The Chase: Fish & Oyster

Located below its sister restaurant, The Chase, the Fish & Oyster extension focuses on the finest of the sea, with smaller plates at a more affordable price. Although not as breathtaking as the rooftop glass cube upscale dining you’ll find upstairs, the space that houses Fish and Oyster is still beautifully presented, with a simple yet contemporary décor.

Inside, you’ll find dark wood tables with exposed brick and nautical flags, exuding a rustic elegance that reflects the peculiar beauty of the dishes (oysters are both rough-shelled and deliciously delicate). Being on the main floor has its benefits too, with a charming patio for cocktails in the summer and a street view of Temperance, right around the corner from Yonge Street and Toronto’s Cloud Gardens.

The Chase Fish Oyster Interior
The Chase: Fish & Oyster Interior

Executive chef Michael Steh has pushed the menu to be innovative, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and seasonal ingredients. Highlights include the albacore tuna with sweet and sour kiwi, sesame oil, fresh chilies, and smoked coconut ($18), or the big eye tuna "nachos" with crispy taro root, hot mustard saffron emulsion, sweet onion, and shoyu dressing ($19). The raw bar selection includes oysters, clams, shrimps, and lobster — all accompanied by an eye-dropper bottle of house-made hot sauce, cocktail sauce, and mignonette.

Tuna Nachos With Crispy Taro Root In The Chase Fish Oyster
Tuna Nachos With Crispy Taro Root In The Chase: Fish & Oyster

This restaurant succeeds tenfold in combining unexpected ingredients that blend harmoniously in surprising ways. You can taste a perfect example of that in the rolls — the lobster “Waldorf” roll with candied walnuts, apple, buttermilk, a milk bun, and dill Yukon chips ($21), or the dungeness crab and avocado roll with spaghetti squash, chilies, and coriander ($22). Walnuts, apple, and lobster don’t seem like the most normal of bedfellows, but the flavours melt together deliciously.

Avocado Roll In The Chase Fish Oyster
Avocado Roll In The Chase: Fish & Oyster

Despite the name, Fish and Oyster does have options for those who aren’t fans of seafood. The fried chicken ($20) was especially delicious, with a very crispy skin and a perfectly cooked juicy inside. It's served with a smoked cheddar and potato bun, provolone slaw, and a hot sauce butter that's so simple yet genius you'll wonder where it's been all your life. If you’re tempted to drink it off your plate, don’t worry — you’re not the only one.

Bay Platter In The Chase Fish Oyster
Bay Platter In The Chase: Fish & Oyster

My visit to Fish and Oyster was during the grand opening, and despite being its first day, the place ran as smoothly as if it had been around for years. That being said, Fish and Oyster shares similarities with its partner restaurant in that things move at their own pace, and you can expect to spend a lot of time here. But with a menu and ambience as rewarding as these, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sit down, relax, and let the ocean come to you.

-ES00ZH

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