Connie and I regularly attend the Calyx Art Show, and it has become a bit of a tradition to visit Big Fish as part of the visit (because the regular home of the art show is so close to the resturaunt). In April (yep, this is another one of those delayed posts – I just had so many other things to post about!) we went to the show again (where I got a lovely painting from local Calgary artist Magz Ross) and once again, went to Big Fish. (iPhone photos throughout this post… I didn’t bring my regular camera with me this time around.)
We started out our meal with a delicious assortment of raw oysters, one each from 6 different regions – three each from the east coast and three each from the west coast. I wish I could remember all of their names – they didn’t have any of the beloved Angel Beach oysters in stock, but in general I preferred the west coast oysters over the east coast ones (more salty, more flavour). Of course April isn’t apparently key ‘oyster season’ (I read somewhere that oysters are at their best in “Months ending in ‘R'”; the colder months from September to December), but they were still delicious.
Oysters are served with a variety of sauces to choose from, along with lemon wedges. They’ve recently labelled their sauces on the container, which is fantastic… I far prefer the Ponzu sauce over the rest, though the anchovy and caper sauce is also pretty awesome!
For our main meal, it was still brunch time (around 12:45 when we got there) so we had to select from the brunch menu. I actually find the brunch menu a bit hard to choose from – there are specific ingredients that I like, but mixed with ones I don’t in a lot of their dishes. I really should have asked if I could have their Soba noodle salad again – it’s not on the menu… but that doesn’t often stop me!
Instead, we both had the Eggs Benedict – hers with ham while I had crab with mine. The bread was wonderful, the potatoes were good, but the eggs themselves weren’t anything special – and their basil-hollandaise sauce was nothing really that special either unfortunately. The pea shoots were kind of cool though! The crab was alright, but again, nothing really special. It certainly LOOKS fantastic though!
Although the oysters had arrived quite quickly (and at that point the restaurant was fairly busy), the entree took a VERY long time to arrive, and at that point the restaurant was less than half full. Honestly I was getting a bit tired of waiting as well, which might have influenced how well-received my eggs were.
I was tempted by their dessert menu as well, and although my tastes usually run towards chocolate, I thought that the bourbon pecan pie would be amazing. I also really was looking forward to the vanilla bean mousse….
For $9.00, this was really disappointing.
Although the pecan pie tasted fine (although I like the nuts a bit softer in a pie…), the maple bourbon taste I had expected just wasn’t there. Without that extra flavour, I missed the slight creaminess that the ‘syrup’ pecan pie contains usually has – it missed the boat on both aspects. The vanilla bean mousse, was just whipped cream as far as I could tell. There wasn’t the mousse texture, and there was no vanilla flavour at all. I think someone made a mistake in plating the dish perhaps. It was good, but it just wasn’t SPECIAL. Only the presentation made it anything different than a slice of pie at The Bay’s cafeteria… well, that and the extra $5.00…
So, yay for oysters, and ‘feh’ for the rest of the meal. I think next time I go to Big Fish I’ll just stick with the delicious oysters instead….