Upon arriving in Victoria, Robert and I immediately made a beeline for Red Fish Blue Fish. After our exhilarating seaplane ride, we were hungry for lunch and I had heard that this was the place to go for fish & chips.

Red Fish Blue Fish is located on the waterfront just north of Victoria’s famous Inner Harbor. This friendly fish & chips joint is operated out of an old shipping container which has been outfitted with a tiny kitchen and a couple of windows where you order and pick up your food. The seating is all outdoors and consists of two counters with tall stools and a handful of low stools scattered about on the nearby pier. If all of the stools are taken, people are content to plop themselves down anywhere on the dock, the nearby rocks or even the street.

Many seafood restaurants are supporting sustainable seafood efforts these days, and Red Fish Blue Fish is no exception. Their seafood comes from British Columbian waters and it is 100% Ocean Wise (Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to help restaurants and consumers make ocean-friendly choices.) All of the food at Red Fish Blue Fish is served in earth-friendly recyclable packaging right down to the compost-able wooden utensils. They don’t even have a trash can on site!

The menu at Red Fish Blue Fish appears simple at first glance: fish & chips, fish sandwiches and fish tacos (called “tacones.”) Take a closer look, however, and you notice some pretty unique touches. Standard fish & chips offerings such as battered and fried cod are offset by less common choices including BBQ Salmon, grilled oysters and seared albacore tuna. Inventive side dishes range from curry chips to tempura pickles to mushy edamame (their twist on mushy peas.) Fish tacones are topped not only with the expected cabbage slaw but also lemon-pickled onions and pea shoots. How often do you see pea shoots used as the greens?

Our first day in town, we ordered two tempura cod tacones with sweet-smoked chili adobo sauce and a half order of fries. I knew the tacones would be good, but these went above and beyond my expectations. The presentation was beautiful first and foremost. The fish was crisp and light and the vegetables were fresh and crunchy. Robert particularly appreciated the fact that the tortilla itself was grilled. The fries were equally delicious, and a half order turned out to be plenty for the two of us. The next day, we tried the seared albacore tuna tacones which came with a spot prawn mayo instead of the adobo sauce. The tuna had a very clean taste with just a whisper of smokiness from the grill. It was bit chilly that day so we added a cup of chowder to our order. The chowder at Red Fish Blue Fish is sweet and spicy – nothing like the bland, floury tasting chowders you normally get in seafood restaurants. In fact, it reminded me a lot of my own Bolivian Corn Chowder.

Red Fish Blue Fish was an unexpected highlight of our vacation. Not only is their food delicious, the waterfront setting is pretty unbeatable. It provides an excellent vantage point from which to watch the busy harbor traffic. We tried to go back on our third and final day in town, but they were closed. What a shame! Seattle could really use a place like this (Pike Street Fish Fry doesn’t compare.) Finally, as if our experience at Red Fish Blue Fish wasn’t good enough already, as we were sitting on the dock one day savoring the last few bites of food, we saw an otter climbing around on the rocks looking for scraps – so cool!

1 Comment »

  1. Excellent article, amazing looking weblog, added it to my favorites!

    Comment by Avaicealammek — December 11, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

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