While visiting the Ladner farmers market, we stumbled upon a small fish & chip restaurant and decided to gamble. To be honest, I was skeptical a fish & chip shop run by Chinese. I would similarly feel leary about an Indian restaurant run by Latinos, or a Japanese restaurant run by Greeks.
Well, I put my doubts aside and we gave it a go.
This is a small family run place, and has apparently been in the family for several generations, starting with a family member that operates a fishing boat, providing the freshest catch for the restaurant.
It’s a modest space, very clean, with a slightly quirky decor (a fake seagull perched on a wooden pier pile, paintings of tall ships, fishing nets, etc).
The menu a little expansive, going beyond just fish & chips and chowder. They have salad, burgers, tacos, salads, crab cakes, and more. We started with the fish (cod) and chips.
This is two pieces of (extremely) fresh pacific cod, dipped in a thin light batter, and deep-fried to a light crisp, served on a bed of hot crispy fries, with a side of coleslaw and fresh house made tartar sauce. Although I like a little more batter on my fried fish, it’s hard to fault Chung’s offering. It is nicely crisp and about as fresh as it comes, moist and flakey and cooked to just the right doneness. The fries are light and crisp on the outside, but tender on the inside, lightly salted (actually we ended up adding more salt, and grinding some fresh pepper over the pile). The coleslaw is freshly shredded cabbage and carrots in a mild creamy mayo-like dressing.
Second came a cup of clam chowder.
This is a fairly generous cup of clams, cod and halibut in a chunky creamy chowder, loaded with red potatoes, onions with just a little smokiness from bacon. This is a pretty good chowder.
And finally we had the mussels and fries. This was a daily fresh item, and not on the regular menu.
These are Salt Spring Island mussels, steamed in a garlicky white wine broth with slivers of fennel and wedges of tomato, served with more of those crispy french fries, and a small side of garlic-parmesan-bacon aioli.
This is really well executed. I’ve been to Belgian restaurants that could take pointers from this. Mussels and slightly sweet and tender, and the broth is aromatic from the garlic and fennel and white wine. I would have loved to have a crusty baguette to soak up all the liquor from the bottom of the bowl. The garlic bacon parmesan aioli was fantastic. It has a smoky tang from the bacon, and saltiness from the bacon and the parmesan.
The service was quite exceptional (about as friendly and enthusiastic as any restaurant I’ve ever patronized).
For us, this appears to be a good alternative to Steveston as far as fish & chips are concerned. From where we are, it’s perhaps only a 5-10 minutes further by car, but the food is arguably better than any of the fish & chip joints I’ve tried in Steveston or White Rock.
I can see us stopping here again during any subsequent visit to Ladner.