Cowichan Bay Seafood
Victoria Public Market
#12 – 1701 Douglas St.
E: Like the tides that swish through a bay, I’m always finding myself returning to the Cowichan Bay Seafood outlet in the Victoria Public Market. After some time in operation, they have put together a fine smörgåsbord of products for folks to buy to take home to cook or dine in. Although a touch pricey, when compared to oysters bars offering a happy hour of a buck a shuck, there’s more variety here when they are offered at $1.50 per! I had some wonderful raw and fruity oysters from Paradise Oysters (located on Baynes Sound). The name is apt because, with the celery vinaigrette, they were the perfect appetizer to begin with until my Lingcod Fish n’ Chips arrived.
J: The fish and chips are a decent price. There isn’t much in the way of fries on the plate but that didn’t matter, taste was Cowichan Bay’s main concern and not saturation. What made the dish special for me was the purple cabbage. I’ve dined at chippies who’ve used purple cabbage in their coleslaw but never was it used almost exclusively. This coleslaw had a kick that makes your taste buds sit up and take notice. The special ingredients used to wake me up was cilantro.
And Ed’s reference to a sea-shore line is apt. I ate late and I was the one who most felt our bistro table was near to the ocean, I could almost smell the salt air and in the distance, I thought I heard a fog horn as it warned passing ships off the coast. But none of this experience was due to sitting in Cowichan Bay Seafood’s small dining area but from Ed’s mouth as he opened it to belch during his meal. He must love the ocean as much as I do because he burps with the skill of a sailor. And there was no covering his mouth either, it was Ed Sum live and unplugged.
E: In some Western cultures, burping is considered a compliment. It was a sign I truly appreciated the meal that I partook in. Why James is making a fuss is probably because he’s more Scot than Brit, so it makes me wonder just where his heart truly belongs.
I pardoned myself when I could, but sometimes my body has a mind of its own. I suppose it’s the Sparkmouth ginger soda that is the reason that caused me to show how much I adored the lingcod. It was cooked in a light gluten-free batter to soften the meat, and it was still moist to the touch.
Now I wonder if James can look such a fish in the face and give it a kiss?
J: I guess my problem with Ed’s body spasms is that I’m of the lower-class with middle-class mind and manners. And I would kiss a fish only if the top half were of the mermaid variety. I must admit it would make dining a little more fun. Don’t cook the fish, I’ll take her as nature intended scales and all.
E: I’ll have to set James up on a date with Cthulhu then to see if he’d survive the night. But with our main meal, a lingcod lightly battered up with a modest serving of fries, at least one man’s craving got sated. I liked the juicy, saucy, meat. I’ve had it stir-fried in Chinese cooking, but flash fried was better! The tartar sauce made all the difference.
J: The meal was juicy although I found the lingcod to be a bit on the salty side. But I’m a man who is on a low sodium diet. With that said, the only disagreement I have with Ed’s summation is that the mermaid could’ve been saucy too.
3½ Blokes out of 5