Hyland’s Fish and Chips
10153 Resthaven Dr.
E: Sometimes a random trip to the middle of nowhere in the town of Sidney is good. James was given a tip about where to find some good seafood chowder, and we had a bit of a problem finding Hyland’s Fish and Chips.
Fortunately, in this township, the free Wifi along the main strip made our hunt easier. We are not excellent trackers by any means, so one Google Maps search later, we located our destination and it was only a couple of blocks away from the main drag.
J: Ed could’ve fooled me with the way he kept asking me if we were there yet. I should have left him cold and hungry on a Sidney street corner, for some granny on a scooter to drive over him.
E: When we walked by Taste of Tokyo, that will never happen. They have an all you can eat buffet Saturday night that can easily fill me up for at least three days.
J: But we knew we had arrived at Hyland’s after seeing the exterior decor. I come to expect such flamboyant behaviour from a chippie that wants to get noticed in the middle of all that suburbia.
At least Queen’s Grocery, located next door, doesn’t need to put out a sandwich board, Hyland’s signage is enough of an ad board for the block.
E: All I had in mind was that chowder that was much raved about. Was I disappointed? No. I loved the taste of corn mixed in with scallops and shrimp. The creamy base was not all that bad after I added some pep to it. Black pepper does wonders to the right meal.
J: We were greeted as we walked in from the man behind the counter. We were called gentleman and he had the server seat us promptly. The interior was a bit of a mixed bag with trinkets and decor having to do with the sea and then some. I immediately loved this place. It reminded me of dining in a fish shack. The only thing missing now was Popeye walking through the door in a wet plastic Mackintosh (rain coat for the North Americans). But with Popeye comes Bluto and that always spells bad news.
But at least the prices at Hyland’s was news of the good sort. They were reasonable. And there was no need to drop my fork under the table and then make a crawl for the rear exit.
E: And seeing James pack his meal in like a bear foraging for winter is something that needed to be seen to be believed.
I was conservative with two fried oysters and prawns to go with my chowder. I thought it lacked a certain freshness when considering how much sea life is available near Sidney. Most of which tasted like they sat in a freezer for a little bit too long.
J: My Captains Platter offered more variety but bore the hallmark of freezer storage. Though the batter was hard and thick, the oyster was like mush as it fell apart in my mouth. That shouldn’t have happened. The cod, tiger prawns, clam strips and scallops had their freshness called into question. Their tastes had long since settled down for retirement like many of the residents of Sidney. Only the onion rings fared better
It does pain me to give Hyland’s such a poor sounding review. I will still praise them for their grade A service. The owner(s)/employees were kind and saw to our every need. we were treated with respect in a manner that many businesses have forgotten.
And perhaps you’ll see an editorial about Victoria’s lack of service in future. But for now I’m going to say that Hyland’s is a shining example. I’m willing to try them again during the prime season when seafood is usually harvested.
Maybe then I’ll see the food on my plate come from the ocean floor instead of the frozen depths.
2½ Blokes out of 5