Monday, January 18, 2010

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant: Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

Cuisine: American/West Coast/Fast Food/Seafood
Last visited: January 9, 2010
Area: White Rock, BC
15479 Marine Drive
Price Range

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: Fish: 6 Other stuff: 2
Service: 5

Ambiance: 3

Overall: 5

Additional comments:

  • Family owned
  • Since 1975
  • Specializes/famous for fish and chips and tartar sauce
  • Huge portions, huge pieces of fish
  • Only one kind of fish: Cod
  • Deep fried and breaded everything, except for salads
  • Familiar to locals and tourists
  • Line-ups
  • Homemade, family recipes
  • Great for families/seniors
  • Very casual, fun atmosphere
  • Special: Buy 3 pieces and get 1 FREE
  • Great option for picnic on the beach
  • Some burgers, sides, salads available
  • Award winning “ selected local favourite”
  • Dine in/Take-out
  • Take-out window, patio area
  • Accepts inteac/Visa/Mastercard

**Recommendation: Fish and tartar sauce (I’d even pass on the chips)

The first time I heard about Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant was at a family dinner. Thanks to me we always end up talking about food! :D My cousins and I were sitting at a table talking about the best fish and chips in the city. I was talking about how I wasn’t impressed by Pajo’s in Richmond and then with high enthusiasm one of them blurts out “Moby Dick! Moby Dick in White Rock is THE BEST Fish and Chips in Vancouver!” I could hear the passion in his voice and the excitement in his eyes. We could all feel it…it was pretty hilarious. Nonetheless all of us put it on our list of places to go!

So I came here literally right after my 3 course brunch at Giraffe Restaurant down the street. This was pretty much my second lunch, but I just had to try it! While waiting for Kim to arrive, I spent 20 min. walking up and down the street to burn off brunch so I would be hungry again. Kim and I have been talking about it for ages, so I’m glad we finally made it!

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant has been around for ages, and not much has changed since its opened…not that I was alive then, but it doesn’t seem like anything has changed. It has the family owned atmosphere with that “tacky” quality fish and chip places have. It’s fun though and it suites the atmosphere, so I liked it! Even the service is very family-owned – everyone seems to be grinning from ear to ear and you can feel that they really appreciate your business from the moment you walk in to the minute you leave.

Some (very few) people may call it a "tourist trap", but I don't think so. I was there visiting in the winter and it was packed with locals. Ultimately you do get a huge piece of quality fish that's fried very well with homemade tartar sauce...I could pass on the other items though.

On the table:

**3 Pieces Fish & Chips 6/6

  • $16.60 (If you order 3 pieces you get 1 free! The offer isn’t advertised, but they’ll give it to you.)
  • Yes, this was the best fish and chips I’ve had yet. However I don’t have much to compare to because I don’t have fish and chips too often. I could, but I doubt I will find better than this.
  • The fish is premium quality Alaskan Lingcod and they slice and filet it in house! It’s the biggest deep-fried fish I’ve ever had. The meat was was juicy, tender, flaky and fried golden brown to perfection.
  • The batter is the 2nd part to what makes this fish perfect. It’s a really thin crispy batter, to the point of almost forming air pockets. It was that light and I’m so surprised at how well it held on to the fish, the fish didn’t separate from the batter. I want to taste more fish than I do batter, and in this case I did. It was the perfect ratio.
  • To my surprise, one of the first things I noticed was that the fish and batter were not seasoned. There was no pepper and very little, or I think none at all – salt! Usually this would be a big deal to me, because there should be some salt to enhance the flavour, but it didn’t bother me here too much because the star of the show was the tartar sauce!

Tartar sauce 5/6

  • Small: $.80 Large $1.40
  • The tartar sauce is another famous item at Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant.
  • Start off with a premium ingredient and serve it with a homemade sauce…how can you go wrong?
  • People say it’s the best tartar sauce ever, so I had my expectations set high. I wouldn't call it a classic tartar sauce though.
  • It smells and tastes like dill vegetable dip and ranch salad dressing mixed together. It’s mayo based, so a bit thicker than a salad dressing. There’s lots of dill, some pickles and minced onions too. It could really be used as a potato chip dip or for a potato salad. It was creamy, but maybe a bit thinner in texture than a traditional tartar sauce. It was excellent, but the dominant flavour is dill and for a tartar sauce I would like a bit more of a pickled flavour.

