Led in the kitchen by Karen Barnaby, The Fish House was situated in a historic building in a quiet part of the southeast corner of the park. This restaurant was one of several in Vancouver that signed up to a program called Ocean Wise. I pulled this from The Fish House's website for an explanation:
"Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Ocean Wise works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers ensuring that they have the most current scientific information regarding seafood and helping them make ocean-friendly buying decisions."
Though some restaurants may offer a complete Ocean Wise menu (such as Raincity Grill) for its seafood selections, many others, like the Fish House, may offer a mix. Discovering this, I had decided to select my meal based on this Ocean Wise program, hoping that my small action at the dining table will help make for a more sustainable seafood industry; Canadians only need to remember the East Coast cod fishery to know the drastic consequences of an unsustainable fishery. (You can find out more about Ocean Wise through its own website.)
Though this restaurant definitely had a British club house feel (it was perchance located between some tennis courts and a golf course, and it also has an afternoon tea menu), the interior felt lighter and cheerier with the white-framed doors and windows opened fully to welcome both the midday sun and the gentle sea breeze. Parking was definitely a challenge as Vancouverites were taking advantage of finally some decent beach and golfing weather (on a weekend no less) and the tennis courts were hosting a wheelchair tennis tournament. After a bit of parking-space hunting and some walking in the sun, a cold drink was in order.
|Ginger Mock-hito - Ginger, mint leaves, sugar syrup, ginger ale.|
While we waited for our appetizers we were served bread along with oil and vinegar for dipping. I was surprised and delighted when I discovered that the oil was lobster oil which the restaurant makes in-house and even sells in 375mL bottles. The oil had a pleasant and light aroma, and I could just taste a hint of lobster if I didn't touch any of the balsamic vinegar.
|Steamed Mussels - Coconut milk, tomato, cilantro, lime and chili pepper.|
|Fresh Oysters (clockwise from top): Effinghams, Fanny Bays and Malpeques.|
|Pan Roasted BC Sablefish|
Overall I was impressed by The Fish House. To follow the restaurant's sustainability theme, I might want to take alternative means of transportation to a car to get there at my next available opportunity. Bus service is available within a short pleasant walk through the southern portion of Stanley Park, and there is a good network of cycling routes to reach the park.
Name: The Fish House in Stanley Park
Address: 8901 Stanley Park Dr., Vancouver, BC
Cuisine: Continental, Seafood
Price Range: Lunch/Brunch $15-$75; Dinner $20-$100