Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant: Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant
Cuisine: American/West Coast/Fast Food/Seafood
Last visited: January 9, 2010
Area: White Rock, BC
Address: 15479 Marine Drive
Price range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: Fish: 6 Other stuff: 2
Service: 5
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Family owned
  • Since 1975
  • Specializes/famous for fish and chips and tartar sauce
  • Huge portions, huge pieces of fish
  • Only one kind of fish: Cod
  • Deep fried and breaded everything, except for salads
  • Familiar to locals and tourists
  • Line-ups
  • Homemade, family recipes
  • Great for families/seniors
  • Very casual, fun atmosphere
  • Orders usually get an additional piece FREE
  • Great option for picnic on the beach
  • Some burgers, sides, salads available
  • Award winning “Travelocity.ca selected local favourite”
  • Dine in/Take-out
  • Take-out window, patio area
  • Accepts inteac/Visa/Mastercard

Recommendation: Fish and tartar sauce (I’d even pass on the chips)

The first time I heard about Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant was at a family dinner. Thanks to me we always end up talking about food! 😀 My cousins and I were sitting at a table talking about the best fish and chips in the city. I was talking about how I wasn’t impressed by Pajo’s in Richmond and then with high enthusiasm one of them blurts out “Moby Dick! Moby Dick in White Rock is THE BEST Fish and Chips in Vancouver!” I could hear the passion in his voice and the excitement in his eyes. We could all feel it… it was pretty hilarious. Nonetheless all of us put it on our list of places to go!

So I came here literally right after my 3 course brunch at Giraffe Restaurant down the street. This was pretty much my second lunch, but I just had to try it! While waiting for Kim to arrive, I spent 20 min. walking up and down the street to burn off brunch so I would be hungry again. Kim and I have been talking about it for ages, so I’m glad we finally made it!

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant has been around for ages, and not much has changed since its opened – not that I was alive then, but it doesn’t seem like anything has changed. It has the family owned atmosphere with that “tacky” quality fish and chip places have. It’s fun though and it suites the atmosphere, so I liked it! Even the service is very family-owned ñ everyone seems to be grinning from ear to ear and you can feel that they really appreciate your business from the moment you walk in to the minute you leave.

Some (very few) people may call it a “tourist trap”, but I don’t think so. I was there visiting in the winter and it was packed with locals. Ultimately you do get a huge piece of quality fish that’s fried very well with homemade tartar sauce…I could pass on the other items though.

On the table

3 Pieces Fish & Chips6/6

  • $16.60 (If you order 3 pieces you get 1 free! The offer isn’t advertised, but they’ll give it to you.)
  • Yes, this was the best fish and chips I’ve had yet. However I don’t have much to compare to because I don’t have fish and chips too often. I could, but I doubt I will find better than this.

  • The fish is premium quality Alaskan Lingcod and they slice and filet it in house! It’s the biggest deep-fried fish I’ve ever had. The meat was was juicy, tender, flaky and fried golden brown to perfection.

  • The batter is the 2nd part to what makes this fish perfect. It’s a really thin crispy batter, to the point of almost forming air pockets. It was that light and I’m so surprised at how well it held on to the fish, the fish didn’t separate from the batter. I want to taste more fish than I do batter, and in this case I did. It was the perfect ratio.

  • To my surprise, one of the first things I noticed was that the fish and batter were not seasoned. There was no pepper and very little, or I think none at all ñ salt! Usually this would be a big deal to me, because there should be some salt to enhance the flavour, but it didn’t bother me here too much because the star of the show was the tartar sauce!

Tartar sauce5/6

  • Small: $.80 Large $1.40
  • The tartar sauce is another famous item at Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant.
  • Start off with a premium ingredient and serve it with a homemade sauceÖhow can you go wrong?
  • People say it’s the best tartar sauce ever, so I had my expectations set high. I wouldn’t call it a classic tartar sauce though.
  • It smells and tastes like dill vegetable dip and ranch salad dressing mixed together. It’s mayo based, so a bit thicker than a salad dressing. There’s lots of dill, some pickles and minced onions too. It could really be used as a potato chip dip or for a potato salad. It was creamy, but maybe a bit thinner in texture than a traditional tartar sauce. It was excellent, but the dominant flavour is dill and for a tartar sauce I would like a bit more of a pickled flavour.

Chips1.5/6

  • Small $3.90 Medium $4.90 Large $5.90
  • To be honest I could do without the fries. They’re hand-cut Yukon Gold fries with the skins on (even though the menu says they peel the skins by hand).
  • They’re a bit sweeter because they’re Yukon golds and they would have been excellent if they cooked them well. They were very oily though and soggy because they were soaked in oil. They were almost wet, and I had grease all over my hands.
  • They could have been so good, but I think they need to re-assess the cooking temperature and timeÖor even just fry them twice or fry them longer in hotter oil. It catches me off guard because they nailed the frying time on the fish and the batter was so light and crispy.

Clam Strips1/6

  • Breaded clam strips served with cocktail sauce $4.90
  • I was not feeling this at all. The batter was completely opposite of the batter on the fish. It was dense, crunchy and reminded be of the batter cheap pubs use for their onion rings. Or it reminded me of heavily battered popcorn shrimp, but with a fishy taste. The batter separated from the clam meat; however the clam itself was quite tender. It was a whole lot of batter and not a whole lot of clam.

  • The clam strips were also quite bitty too. There were a few that were at least 2 inches and then a bunch at the bottom that were really small.
  • I also didn’t like how they served it with 2 random onion rings. It was almost like they knew the clam strips looked a bit pathetic so they added the rings last minute to make the dish look fuller. How did they taste? Like a regular onion ring. It wasn’t the fish batter or the clam batter, but somewhere in between.
  • Cocktail sauce: The cocktail sauce was more on the ketchup side than it was on the horseradish side. It was quite mild, so I think it catered more to kids and seniors with sensitive taste buds. It was a bit tangy and lemony but I like a stronger kick to my cocktail sauce.

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