Hooked on Buttery, Crunchy Fish n’ Chips, Grilled Fish & Salad and More – The One That Got Away Fish House on King West!

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The creamy, tangy taste of tartar sauce, the moist flakiness of fresh fish, and the delightful, delicious crunch of hot crispy batter straight out of the fryer – ah, the tastes of fish n’ chips, melting in your mouth.  I LOVE fish n’ chips.  Out of all the different types of classic pub fare out there, fish n’ chips is my ultimate favourite.  I don’t have it often.  Twice a year at best.  But when I do?  Heaven on earth.  And believe it or not, amazing fish n’ chips places are hard to find simply because not all fries are created equal (and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we’ve all had a less than stellar experience with subpar French fries at least once in our life) and some places just aren’t very, well, scenic.  I know we’re eating pub fare and all but I’d like to feel at least somewhat comfortable in a space that doesn’t look like a janitorial closet married a cheap take-out joint.

Lucky for me, I’ve had some fab experiences with great fish n’ chips and battered fish dishes in and around the city including my personal favourites, King’s Table on Queen East in the Beaches and Jakes Pub & Grille in Markham on Main Street Unionville.  The latest addition to the list?  The One That Got Away Fish House on King Street West!

Even though I’m introducing The One That Got Away for the first time on Ate by Ate, the fish house and I go much further back.  Over a year back.  Which actually isn’t that long ago, but you get the point.  I have such fond memories of my first few meals from here simply because I had them in the company of my fellow icing sugar queens during my time at Le Dolci!  The old studio was literally just around the corner off of King West and Portland Street so every now and then Lisa, Miya, and momma Dolci Linda (and later Irina) and I would grab some delicious fish n’ chips and fish meals from here for lunch.

I still remember the very first time I had fish from The One That Got Away.  It was my first day at the studio and the decision on what to eat for lunch was unanimous: fish!  We all ordered fresh grilled fish wraps with a side order of chips (fries) and thus began a beautiful friendship and journey, not just with the fish house, but with Lisa and Miya and the studio itself.  We had fun eating, talking, and trying very hard not to dribble fish sauce down ourselves.  It simaltaneously feels like yesterday and light years ago.  They were happy memories though and that has what has kept me coming back.

The One That Got Away Fish House is such a seafood, fish n’ chips powerhouse.  Not only do they offer a number of battered fish n’ chips options (haddock, cod, halibut, arctic char, and pickerel), they also offer all of those types of fish in grilled form!  Battered fish, grilled fish…battered fish, grilled fish…I know, it’s a hard decision to make at times.  And to add to the indecision, let’s throw in salmon burgers, fish tacos, seafood chowder, Manhattan chowder, fish and seafood baskets, fish wraps, fish sandwiches, fish and salads, calamari, and crab cakes.  Have I made you salivate yet?  Because I sure am.  Their menu is fantastic!

And prices are pretty average for fish n’ chips and pretty on par with other spots more or less.  Prices for battered fish n’ chips range from $8.99-$13.99, fish wraps, tacos, and sandwiches are $8.49-$12.49, fish with salads are $9.99-$14.99, and chowders and soups come in at $4.99.

It’s a small space, but I enjoy eating here because the people are really friendly and hey, the exposed brick walls have submarine windows on them giving them a cute aquatic feel!  The meals are presented on silver trays covered with cute printed wax paper made to look like fish stories on newspaper.  The quality of food is absolutely fantastic.  The fish is flaky and moist, the batter is crunchy, crispy, light, and buttery, and it’s always accompanied with great salad or fries.  I know everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to fries (level of saltiness, crispy vs. mushier, beefy wedges vs. shoestring, and so on) but I love their fries simply because they’re never dry or too starchy and I just love the texture and softness, not to mention the herbs and flavour.

I’ve had their battered fish with salad (pictured in the photos; battered haddock with salad), grilled fish with salad, battered fish in a sandwich, grilled fish in a wrap, and their seafood chowder and I love them all.  If I had to choose my favourites though I’d have to say that the fish sandwiches are great bang for your buck (these things are HUGE!  They’re like fish subs), the seafood chowder has so much warmth and flavour, not to mention potatoes and chunky seafood (if you love a hearty, chunky chowder, you’ll be head over heels over it), and the grilled fish with salad is a wonderful, healthy alternative to the battered fish.  I know, I haven’t really narrowed it down to the best of the best but that’s only because it’s all so scrumptious and delicious!

They change up their salads every once in awhile (there are always mixed greens, tomatoes, shredded carrots and sunflower seeds but every so often there will also be yellow beets and other veggies mixed in) and I love the fact that you can choose whether you want battered OR grilled fish.  Oh!  And if you love sauce like I do, you absolutely MUST get your hands and tastebuds on their spicy chipotle mayo and seafood sauce.  HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL.  Hands down one of the best sauces EVER.  It’s spicy with kick, it’s creamy, it’s savoury, and it is just yummy beyond comprehension.  There’s so much more I want to try – pickerel, fish tacos, a fish basket, and more – so this first post on The One That Got Away is just the beginning!

