Michael and I usually avoid franchise restaurants, and The Fish Shack is owned by the Glowbal group, but I feel that the people at Glowbal have their fair share of hit restaurants. Also since the Glowbal group is such a well recognized company in Vancouver, I arrived with high expectations.
Fish Shack is located in the tip of Vancouver's party strip at 1026 Granville Street. For those scratching their heads wondering, "Didn't that place use to be an Indian restaurant?" Yes. It used to be Sanafir, also owned by the Glowbal group, but in my opinion was a major "miss." I felt it was over priced and served unappetizing "Indian fusion" food and the restaurant made me feel like I was in Moulin Rouge.
|The restaurant is bright and inviting|
Now it has become The Fish Shack. The place seems to be fun place to eat, kick back, shuck some oysters and have have an ice cold beer. The restaurant is laid out exactly how Sanafir was with the outside patio and upstairs dining room as well. The walls were decorated with warehouse pallets, I thought it was such a clever way of decoration, but Michael on the other hand thought it was rather "low budget" looking. I loved how the bar area, the lights were hung with ropes, it looked like it should have been part of a boat by the harbour.
On an unrelated note of the restaurant, I just have to say their restrooms are an individual room suitable for the ladies and gents. It was very uncomfortable going to the washroom and having a urinal two centimeters away from me, and another thing that bothered me was that the restroom was insanely dark.
|Their menu is laid out in a newspaper headline style|
But let's talk food. The Shack's menu served many traditional west coast seafood delicacies, fish and chips, oysters, clams, lobster, you name it they got it. I had mentioned from a post while back, that ever since Michael and I dined at Crab Pot in Seattle, Michael has been on the hunt for the same concept as Crab Pot, getting a hammer and just whacking the heck out of his food. For myself, I feel like I did it in Seattle, I don't need to do it here and I'm only along for the ride.
|Does anyone else think the spikes on the hammer are a bit unnecessary?|
I was curious to see what their oyster burger tasted like and I saw many diners get their fish and chips which looked really tasty and also their steamed mussels looked divine. But I knew Michael wanted his crab pot experience again. At the shack they have the same concept with the hammer. They offer two choices one is the small catch ($20 per person) which offers dungeness crab, mussels, snow crab, prawns, calamari, cray fish, corn, potatoes, and chorizo. With the big catch it has everything and add an extra lobster ($30 per person). Of course the portion was not as big as Crab Pot but the idea and all was there.
|A small portion - but cheaper - compared to Crab Pot|
I do think the crabs and calamari tasted really good, it was full of meat and tasted very fresh. Dipping the food in liquified butter was just heaven on earth, my entire dinner went in there. As for cray fish, I have never tasted it before it looked like a mini version of a lobster, I'm not sure if cray fish is the same as crawfish but I would think crawfish would taste similar. I thought the cray fish tasted very fishy and I couldn't handle more than one. Michael thought there was a good amount of crab and especially liked how the server left a jar of spices for us to sprinkle. The seafood broth was a nice touch too. He thought there could have been more clams and corn though.
We still haven't found a restaurant that exceeds the expectations set by Crab Pot. This small catch meal for me was a mediocre and I think it's a little "meh." Michael thinks it was worth it for the cheaper price, it's still the same type of experience. But I think the other selections on the menu would be fantastic and wonderful and I am determined to taste their other dishes.