sweeter and tastier than regular shrimp.
Finest At Sea also offers deli items like salads and other prepared food for takeaway. If you choose to dine-in, you order and pay at the cashier, and wait for your name to be called. Then you pick up your food at the opposite counter (pictured above). Cutlery, ketchup, vinegar, and water are all self-serve from the counter. Along with counter seating, there are also a few tables inside, and a picnic table outside for al fresco dining.
Their dine-in menu offers tasty items like soups, steamed mussels & frittes, and sablefish, salmon, cod, or halibut fish and chips. Today, we ordered one piece halibut & chips ($10), and two piece halibut & chips ($14). Served with homemade tartar sauce and coleslaw. Fries were perfectly crispy and a generous portion. The halibut tasted extremely fresh, and although the batter was slightly thick, it remained crunchy in parts. And considering both the fries and halibut were deep-fried, neither of them were very greasy – a sign that they were cooked correctly. We definitely enjoyed these fish and chips a lot more than Go Fish Ocean Emporium near Granville Island. This Finest at Sea location is a great spot to pick up local seafood, or to dine-in if you don’t feel like cooking dinner!