Sunday, April 22, 2012

B&B Fish and Chips

 Wandering down the streets of Leslieville (the area around Queen St east of Broadview), we passed by a fish and chips shop with a Toronto Star article pasted on its front window.  The article rated B&B as the best fish and chips establishment in Toronto, beating out many excellent competitors including Penrose and McKnees.  Given that this article was decades old and yet the place was obviously still thriving, we had to give it a try.

 Inside, a little old Chinese couple was frying up french fries along with battered halibut, scallops, onion rings, fish cakes and mushrooms.  The decor was a blast from the past with the tiled walls, retro signs with slogans like "We don't know where mom is but we have pop on ice" and an old fashioned ice box where the fish fillets were kept.  It was also a cultural meld of East meets West. The fish and chips were dispensed British style, wrapped in newspaper, but it was a Sing Tao Chinese newspaper while the traditional malt vinegar was dispensed from what looked like a Chinese oyster sauce bottle.  A gold and red Chinese lucky cat sat prominently on top of the icebox while on the walls were photos of a young Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip visiting the Great Wall of China.

The fish was fried in beef lard which added to the flavour and came out piping hot with light crispy batter and a sweetness and flakiness in the filet that just melted in your mouth.  I usually like tartar sauce on my halibut, but they didn't offer it and this fish did not need it. We opted for the onion rings which were dipped in batter right in front of us, rather than pre-frozen and were also delicious.  There were no tables inside and it was too stuffy to sit on the plastic chairs that were made more for waiting than for dining on.  But outside was a delightful bench which we were lucky enough to find it unoccupied.  Down the block away was a park with benches but we would probably have devoured our treasures before we made it that far.


Bernie said...

I am always impressed at how little Fish n Chips shops can get away with in terms of decor, etc. People really do rate them solely on their food. And this sounds like really good food, too!

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