It’s funny how we always seem to skip restaurants close to home. I must have walked/driven by Merivale Fish Market a thousand of times, but I never suggested it for dinner. I didn’t even know what kind of food was served—well, fish, obviously, but how about specialities, the atmosphere, etc.?

I can tick it off my list now. Verdict? Good fish but overpriced and service wasn’t great.

We came around 7:30 p.m. on a weeknight. The restaurant was reasonably busy but not packed, and the inside was bigger than I thought. Nicer too, it actually looked like a proper restaurant rather than a greasy spoon on Merivale Road.

We were told to sit wherever we wanted and we were left to review the menu waiting on the table. It fit on one page—appetizers, fish & chips, a few specials and grilled fish. So far so good, I don’t trust restaurants with a twenty-page-long menu. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a descriptive menu. For instance, it didn’t specify whether sides were served with the grilled fish option. I had to ask the waitress who eventually showed up at the table twenty minutes after we arrived. 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 fancy when it arrived actually, although I did find 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, no water refill and it took a long time to flag the waitress for the check and actually get the check, even though by then the restaurant wasn’t busy anymore. Many customers seemed to be regular and you could tell the staff was much friendlier with them.

There’s a fresh fish market store affiliated with the restaurant just next door. Next time I’ll buy it fresh and cook it myself–the restaurant is overpriced for small portions and poor service.

The Good

  • Fresh and well-cooked fish.

The Bad

  • Ser­vice was non-existent: no water refills and it took forever to get the check.
  • Expensive for small portions, sides are very small. The best value is probably the fish & chips.

At a glance

Merivale Fish Market
1480 Merivale Road
Ottawa, ON  K2E 6Z5
(613) 723-2476

Grilled Salmon and Fish & Chips

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  1. Steven Taylor July 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Nice Blog Zhu – your logo is very similar to ours!

    1. Zhu July 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Ah, the header collage I guess? Yes, indeed!

  2. shionge July 16, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Looks like a hearty meal but the salmon looked over-cooked… it ok?

  3. Cynthia July 19, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Not to contradict you bu the fish and veggies look a bit charred?

    1. Zhu July 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Yeah, not the best place I found. Food was okay, but overpriced.


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