Great Local Oysters
A more Polished Place to Slurp
Great New Seafood Joint
Raw oysters served in their half shells are a work in progress for me. It’s one of the foods that I’ve grown to appreciate as an adult, although still in small quantities and only select varieties. This is in stark contrast to my LA based cousin, SheClooney, who can down dozens of oysters of various types.
My cousin’s favourite place in Vancouver is Rodney’s in Yaletown due to the staff and atmosphere. When it comes to oyster bars, I find that as long as the bivalves are of good quality and shucked properly, other factors like ambience and staff are huge influences on where you like to consume your oysters.
SheClooney’s brief visit to Vancouver prompted a lunch at the recently opened Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market.
Why not bring her to Rodney’s? Well my cousin really likes Fanny Bay oysters so it would make sense to take her to a place run by the folks who produce her favourite.
Only Pacific Northwest grown oysters are available at this seafood restaurant located in the Hotel Blue complex – if you like East Coast varieties, you are out of luck.
We got Kusshis and Fanny Bays to start our meal. The staff member who presented the oysters, explained why each variety tasted and looked the way they do. The smaller Kusshi are tumbled once a week and as a result are golf ball shape and sized, and taste less salty. In contrast, Fanny Bays are grown near the beach and not moved so that’s why they are larger and much brinier.
I appreciated the server taking the time to share that with us. Learning a bit about the oysters I was consuming added to my dinning experience. The Fanny Bays were definitely saltier. I got one that was really briny, so much so it overwhelmed any creamy aftertaste. It was like I swallowed some ocean water. These were not my favourite, I much preferred the Kusshi because they are a small shot of sweetness. Despite my experience, my cousin was in heaven and graciously ate most of the very fresh Fanny Bays, while I downed the smaller Kusshis.
In addition to the oysters, a trio of tropical hued sauces and horseradish was given to us. The pretty sauces were a mingonette, a watermelon infusion of some sort and a mango habanero sauce. We found the narrow neck bottles somewhat cumbersome, as it was hard to control the amount of condiment flowing out. Also how do you get some shallots without pouring out a huge volume of mingonette? Out of the three sauces, the thicker mango sauce was the best.
To complete our lunch, we also got the ceviche and a plate of steamed clams and mussels in a Thai green curry broth.
The ceviche, consisting of a mixture featuring shrimp, crab and scallops, was very light, citrusy, and refreshing. I would have been more than happy to eat the sweet seafood straight out of the glass bowl. I didn’t care for the provided thick tortilla chips, which I felt, were too robust for the delicate ceviche.
Between the Salish mussels and Manila clams, I prefer the sweet little clams in our aromatic and slightly spicy curry. The orange-rimmed clam’s flavour was more intense and sharp, standing up to the bold broth. In contrast, the mussels’s flavour was duller and seemed to be lost. Next time, I would go with all clams instead getting a mixture.
Although not as lively as Rodney’s, the Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market was the perfect venue to catch up with SheClooney. I couldn’t imagine being able to hold the same conversation at the rowdy Rodney’s without having to resort to shouting.
I enjoyed my dinning experience at Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market. I definitely would like to return to try their tomato based chowder. I prefer Manhattan style chowder and it’s hard to find a good one in Vancouver. I know for sure that I will have to bring back my cousin when she’s in town next for their Happy Hour when her favourite Fanny Bays are only a buck each.
Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market
762 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2P2
Phone: 778 379 9510