Chips 1.5/6

  • Small $3.90 Medium $4.90 Large $5.90
  • To be honest I could do without the fries. They’re hand-cut Yukon Gold fries with the skins on (even though the menu says they peel the skins by hand).
  • They’re a bit sweeter because they’re Yukon golds and they would have been excellent if they cooked them well. They were very oily though and soggy because they were soaked in oil. They were almost wet, and I had grease all over my hands.
  • They could have been so good, but I think they need to re-assess the cooking temperature and time…or even just fry them twice or fry them longer in hotter oil. It catches me off guard because they nailed the frying time on the fish and the batter was so light and crispy.

Clam Strips 1/6

  • Breaded clam strips served with cocktail sauce $4.90
  • I was not feeling this at all. The batter was completely opposite of the batter on the fish. It was dense, crunchy and reminded be of the batter cheap pubs use for their onion rings. Or it reminded me of heavily battered popcorn shrimp, but with a fishy taste. The batter separated from the clam meat; however the clam itself was quite tender. It was a whole lot of batter and not a whole lot of clam.
  • The clam strips were also quite bitty too. There were a few that were at least 2 inches and then a bunch at the bottom that were really small.
  • I also didn’t like how they served it with 2 random onion rings. It was almost like they knew the clam strips looked a bit pathetic so they added the rings last minute to make the dish look fuller. How did they taste? Like a regular onion ring. It wasn't the fish batter or the clam batter, but somewhere in between.
  • Cocktail sauce: The cocktail sauce was more on the ketchup side than it was on the horseradish side. It was quite mild, so I think it catered more to kids and seniors with sensitive taste buds. It was a bit tangy and lemony but I like a stronger kick to my cocktail sauce.

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. mmm, that fish looks awesome! I think I've gotta go and try it soon myself :D

  2. Yeah it's huge! Remember the special - buy 3 get 1 free!

  3. Wow, great post. Nothing beats perfectly battered deep fried cod!! Yummm! I'm definitely going to give this one a try.

  4. Actually, it is not a 3 + 1. Any order gets an extra piece! :)

  5. Really any order gets an extra piece? Even if you just order 1 piece?

  6. Yup when you have pieces of fish that's good! Just keep in mind it needs sauce.

    Thanks for posting donchichi!

  7. Oh oh, did we almost get a sneak peek at Kim in the first fish photo? ;)

    Sounds like a great tarter sauce you guys have discovered.

  8. LOL! I think you see a sleeve!! I'll get a ninja shot next time hehehe

  9. It won't be "ninja" if you saying you will do it! :P

  10. I love fish and chips and those perfectly battered and fried fish pieces look so good! Tartar sauce looks nice, too.
    Tourist trap or not, if they have good food then it'll be packed with locals and tourists alike. Nice pics and I like the action shot =).

  11. I totally agree with you! White Rock is a pretty touristy area and along this strip there are at least 3-4 places serving fish and chips...just on one block! And Moby Dick manages to shut them all down for the winter! That says something!

  12. Oh my god, I've been dying to find a good fish and chips place. Thanks for the post!

  13. No problem!! I still want to compare it to "Mr. Pickwick's"....but this is family owned and I'll naturally lean more towards these kinds of places.

  14. O_O OMGGG hahahaha I love fish and chips and holy crap those pieces of fish are huge!!! your description of the batter where it's light with air pockets is amazing, I know it's deep fried but I like it when there isn't too much batter that it gets thick and that's all you can taste. The tartar sauce sounds really good too LOL, I love tartar sauce. Back when I was a kid, I'd order a fillet 'o fish from McD's but only eat the tartar sauce with the top of the bun HAHAHA I didn't like seafood as a kid, but now I love it!

    At least this place is closer to home, if I'm ever in White Rock, I'm def going to have to try this place!! great review babe :)

  15. ohhh I get it!!! i was like White Rock is close to Burnaby?! But you mean closer than Seattle!!! hahahahah imma geek =p

    You know what's weird!? I used to love fillet o fish as a kid but hated the tartar sauce! I like it now though.

    White Rock's in my hood so you'll need to visit or drag me along!!