Richmond, BC – Steveston Village Seafood Feast

Event: Steveston Village Seafood Feast – Touring the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston
Event Date: September 30, 2010
Location: Steveston Village, Richmond BC

Steveston Village is a very popular area for locals and tourists in Richmond, BC. I’ve tried a handful of restaurants here before including Pajo’s, Gudrun Tasting Room, Cake Art, Diplomat Bakery, Timmy Kitchen, Mandalay Lounge and Steakhouse, Timothy’s Frozen Yogurt, Correlis Mediterranean Grill, Kisamo’s Greek Taverna, Tapenade Bistro, Cimona Cafe, Steveston Pizza Co., and Yokohama Japanese. Steveston Village is really full of local gems and it’s really it’s own little town and to this date I’m still discovering new places.

Richmond Tourism hosted a media tour to highlight the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston, which is home to Canada’s largest commercial fishing fleet. We were taken around Steveston Village to previously selected restaurants to sample new and upcoming seafood dishes. It was similar to the Ocean Wise Media Dine Around Tour I attended last year. Since this was a media event, it was not open to the public, but I hope to introduce readers to a few things I found worth checking out.

The evening kicked off with a limo ride to Steveston Village and a goodie bag of candies from The Candy Aisle (110-12240 2nd Ave). I’m not going to lie, if Cinderella was a “foodie” I think I had a taste of her night.

From there we stopped at Steveston’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf where local resident Frank Keitsch, also known as ‘Fisherman Frank’ (not shown in the photo), toured us through the Public Fish Sales Float. Fisherman Frank  is the co-founder of Organic Ocean, a small group of independent fishermen who follow sustainable harvesting practices and choose to deal directly with their customers. It is very similar to the Ocean Wise program and part of the tour was to promote Organic Ocean and their initiatives to provide Steveston restaurants with sustainable seafood.

The Public Fish Sales Float is located just under the wharf and it’s a great place for the public to purchase sustainable seafood. It’s almost like Richmond’s very own Granville Island. From salmon, shrimp, sashimi, lobster and even sea urchin, there’s something for every seafood lover. Many of these boats also supply to restaurants in Metro Vancouver. After touring the floats we headed to three of Steveston’s restaurants to feast on fresh, locally caught seafood.

I attended the event as Follow Me Foodie, so the event and meals were sponsored by Tourism Richmond and the restaurants. However there are no expectations for the outcome of my post. The restaurants selected this evening are members of Richmond Tourism, so the following shows only a limited selection of what is available in Steveston Village. Due to the nature of the event I won’t be going into much detail (well compared to my usual) about the food since it may not be a proper representation of a regular day.

On the table:

Restaurant 1:
Tapenade Bistro
3711 Bayview St
Richmond, BC

Tapenade Bistro is a casual fine dining restaurant that specializes in French food with West Coast twists. Toronto-born Chef Alex Tung is the executive chef and he has worked with culinary chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud.

I’ve been to Tapenade Bistro for lunch before and I thoroughly enjoyed their pates. I tried them all and they were all delicious and I actually liked them more than the ones from Gudrun Tasting Room just down a block from here.

This was my favourite meal of the night, although it’s unfair to compare since it was more or less fine dining in flavours and execution. I also hope they put it on the menu because they said that it wasn’t yet available, which really confused me to have us try it. If their dishes taste as good as what we were served, then I’d say it’s a solid choice. It was definitely fine dining standard in flavour and presentation, but Tapenade Bistro is casual fine dining so the prices shouldn’t be as high.

First taste: Last of the Season Sardines – Pan seared, Tapenade herb garden puree, radish, grape tomato, saffron cucumber, tomato confiture, rouille.

It was the most artistic presentation and so simple as a starter although it looks very fancy.

Paired with La Frenz Riesling 2009, Naramata bench, BC. This is perhaps one of my favourite wines, it was sweet, but dry for a Riesling and I loved it.

Second Taste: Brooked Peninsula Ling Cod (Surf and Turf) – Pan roasted, Paradise Valley pork belly confit, 63 degree quail egg, fleur de Dijon Spaetzle, ragout of guanciale & brussel sprout, salsa verde, La Frenz Pinot Noir jus

Paired with La Frenz Pinot Noir Reserve 2007, Naramata Bench, BC

They should definitely put this on the menu. I don’t expect to get something like this at a casual fine dining restaurant and it was excellent.

This pork belly was insane. I don’t normally eat this because the fat is always too chewy, but if it was like this every time… I’d probably have heart problems by now from eating so many. It was the most tender piece of pork with the crispiest skin. It literally melted in your mouth, faster than the rate of butter.

Restaurant 2:
Dave’s World Famous Fish & Chips
3460 Moncton St
Richmond, BC

There’s a handful of “famous” fish and chip places in Steveston Village, but Dave’s is a popular local specialty. However so are Pajo’s located on the Steveston wharf and a few others.

Dave’s is a local family operated home style shop that’s been around for 32+ years. I’ve been in here once ages ago when I was a kid, so I can’t say it really brought back memories, but I’m sure it does for many others.

One Piece Fish and Chips. The cole slaw was nice and light and very easy on the mayo and the fries were made with Kennebec potatoes which gave them a smoother texture rather than a grainy one. The fish was battered with almost a corn bread like batter that’s also made in house.

Deep Fried Cod, Salmon and Halibut Fish. The most popular are the cod and halibut.

Mushy Peas. This is British tradition and it’s a staple side to Fish & Chips in the UK. I love peas and I really liked these. They’re better than Pajo’s, which will possibly ruin your chances of ever liking them if you try those ones first.

Restaurant 3:
Blue Canoe Waterfront
#140 – 3866 Bayview Street
Richmond, BC

Another place I’m a bit confused by. The atmosphere seems like a “nice place for a family dinner on a weekend”, but the food speaks of “contemporary, sexy and downtown”. Okay, let me un-confuse you. I was eating pretty fancy food, with various types of beer with a wooden canoe over my head… so you’re still a bit confused? Me too. I’m just not sure who the target market is.

Shrimp Toast – It was baked toasted with a layer of shrimp paste and sesame seeds. Served with a sweet honey Asian dip.

Again, I don’t see it on their online menu or on the fresh sheet, however I know it is currently being served on their menu. this was very Asian inspired and if I didn’t know they were supposed to be shrimp toasts (which I didn’t know) I would have thought they were scrambled eggs on top of the toasts. It was good and unique, but for “shrimp toasts”, I would have never guessed that’s what they were.

Mussels, Clams and Haystack Fries – choice classic – leek, shallot, white wine cream – thai – coconut milk, lemongrass, coconut lime – canoe style – white wine, garlic, fresh lemon, chives, bacon, stilton cheese $20

I have no idea if this is the actual portion size, but it was massive! The fries reminded me of those from Bin 941 Tapas Parlour.

Grilled Scallop Salad – Skewer of Scallops, salad of endive, radish, chorizo, caper cream dressing

I saw a Grilled BC Spot Prawn Salad on the special features menu for $13.50 that was very similar to this, so I’m not sure if they’re serving this on the menu.

Local Fresh Shucked Oysters – 6 for $15, 12 for $29

Seared Ginger Soy Ahi Tuna – Citrus Soy Marinade, Sesame Salad $11.50

Local Salmon in a Jar – house smoked red spring and poached sockeye. yogurt, dill, almond biscuit $10.25

This was on their special features menu. It was very unique and very contemporary and I loved the idea. I loved the almond biscotti and the salmon pate separately, however together the salmon totally overwhelmed the almond biscotti and I couldn’t taste the almonds. They ended up feeling wasted. Fantastic idea though!


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