Craig, Kreezus, and I set out to enjoy some of the last of the setting September sun at Hooked Fish Bar. Known for its fish and chips, I had fond summer memories of an oyster po’ boy here many moons ago (Hooked has been around for a decade as of this writing) and when Craig suggested it Kreezus and I jumped at the invite.
I won’t even bother with an interior shot because the patio is where it’s at. Hooked has one of the best beach views out of the patios dotting the landscape at the end of Beecher Street since it is directly at the prime beach access point. Great for people-watching, dog-spotting, bird-stalking, and gorgeous unobstructed views of Boundary Bay and the mountains beyond the sea. Plus the smell of the ocean is a perfect pairing for the food on offer.
Kreezus and I decided to split a few Fried Oysters (small (4), $14) to get the juices flowing for the main event, but sadly these didn’t live up to my memories. Slightly undercooked and small in size. For the other dishes we found the price justified given the location and view, just not this particular one. Their tartar sauce is a winner though!
When they trotted out the dish we had come for, Hooked Fish Bar’s famous Cod & Chips ($20.95 for a 2-piece plus $2.50 upgrade to Yam Fries), Kreezus wept at their glory. Thick hunks of buttery, flaky fish glistening in a light, puffy batter fried to a golden brown that shone in the patio sunlight like a precious pearl. We all took a few moments (and bites) to savour the ocean’s bounty being served up mere meters from her shores. It doesn’t get any fresher than this, folks.
The sweet potato fries were incredibly long in size and on flavour, and the chipotle mayo was as good as any (well, except maybe White Spot’s). And speaking of White Spot, the creamy coleslaw that came with was almost a dead ringer for White Spot’s classic version, albeit missing a certain je ne sais qois. Closest I’ve had to that personal favourite though, right down to the sunflower seeds, which gives Hooked extra bonus points in my books.
We overheard the table behind us commenting how this was the best fish and chips they had ever had and I’d have to agree that it really doesn’t get much better than Hooked.
Craig learned an important lesson that day with Hooked Fish Bar’s 6oz. Hand-made Butcher Burger ($17.95): never order turf at a surfside joint. The menu description was tempting, the patty house-made, but alas it was dry and overcooked. What little barbecue sauce was on there remained undetectable but at least the aged cheddar ($1.75 add-on) added some slight moisture and flavour. Oh, there’s an onion ring too. Stick with the fish.
Ever the adventurer, my eyes landed on the infamous Chip Butty ($8.95) when scanning the menu options. I’d heard tell of this grotesquery from travelers to the UK, and the menu description of “carbs and gluten” is a smashing piss-take on anyone foolhardy enough to order based on the brutally honest description alone. Really it’s just a toasted white-bread sandwich with french fries as the filling. Honestly, it’s better than it sounds…
Especially when you take that side of mushy peas and smush ’em right into your sandwich. If you like grossing out your dates and mates (as I most certainly do!) this, my friends, is the way to go. After forcing down a couple of bites, Kreezus swore if she ate any more that this would be her last supper. It was so filling and carb-loaded even the bottomless pit that is I could not get down the last couple bites. I swear it’s pretty darn good though, maybe share with a buddy if you try this one. Believe it or not, it comes with a side of fries as well for the truly gluttonous, but thankfully you can also opt to try Hooked’s creamy coleslaw or go with the garden salad above, which was quite a generous portion and very fresh to boot.
Afterwards, Kreezus walked with me on a tour of Blackie Spit and the Dunsmuir Community Gardens, a short stroll along the beach from Hooked Fish Bar and a great way to burn off those excess calories so you don’t end up with a Chip Butty butt. Conveniently there’s a map on the back of the menus at Hooked and you will find the trails in this area labeled as Crescent Beach Walk. Happy Hooking!