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Fishhook at Mermaid Wharf. Victoria BC

   Day drunk and starving. This is how we approached the door to Fishhook at Mermaid Wharf in Victoria. D and I had started another day in Victoria looking for a way to shake the day-before’s combination of sleep deprivation and hangover (both food and alcohol) So naturally after touring Value Village looking for treasures for our future Van, we went to the brewery for a couple hours.

Without breakfast.
This Brought us to noon and Fishhook where I personally planned to devour anything I could find.

 Fishhook is an Indian/seafood restaurant. Really.

In all the fusion type places we have eaten and all the shows that we have watched I had not seen anyone proclaim themselves that. I was very very interested in what Fishhook had to offer.

The view was beautiful looking out at the water and the restaurant itself did a very good job of feeling “nautical”. Sea and stormy blue colours and local art. A split level dining room with just a slight ramp separating the two, did I mention it was lunch time happy hour? I should have paid attention to the fact it was not very full.

I ordered a seafood chowder to start. I did not order a drink as my breakfast of beer beer and beer was still playing tricks on my head. The chowder was good, not excellent but just good. I can not say that my first impression held up to the expectations I had in my head.

For lunch I wanted to get the full experience of an “Indian/west coast fusion feast“ so I dove into the Vindaloo’d seafood hotpot. Claims of “char grilled sockeye, rockfish, mussels , smoked squid and a lemony baguette” tantalized my mental stomach. For the whopping price of 31.00, I decided to go for it as we were on a food vacation.

I was wrong. So very very wrong. The hot pot was a disappointedly small portion for the price point, drowned in a sauce that was so so heavily seasoned you really could not taste the fish inside. The squid was chewy, the salmon was overdone, and the mussels had that funny hint of “maybe these are not as fresh as they could be” Nothing was overtly awful, but this meal was nowhere near what I was expecting.

It got worse. After lunch which I could hardly finish I felt really full, like that feeling when your stomach maybe is not so happy with all the elements trying to have a party in there. We wandered for a bit, I was hopeful that it would ease but no. After a nap, and hours of walking I gave up and delicately emptied the contents of my stomach into a nearby receptacle. Was it the beer breakfast? Possibly, but I am usually pretty solid when it comes to that sort of thing. I believe that there was nothing wrong health-wise with our lunch but the combination and intensity of ingredients did not sit well with me.

As I said previously, it was lunch time, and happy hour. I should have paid attention to the fact that there was no one there.

Cheers and Bon appétit

Points for effort and a pretty clean setting


 I was surprised to hear 90’s gangster rap when I walked through the front doors. I was also surprised the dining room was empty. The decor was nice, if a little stark, finished in slate greys and wood, it had a bit of an industrial feel.

 Feeling my pre-lunch beer buzz waning, I ordered a Hoyne beer and scanned the somewhat perplexing menu. “Indo-French Seafood fusion” hmm…. Okay then. After some time, in an uncharacteristic move for me, I decided on the “safe” option of fish and chips (fish’n’frites). One of the varieties of fish available on the menu was smoked sablefish, one of my favourites, so I ordered that. Disappointingly, they were out of Sablefish that day. Resignedly, I accepted the rock cod in consolation.  
The fish was “pakora battered” and it was decent, not better than that though. The Frites had some masala seasoning on them, and were indeed tasty, just the right amount of dusting to intrigue the tastebuds. The dish was served with a small salad they call a “red shred” and was actually amazing, without question the best thing that crossed my palate that meal.

The whole experience left me feeling confused. From the choice of tunes to the decor to the strange mashup of flavours, it was like four people were doing different things to this restaurant without consulting each other.  

Cheers, and bon appétit


Fishhook Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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