Saturday, 20 July 2013

OFF THE HOOK GOURMET FISH & CHIPS

438 Hwy #8
Stoney Creek, ON
www.offthehookfishandchips.com
visited Saturday July 20, 2013

So off the top my husband and I aren't huge fish n chips fans, but having reviewed the menu ahead of time I was confident we would find something to satisfy our appetites here.  Tucked away in a tiny building off Hwy 8 in Stoney Creek, the outside doesn't have any more appeal than you're average fish n chip joint.  The parking isn't so great in the front of the restaurant either, but it wasn't super busy when we went so we managed ok.  The lone waitress was friendly in greeting us and allowed us to pick our own table.  There were only 2 other parties dining at the time.  Our drinks came within a reasonable amount of time from ordering as did our meal. 

The menu boasts 5 different fish selections from halibut to red snapper, all prepared the way you like, either battered in their house recipe or Cajun seasoning or grilled.  The meal comes with the typical side of fries and a choice of creamy or vinegar dressed coleslaw and an array of sauces apart from the usual tartar sauce.  They have a few burgers, fish sandwiches and 4 seafood apps to choose from, as well as salads and most of their menu items come as a gluten free option which is great.  The menu was concise, well thought out and most dishes sounded quite appealing.

Sea Bass w/ Sweet Potato fries, Vinaigrette Coleslaw & Mango Salsa $16
I ordered the Sea Bass, upgraded my fries to sweet potato fries with the vinaigrette coleslaw and the mango salsa sauce.  I suppose its hard to judge a good fish n chips place without getting the usual battered fish and regular fries, but its just not my cuppa' tea.  So grilled sea bass it was! 
The portion was a hefty size and would fill anyone up.  The presentation was nice and the food looked quite delicious.  I'll start with the positives which there were more of on my plate than my husbands.  The fish was grilled just right, not over done or dry and seasoned well.  The vinaigrette coleslaw was light and crisp and I wish there had been a bigger serving of it on the plate.  The mango salsa was mediocre but went well with the fish and the side of chipotle mayo that went with the fries was super spicy just the way I like it.  Unfortunately the sweet potato fries were a bust.  They were soggy and some were so undercooked that they were still raw.  Ordering fries for me is a splurge, so when I do it I hate to be disappointed...and these were just that...disappointing!  I did gobble up everything else on my plate so it wasn't all bad at least.


"My Favourite Burger" w/ Pulled Pork Poutine $15




My husband on the other hand was more than disappointed.  He ordered the My Favourite Burger that had lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and cheddar cheese and upgraded his fries to a Pulled Pork Poutine.  The bun was toasted on both sides and it created a really crunchy outer shell that crumbled and fell apart everywhere with each bite.  The beef patty was dry and tasteless and the large ring of raw red onion is just offensive in my opinion.  Who wants to bite into a piece of onion that big?  The poutine was the worst of it....there were maybe 5 small shreds of pulled pork that were impossible to find and taste.  The cheese curds weren't fully melted or oozing and the gravy was a lumpy congealed mess.  After eating the small top layer off, you wouldn't even know it was a poutine...it just looked like a bowl of fries at that point.  Needless to say he was more than disappointed as well, seeing as I even let him order something as artery clogging and glutinous as poutine and it turns out to be less than indulgent. 


The service was fine, she was polite, but failed to fill my water glass until I mentioned it to her.  The prices were average.  Apps were overpriced in my opinion ranging from $10-$12.  The décor was uninspiring.  I'm all for hole-in-the-wall joints, but this was neither here nor there.  Wires strewn across the ceiling, old 80's dining chairs and one lone nautical decoration on the wall.  I did however like the blackboard paint & chalk in the entry area with the menu printed in different colours on it.  Our bill came to $27 for an iced tea and our two meals with our upgraded fries.  The portion sizes were big, so the price would've been fine had the food been top notch...but it just wasn't.

Rating:
Food 2.5*, Value 3.0*, Service 3.5*, Décor/Ambiance 2.0*
Overall 2.75*  The fish options and menu ideas are definitely a fresh take on the your typical fish n chip place.  Unfortunately the food was poorly executed and the unimaginative décor and mediocre service did little in terms of helping this situation.  This was anything but 'off the hook' in terms of overall experience.




 Off the Hook gourmet fish and chips on Urbanspoon

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