Catch Oyster Bar (Calgary) – Respectable but expensive
Prior to catching this year’s Med Show, we went out for an early dinner at the Catch Oyster Bar. Last time I was at the resto upstairs, our service was atrocious. I wasn’t quite ready to forgive but willing to give the oyster bar below a fair chance.
Things didn’t start well. We entered the beautiful stone building and stood in front of two hostesses that were trying to figure out seating for the dinner service. We stood there awkwardly for a few minutes before one of them casually looked up. “Can I help you with something?” Yes. I wouldn’t mind getting seated please. But take your time. Go ahead and finish what you were doing.
Moving on. Our server was quirky and very attentive. We were in a bit of a rush to get to the show so she moved things along appropriately. We ordered and in 5 minutes, our food was served. Probably the fastest service I’ve ever had.
First, the Atlantic Haddock Fish and Chips for $18. Lots of fish, great texture, and not too much batter. More breaded than battered. Well seasoned and not particularly oily. The chips were done just right. Tarter sauce could’ve been chunkier but I am a sucker for really thick tarter sauce. This was a great deal for $18.
Jules had the Garlic and Chili Prawns with fennel and green pea risotto. The colours reminded me of Ying-Yang rice you can get at a Hong Kong Cafe. There were a lot of prawns, approximately 15 or so by Jules’ estimation. For the first time ever in the history of dining out, there are more prawns then meet the eye. The Chili part was a bit lacking… but it depended on whether your prawn was one of the lucky ones sprinkled with more. Overall, a tasty dish, satisfying, but pretty expensive at $27.
Our friend had the Seared Atlantic Salmon with cauliflower and Brie bread pudding, and cabbage cassis gastrique. The skin looked beautifully crisp and the salmon done nicely at medium. Reasonably priced at $25.
The fish and chips were easily the best deal here. Generous portions of fish paired with lots of chips, i’d come for this again. The other dishes were certainly respectable but fairly pricey.
I am dying to try the Tower of Power, for 4-6 people. It features Nova Scotia lobster, chilled Dungeness crab, scallops, prawns, mussels, clams, and East and West oysters all for a huge $170. Maybe for my birthday…
Catch Oyster Bar, 100 Stephen Ave. SE, Calgary, (403) 206-0000, www.catchrestaurant.ca