Address: 680 Silver Star Blvd, Toronto, ON M1V 4S5
Phone: (416) 321-0250
Across the street from renowned Pacific Mall and Market Village, behind Splendid Plaza, is Silver Star Blvd where plazas of restaurants lie along the whole street, with numerous cuisine types and popular hangout places.
A special request was made to Fishman Lobster Clubhouse Restaurant because it was my friend’s farewell dinner. We have heard numerous raves about the restaurant, the striking portions of seafood and quality of the meal and how satisfying it was. Here we are, as a big group of 9, finally trying out the restaurant.
You can easily notice the restaurant with the vibrant huge signs hanging at the front entrance and the rear staff only door. The lobster logo is cute, reminds me a bit of Prince Edward Island and the lobster mascots in their souvenir shops.
The sitting area is surrounded by columns of clean fish tanks, holding the selection of lobsters, king crabs, sea bass and other edible marine animals. I thought the restaurant looked cheap, trying to raise the class by showing off the expensive seafood. Area is really tight, and overwhelming sometimes, felt a little claustrophobic. The chair covers bothered me because are they ever washed?! Some moments, I found oil stains on the chairs. The OCD kicked in and started questioning the cleanliness of the restaurant.
Shark Fin and Seafood Dinner for 10 ($599) was a 9 course meal that we ordered. The waitress showed us the fresh lobster, crabs and fish for our approval before cooking. This act sort of sets up the hype for the rest of the meal and also for assurance. The ultimate question now is could the price justify the meal?
魚翅 Shark Fin Soup was thick and salty. Initially, it was not that salty but it really builds up on your palette. However, we were provided with many thick strands of real shark fin. The texture reminds me of soup that has been left in the pot for extended period of time and overtime, thickened up. I find it mediocre. As an appetizer and first course, it was quite filling.
港式避風塘炒蟹 Fried Crab in Hong Kong Style was beautifully presented. I think the chef was trying to create a wow factor. It was topped with shredded lettuce and green onions.
風沙頂龍 6lbs Deep Fried Lobster with Dry Garlic was presented nicely, another wow factor from the meal. It ginormous looking, getting the money’s worth of seafood and is pretty much the main course of the set dinner.
A same opinion was given to both the lobster and crabs. I thought it was a waste of the live seafood. Because it was caught live from the tanks, a lot of fresh natural flavours and springy meat texture were already present in the crustaceans. By boiling lobster and crab in water, chopping it into bite size pieces then deep frying it, the natural flavours were leaked into the water during the cooking process. The texture of the meat was no longer hard moist, it was in fact a bit mushy. I thought, might as well give me frozen seafood because, it really would not have mattered anymore. The taste and texture between fresh and frozen was the same.
金沙蠔 Deep Fried Oyster with Salt Egg and Vegetable tasted weird in my opinion, and was presented with shredded lettuce and green onions. I did not fathom that rough fried texture. It was thick and heavy, tasted ultra-salty. It honestly felt worse than breaded-american style of cooking. I must reiterate how the way of cooking wasted these fresh oysters. Not only did the first bite feel oily, but the texture of the oyster was no longer springy. It was no better than a tub of de-shelled oysters from the supermarket.
清蒸石斑 3lbs Steamed Bass was probably the best dish from the evening. Thank heavens, the fish was not overcooked. The meat was hard and flakey, definitely fresh. The soy sauce was sweet, that i can have bowls of rice to accompany it. In fact, this is the healthiest of all seafood dishes in the set dinner.
Our set dinner was suppose to come with eel in black bean sauce. However, the restaurant had a lack of eel supply. Our waitress gave us 2 substitution options, either the beef or half a chicken. Seeing how the eel was more expensive than the 2 options given, there was no price adjustment for their lack of supply. I felt a little ripped-off. But really, half a chicken? Should give us a full. But yes, we went for the beef.
黑椒牛肉 Black peppered beef with vegetables was mediocre. This is always a safe dish to go to at all restaurants if you do not know what to order, or if all else fails. I must sadly criticize how the bite sized beef was practically swimming in thick black pepper sauce. In my opinion, quite salty. Vegetables were good, steamed, extremely safe.
清炒菜心 Stir fry vegetables
红机子浸豆苗 Poached snow pea tips with berry
The vegetables were overcooked. It lacked the crunchy texture and it was “aged”, where it had the rough and stringy texture. I have a gut feeling the vegetables were poached or boiled before stir frying it. However, after a heavy cholesterol hearty meal, vegetables were highly required to balance the internal body systems. We did not care how it tasted or looked.
Overall, I am surprised for a set dinner, it did not have rice or noodles with it. When you eat at any high end Chinese cuisine, both noodles and rice are served towards the end. My recommendation would be crab meat fried rice or lobster e-fu noodles. I thought the dish presentation was quite cheap, everything sitting on a bed of lettuce where in other high end cuisines, they will do something intricate. The cooking style requires no skill from the chef because everything was fried. In my opinion, frying fresh seafood is a waste because the main purpose to fry it is to hide the “dead” texture of the seafood. When it is fresh, the best way to cook is to steam, boil or stir it in a well heated wok.
Personally, I will not go back to the restaurant again because the price does not justify the meal. For a first timer, go for the experience.