Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews The Chase Fish & Oyster

The Chase Fish & Oyster underwhelms the palate but seduces the eye.


Published:

The Chase Fish & Oyster transports to the Hamptons; lobster rolls are an eyeful at the casual iteration of The Chase

I’m completely stumped. All these years of eating for a living and I cannot figure this one out. How come The Chase (both upstairs and downstairs) is so hot it’s sizzling? Just try getting a table. The service sucks and the food is ho-hum. We can’t even talk to them about our reservation without being driven crazy. Having booked a table, we have occasion to call twice to change it. Both times I sit on the phone for what feels like ages while they figure out my reservation. Both times after I tell them it’s for downstairs, the reservationist makes me wait a while and then asks: “Is that for upstairs or downstairs?”

So we arrive for dinner at The Chase Fish & Oyster. This is the ground floor of the splendidly refurbished Dineen building. Fish  & Oyster is the casual branch of the fancy place on the fifth floor. We booked for 6 p.m., we said we were pre-theatre, and when we get there they tell us to go have a drink at the bar ’cause our table’s not ready. That’s great. A little muscle and we get a table, but who likes starting a relationship by getting pissy?

And pissy is how we feel when they bring the apps. Autumn seafood chowder has about as much flavour as something from Mrs. Campbell — and about as much seafood in it. Oyster po’ boy sliders are equally unfortunate. The oysters in their deep-fry jacket have been overcooked.

The king crab rosti is big beautiful chunks of sweet fresh crab — wrapped in what they say is rosti, but resembles mashed potatoes. Oops. The unfortunate rosti sits on a fine little slaw of shaved Brussels sprouts with a river of pale green chive inflected sour cream. The lobster roll, surely a beach shack’s iconic entrée, has so little flavour we’re thinking to send out a search party. And yet the people are flocking, rather like lemmings.

But what a gorgeous nautical room, beach bar beautiful with colourful spinnakers hanging from the ceiling and big retro fans. It’s all very Ralph Lauren, preppy seaside pretty. I think I get it. It’s like my grade seven home ec teacher taught us: The eye eats first.

 

The Chase Fish & Oyster, 10 Temperance St., $100 Dinner for two.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Tapas Journey: A tapas primer ahead of this August's festival

Tapas Journey: A tapas primer ahead of this August's festival

In a few days we will be officially unveiling full programming details for Estrella Damm's first Tapas Journey festival, which takes place from August 14 to August 23. For 10 days, 20 local restaurants will be featuring a special ‘tapas’ menu to celebrate Spanish food and culture.
Posted 4 hours ago
Lunch Pick: Curry udon from Manpuku on McCaul

Lunch Pick: Curry udon from Manpuku on McCaul

We went with the recommended beef version of the curry udon, which sees tender hunks of beef along with carrot and potato piled atop a mound of udon noodles.
Posted 1 day ago
Restaurant Update: Otto's Doner, Smoke's Weinerie, Maman, Union outdoor market extended

Restaurant Update: Otto's Doner, Smoke's Weinerie, Maman, Union outdoor market extended

As the summer heat kicks in and with the Pan Am games still in session, the Toronto dining scene has seen a fairly quiet week. Street food is the main focus at two new restaurants that opened up shop.
Posted 5 days ago
Preview of Toronto’s first Tapas Journey festival this August

Preview of Toronto’s first Tapas Journey festival this August

This summer, we’re celebrating August by having even more fun than usual. Post City has partnered with Estrella Damm, the well-known beer of Barcelona, to act as exclusive media partner for Toronto’s first Tapas Journey festival.
Posted 6 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module