Friday, August 24, 2012

Fishman Clubhouse Restaurant

Fisherman Clubhouse Restaurant is truly a hidden gem in Toronto. If you're looking for quality Chinese-style seafood, this restaurant is a MUST.

Where: 4911 Steeles East
Toronto, ON
M1V 4Z3
Price: $$$ (Our meal for 6 people came to $250)
Special notes: Don't even bother showing up unless you have a reservation as it is always crazy packed. Also, any substitutions to a set menu means extra $$!

Located in a small plaza, it can be hard to find! It's exterior is not particularly boastful and not the most appealing looking restaurant.

When you first enter, you follow a small hallway that
is filled with lobster tanks from floor to ceiling

Standard interior

A covered outdoor patio is also an option.

We chose the outdoor setting as the indoors had the a/c blasting pretty heavily!

Extensive menu, with many set-course options

Our meal of choice
We chose the Large Lobster Dinner for 6 but we substituted the "Steamed Eel w Orange Peel" with half a free range chicken ($10) and the Stir-Fried King Oyster with pan fried beef cubes for another $12

6.23 lb lobster

*NOTE: The menu calls for a 6 pound lobster. Every pound that the lobster is over 6lbs costs $15

Started off the meal with Chinese soup with lotus root
Pretty standard soup, well flavoured, nothing too special about it.

Chicken with green onions
 Again, although it was cooked and seasoned right, it was nothing too out of the ordinary

Pan fried beef with cashews and bean shoots
This dish was definitely the best of the non-seafood dishes! They cooked the bean shoots to the perfect texture where they were crunchy without being too chewy. Their beef was also cooked just right. I could not stop myself from eating this dish!!

Poached live clams in Hua Du Wine
 One of the best ways to enjoy seafood is to just serve it as "au naturel" as possible in order to preserve the seafood-flavour. This was very clean and simple tasting dish which was delicious. You really get the taste of the clams. The broth on its own was very good without being too overwhelming. 

Steamed Bass
 The steamed bass, while very fresh, was again nothing too different from other Chinese seafood restaurants

Steamed Oyster Mushrooms and Bok Choi
The last of the non-seafood dishes before the real stars of the night came out! 

Large Lobster Fried with Dry Garlic

This was the main course and we all literally did a double take at the mountainous pile of lobster in front of us. What really made the lobster delicious was that fried garlic clung to the lobster pieces, making it hugely flavourful. One of the best parts was the surprise I got when I picked up the lobster head and found the entire head was still intact .. and with roe still inside!

Absolutely colossal!!
 Definitely the winner of the night!

Thin plastic gloves were given so you could eat with your hands without getting them dirty

Making use of the gloves

Drunken Crab Hong Kong Style

One of the best parts of the crab was that they fried tiny little White Ricefish (白飯魚) along with the crab. This dish was slightly spicy, which wasn't a problem with me but just a warning to those who don't prefer spiciness!

Like the lobster, the head of the crab still had all the roe intact - so delicious!

Like most Chinese restaurants, to finish off the meal they give you a dessert of some sort usually in the form of a dessert soup (糖水). Unlike most Chinese restaurants, however, we got black sesame paste that was rich and sweet (most other places serve a much watered down version)!  A lovely end to an amazingly delicious meal!

The food is fantastic here - the best seafood I've had (Needless to say, their seafood is much better than their non-seafood dishes!). But be forewarned, the food is pretty much the only reason to come here. The service was bearable at best - they seemed to be very impatient and every request me made seemed to be the biggest inconvenience to them.

If those things don't matter to you and all you really want is the food, it is absolutely amazing - definitely try it out!

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