I have been in British Colombia a week now, and it has been wonderful. It has also been very busy. I have spent the last week in Vancouver doing the urban thing, in Richmond exploring Asian food, the Okanagan visiting wineries and tasting lots of (delicious) wines, and for the coming three days I am on Vancouver Island, based in Victoria.
Pretty busy. So I took today, my first day in Victoria, in my stride, visiting the museum (highly recommended for the First Nations gallery alone), and wandering about, poking my head in here and there, taking turns that would take me somewhere I didn’t know, and in general following my nose. Exactly how I like to travel.
My nose brought me to Red Fish, Blue Fish. A local and modern interpretation of the humble fish and chip shop, in a shipping container by the harbour. A few people had mentioned it on twitter, so I had a look. The menu was everything I have come to expect of one on the West Coast. Vibrant, explicit in their sourcing of ingredients, sustainable and fun.
It looked great, so I joined the queue. At the core of their menu is local and sustainable wild Pacific fish. I wanted most things but couldn’t resist the seafood poutine with local shrimp, smoked tuna belly bacon bits, crispy shallots and miso clam gravy. One of my favourite food memories is a miso soup with lots of tiny clams at the bottom of it in Tokyo. I was sold. Also, tuna bacon? I have to try that.
I opt for a half size as I also want to try a grill seared albacore tuna tacone with medium rare charred tuna, pea shoots, slaw and lemon pickled onions. With a soft drink and service, it still isn’t $20. I take my seat on the board walk and watch the world go by while I wait.
My half portions arrive and they are enormous. I am ripe for the challenge. The poutine is fresh and light, the seafood is terrific, the tuna bacon a delicious revelation and the gravy delicate but rich enough to carry it.
The tacone is basically a taco wrap. The tuna is medium rare as promised and with a lovely crisp char on the outside. The slaw and salad give it great texture and balance. Terrific.
I am so happy as I sit there and eat it all, watching the sea planes land in the harbour as the sun sets. Red Fish Blue Fish is a great spot, with great food, ethics and prices. Highly recommended.
1006 Wharf Street Victoria, BC V8W, Canada