Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pajo's - Fish & Chips

Pajo's - Wharf at Steveston Village, Richmond
Fish & Chips - "One of Each" - Cod, Salmon, Halibut w/Chips

Restaurant: Pajo's - Fish & Chips
Cuisine: Fish & Chips/Seafood/West Coast/British
Last visited: August 30, 09
Area: Multiple - Richmond, BC
154 East 8th Ave
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 2
Service: 2, well it's self-service
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 3
Additional comments:
  • Since 1985
  • Fish & Chips are inconsistent - depends which batch you get
  • Small pieces of fish, soggy fries
  • Heavy on batter, little on fish
  • Don't go during peak hours, cause they make ahead and dish them out
  • Eat outdoors on open patio right on the dock
  • Hours depend on weather - call ahead
  • Fun place to eat
  • Pay at cashier/Self-service
  • Pronounced "PaH-jo's" not "PaY-jo's"
  • Line-ups/crowded during peak hours, weekend and esp. when there's hot weather
  • Local fish
  • Quite expensive for fish & chips, and especially for self-service
  • Serves hamburgers, hot dogs, sides as well
  • Store bought cole slaw, homemade chowder
  • Tourist location - attracts families/still familiar to locals

**Recommendation: "One of Each" - Cod, Salmon, Halibut (I like salmon the best - skip the fries, they're soggy), Crab Cakes

I came here based on a recommendation and I would have never found it on my own, although it's a popular tourist location. It's right on the dock and you have to walk right to the end of Steveston Village where all the boats are docked and walk down a ramp in order to find it. It's not really hidden, it's just there's nothing else around it so you rarely wonder down that area.

It's famous for their fish and chips, but I don't think it's the best fish and chips I've had. If you're going to claim "famous for fish and chips" - I'm going to expect a lot. It's more "famous" because they've been there for so long, not because the fish and chips are better than everyone else. The pieces are kind of small and the chips are soggy; I think the outdoor self-service atmosphere is what makes this place great - not the food. Go for the atmosphere, not if you're expecting the best fish and chips of your life. It's really one of those "been there for 0ver 20 years and is part of Steveston history" places that you bring your kids and family to. Great for a visit on a hot summer day.

Note: The fish and chips are inconsistent. Ours were a soggy batch becuase we ent during busy hours and they have a batch of pre-made ones. It depends on your luck, the really sweet lady next to me let me try hers and hers was a a good batch - nice and crispy.

On the table:

  • **"One of Each" - Cod, Salmon, Halibut
  • (Just to try them all, but salmon was best) $13.09
    • Kind of hard to judge because we got a premade batch, so the batter was soggy, but I did try a better batch so I'm able to gauge a general idea.
    • Cod 2/6

    • Cod 2/6 - picture below is from a better batch, still not enough fish...
    • From a good batch it would have been 2.5/6, but mine was a pre-made batch so the batter was soggy. Even when I tried a piece from a better batch where the skin is crispy - there's still not enough fish. It's a wimpy small fillet of cod they use too, so there's too much batter not enough fish. The batter and fish aren't seasoned, at least they don't taste seasoned, so you really need the tartar sauce. It's local fish, but not necessarily the best quality so it wasn't one of those "doesn't require seasoning because it's so fresh" things either
    • **Salmon 3.5/6
    • The salmon was still good even from a pre- made batch. So it would be even better, if it was fresh. This was the most flavourful of the 3 - not fishy tasting, but just flavourful. It was moist, flaky, and cooked to perfection. It wouldn't have been much better if it was a fresh batch - just because the salmon part was fine, it's just the batter was either way it would probably be a 3.5/6. Same problem as the cod though - too much batter, not enough fish.
    • Halibut 3/6
    • The halibut was quite good. Nice and meaty, pretty good quality to use for fish and chips. You got the most out of the halibut - in terms of batter to fish ratio. The halibut is the only one that was sturdy or thick enough to stand up to the excessive batter they use. The other ones had too much batter , not enough fish.
  • Chips/Fries
    • Soggy, you can pass...especially since it's served in a cone and then they put the fish on all the heat gets trapped inside an d it just gets really soggy.

  • Crab Cakes 3.5/6
    • They call them "Famous" crab cakes, they should really call them fish cakes. It's made of almost all fish. If they had called them fish cakes then they'd be a 4/6.
    • They're made with cod, salmon, halibut, artifical crab meat, green onions and pesto. The most worth it - 2 for $5.69.
    • They're nice and flakey on the inside because of the fish, not because of the crab. They're pan-fried and could be sturdier - they get soggy really fast. For me, it was better than the fish and chips becuase they had flavour. They are good FISH cakes, but not good CRAB cakes. There's a big difference.
  • Chowder 2/6
    • It's actually 1.5/6, but I give it a 2/6 because it's homemade...which is unexpected for a place like this that's serving such a high volume. I appreciate the effort.
    • It's really really thick and creamy - they went too heavy on the flour. It's not really the thickness that bothers me, but more because it lacks in flavour. There's are lot of thinkening agents in there, like potatoes, but it's just kind of bland. I wouldn't order it again.
    • They call it "chowder" and not "clam chowder" for a reason I think - there' s not much clam
  • Mushy Peas 1/6
    • Typical of British cuisine, and common as a fish and chips side.
    • Pass on this - it's only .99 cents for a small...which I wish I could get back. It's literally 5 spoonfuls straight from a can...ew, they were really gross. Why it comes in a large?? I don't know.
    • I like mushy peas too, and I've had great ones, but these were pathetic. They weren't even mashed.
    • They aren't even peas, they taste like a cheap brand of preserved beans...I can't even say preserved because it sounds too fancy of a word for these...they were canned beans.
  • Cole Slaw
    • I didn't order it cause it's store bought - so it should be standard or whatever is cheap, cause I don't imagine them investing much into their sides...besides their crab cakes.

Pajo's Fish & Chips (The Steveston Wharf) on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been disappointed the last few times I tried pajo's...i don't know what all the hype is about this place. They were stingy on the fish and taste was OK and they are not cheap!! Have you tried Finest at Sea..that's my next place to go...they have a sable fish fish and chip:))

  2. Sable fish fish and chip!??!?! Well you can't ruin sable fish so it must be good! I haven't even heard of Finest at Sea, I must go! Check out Moby Dick's in White Rock as well..I have a post on that.

    But I agree with your comment...I was disappointed. They do batch at a time so you're lucky if you get a fresh one.

  3. Finest at Sea is actually a fish market (on arbutus street) but on the side they have a little cafe where you can order F&C.

  4. Thanks for the tip! Much appreciated!