Saturday, January 23, 2010

Willman's vs. Jamieson's - the ultimate fish & chips taste test!

This past August I spent a week in Vancouver and got a chance to try fish & chips on Granville Island. They were really tasty but the question was...were they as good as what we serve up on the East Coast? It was actually a tie! My only comparison was Sam's Seafood Express; however, between the two, I found Sam's fish was fresher but the batter was better on Granville Island.

Upon coming home, I talked about this experience with my friend Alto and he presented me with a challenge: we would each choose a restaurant in Halifax, split a serving of fish & chips, and then rate the quality of the meal. We finally got to do this last night. My choice? Willman's Seafood (5644 Kane St., Halifax, NS). Alto's choice? Well, originally it was Phil's Seafood but he went there the other week and left disappointed. So we caught a wireless signal on his ipod touch, found a blog that rates fish & chips places all over HRM and went with Jamieson's Irish House & Grill (5 Cumberland Dr., Cole Harbour, NS), which got 4.5/5.

Willman's was very friendly from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out, perhaps because it's family-run (at least that's the impression I had). The fish pieces were a decent size and the fries were handcut. But if I could rave about one thing it would be the batter. I don't know what they put in it but it is delish! Only downside is the fish was a bit dry...I'm hoping this isn't the norm. The fries were pretty good.

And Jamieson's? Gotta say I was a bit disappointed. We ordered the beer battered fish & chips and although the fish was moist and flavourful, the pieces were small, the batter was a bit bland and the dish as a whole was pretty greasy. The fries were alright for me...not the best in the world but definitely not the worst (and didn't have a freezer taste to them). However, Jamieson's pear salad was fantastic and the service was also friendly.

My final verdict...
-Willman's:8.5/10 (see picture below...yummy!)

- Jamieson's: 6.5/10 (see below...okay, it was really dark and this picture makes the fish & chips look somewhat really wasn't that bad. They deserve more credit than this picture gives them).

Please note that a 1 is fish & chips so bad that I couldn't finish the dish (and I finish my food 99% of the time!). 5 is your run-of-the-mill fish & chips and a 10 would be the best fish and chips on the planet. For a restaurant to get a 10 I'd have to feel like heaven was in my mouth (despite the fact that I was eating a heart attack special).

Was Willman's better than Sam's? I'm not sure. When I get back from Benin I'll have to have another fish & chips night to compare the two. But until that time I'll give my arteries a bit of a break so they can unclog themselves. :)

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