It’s funny how we always seen to forget to check out restaurants close to home. I must have walked/driven by the Merivale Fish Market thousands of times, but I had never tried it. I didn’t even know what kind of food they had exactly—well, fish, obviously, but I wasn’t sure what kind of place it was.
Well, now we’ve been there. Verdict? Good fish but I found the restaurant overpriced and the service wasn’t great.
We came around 7:30 p.m. on a weeknight. The restaurant was reasonably busy but not packed, and it was bigger inside than I thought. Nicer too: it actually looked like a proper restaurant rather than a greasy spoon.
We were told to seat wherever we wanted and we were left to review the menu, already on the table.
The menu was very small and fit on one page: appetizers, fish & chips, a few specials and grilled fish. So far so good, I don’t trust restaurants that boast a twenty-page long menu. Unfortunately, it didn’t say much either: for instance it didn’t specify whether sides were served with the grilled fish. I had to ask the waitress, who eventually showed up at the table twenty minutes later. She seemed disappointed when we didn’t order wine and appetizers, which annoyed me a bit.
I ordered the grilled salmon with a side of veggies/potatoes (yes, a side is included) for $18 and Feng had the “catch of the day” fish & chips for $14. Most specials were around $20 and appetizers around $10-15.
Food took a while to come but no big deal. It looked really nice when it arrived actually, although I did found the portions were pretty small. My piece of salmon was nice and I had three half potatoes, half a grilled zucchini, a quarter of red pepper and a little piece of onion. I was also disappointed to see that we were not given any bread/rolls or fixture to eat with the meal. A bit cheap for a $18!
My fish was fresh and excellent, and so was Feng’s. The service wasn’t great though: no one checked on us, our glasses of water were not refilled and it took a long time to flag the waitress to ask for the check and actually get the check, even though by then the restaurant wasn’t busy anymore. A lot of customers seemed to be regular and you could tell the staff was much friendlier with them.
The Merivale Fish Market actually has a fresh fish market store next door. I would go back to buy fish and cook it myself since the product was good. However, I found the restaurant overpriced for the small portions were got and the poor service.
- The fish was fresh and well-cooked.
- Service was non-existent: no water refills, no check on the food and it took forever to get the check.
- Expensive for small portions, sides are very small. Your best bet for the value is probably the fish & chips.
At a glance
Merivale Fish Market
1480 Merivale Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 6Z5