*****

The One That Got Away Fish House is located at 581 King Street West at the corner of King and Portland Street.  They are open 7 days a week: Monday to Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, and Sunday 12pm-7pm.  You can visit their website HERE for more info.

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The Keys to My Heart: Beautiful Summer Days and Fresh & Flaky Fish n’ Chips at King’s Table in the Beaches

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It feels like eons since I last talked about my favourite foods and where to get them!  I guess it makes sense though because favourites are difficult to narrow down and it takes time to try out different variations of the same dish.  I may have nailed down my favourite spicy salmon sushi rolls and my favourite cookie dessert, but I have a long way to go before I figure out my be-all and end-all for every other food category!  Not to mention there’s always a chance that your favourite now may not be your favourite years later.  There’s always the possibility that your current faves will get replaced by even more amazing eats in the future, but for the time being, I have a gut feeling that the handful of favourites I’ve selected are here to stay on my list.   

Fish n’ chips is a treat to me.  It’s that one guilty pleasure, comfort food type of indulgence that I go for once a year.  And I love it.  I would take fish n’ chips over a burger any day.  And lucky for me, I’ve found my holy grail fish n’ chips!  One food category down, a gazillion more to go 😀  King’s Table, located on Queen St. East in the Beaches, is by far my favourite place to go for fresh, flaky, buttery fish n’ chips.  I went here for the first time last summer and I instantly knew this place was a keeper in my book.

There are so many things I love about King’s Table.  I love that it’s a beautiful, intimate place (with a romantic-looking little patio out back!) that evokes that light, breezy feeling of summer happiness and comfort.  Whenever I think of fish n’ chips, I think, “Mmm, yummy.  Greasy spoons!”  We’re talking fish n’ chips here, not rainbow trout or lobster or other seafood delicacies.  We’re talking your good old fashioned fish n’ chips with plenty of haddock, halibut, and cod with starchy, potato-y, delicious fries.  When I think of fish n’ chips, I envision tiny diner style places with a lot of take-out and paper bag sacks.  Although King’s Table could be considered a neighbourhood diner, it has that inviting atmosphere that draws you in to sit and stay and have a good meal.  I love the rich yellow colour of the walls and napkins, the red curtains by the front window, the cute fish memorabilia hanging (and painted!) on the walls, and the peacefulness inside the restaurant.  When I eat here I feel relaxed, like I can take my time to enjoy my meal without being rushed.  It’s a lovely fish n’ chips diner that has amazing food to boot.

Prices for meals depend on the type of fish and their sizes.  Halibut is the more expensive option while haddock and cod are the lesser expensive ones.  If you order a meal like mine (one piece of 4oz. haddock with chips), it’ll run you $8.65.  I’m more than satisfied with this, but if you have a heartier appetite, your meal will probably run closer to $12-$15.  They have fish n’ chips meals, fish n’ chips with salad meals (which are the meals that are closer to the $12-$15 range), and fish only meals.  As well, they have large portions of panfried fish and salmon fillet meals (around 70z. and 8oz.) that are more expensive if you feel like you want to splurge.   

King’s Table fills that fish n’ chips love of mine with some amazing haddock and chips.  I plan on trying other dishes from their menu (such as their shrimp, their clam chowder, their mushrooms with garlic and chive sauce, and maybe even a dessert), but I have to tell you, I’d be a happy camper for life if I came back here and ate nothing else but the haddock and chips I love so much.  And that’s saying a lot coming from me, Little Miss I-always-want-to-order-and-try-something-different-each-time-I-go-out-to-eat!  The haddock is buttery, flaky, crispy, crunchy, and everything you could want in a piece of battered fish.  It’s not greasy or oil-laden in the least.

And their fries!  I know fries aren’t the star of the show but if you’re eating fish n’ chips, I think it’s necessary for the “chips” part of the meal to own it.  To me, even though you’re paying the bulk of your meal toward the fish, it ruins the meal if the fries are nasty.  Their fries are soft without being soggy and I dunk them (as well as my crispy, flaky haddock) in their seafood tartar sauce and it is heaven.  I know a lot of people like to eat their food “naked”, but I am not one of them.  I adore sauce.  So much so that I took my boyfriend’s sauce and ate that too.  He doesn’t use sauce so I offered my eating services to prevent waste.  And no one likes to see awesome sauce go to waste, right? 😉

*****

King’s Table is located at 2248 Queen St. East between Beech and Willow Ave. in the Beaches neighbourhood.  They are open for business from 12pm-10pm and I am pretty sure these hours are for every day of the week, but I will double check to make sure.  King’s Table also offers take-out.