The Whalesbone Bank
Fish and Chips at The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
Salmon at The Whalesbone Bank
Caramelized Lunenburg Scallops at The Whalesbone Bank
Oysters at The Whalesbone Bank
Foods from The Whalesbone Bank
Comments

2011 May 29
Cannot wait to go back! My husband and I ate there last night and had a tasting menu of 4 courses for 77$ each. We left well sated. The food combos were absolutely spot-on and original. The prawn, goat cheese and grilled scallion starter was so good that my husband asked for more bread to scrape every last bit off the serving platter. Loved the baked giant angel oyster which followed; paired with lobster, fiddleheads, and asparagus, with a light coating of a plum-wine sauce. Our main was a play on an English breakfast: grilled mackerel, fried egg and lamb chops. Was not convinced this would work, but boy was I wrong! The lamb was cooked and seasoned to perfection, as was the mackerel, and we loved that the veggie sides were seasonal. I'm lactose-intolerant, and the kitchen only had a few hours to prepare a dessert for me. I fully expected yet another fruit plate. Instead, I was served a peanut butter and coffee toffee the size of a quenelle accompanied by a warm rhubarb compote and raspberry coulis. We were wowed by the flavour! I ate mine with my eyes closed in pleasure, I think I even purred! Our server was attentive and pleasant, and the wine pairings the chef recommended were superb. Great night out!

2011 May 28

My wife and I ate at the Whalesbone 2 years ago and were very impressed. We have been looking forward to our return ever since. We finally made it back last night for a birthday dinner and must say, left disappointed.

Readng through the other reviews I'm surprised at the number of people who state that they found it well priced. My main complaint was the tiny size of the $15 appetizers and $30 main. The tuna could have fit on a single cracker and the halibut not much bigger. We actually went to another restaurant afterwards to eat an appetizer as we left the Whalesbone so hungry.

The octupus appetizer was extremely salty and the albacore tuna dry and listless. The halibut was OK, but not much more.

2011 Mar 6
On a side note to my previous comment, tried the sandwiches at the Whalesbone Sustainable Oyster and Fish Supply and had a good experience there.

2011 Jan 29
I actually do not care for Whalesbone... I've given it two serious attempts now and unfortunately I don't think my husband and I will be going back.

I find that the accompaniments that are on each plate are chosen poorly and overwhelm the actual star of the dish - the seafood. Take the tuna dish. It was paired with blue cheese (!) and a powerful spice rub of some sort among a vast array of other random little sides. The blue cheese alone completely overpowers the delicate tuna. The only appropriate tuna side on the plate was the avocado.

It seemed like with every dish we had at the table, the chef couldn't quite make up his mind for what to include on each plate and just put everything on there. Some editing was definitely in order.

One dish my friend had was the mackerel, which was a special that night, and it was salted to the point of being unappetizing.

The worst part is the prices do not justify the food. It was $130 for two people and that included a single beer and water, one appetizer (split) and two mains, no dessert. I still cannot get over that my main plate of four scallops, which I found hardly filling and I'm a very light eater, was $33! When you're dishing out that kind of cash you expect top-notch food and there are just too many better restaurants in town to spend a lot at this one. The portions are really appetizer size. You can get the same scallops at many other places in town and they are $13 and just as good or better.

Overall, I find it waaay overpriced and underwhelming. Perhaps letting the seafood be the focus would prove to be a better experience for us. I would gladly pay the price for a special treat, but I found Whalesbone to be lacking.

2011 Jan 28
Could that beer have been Innis and Gunn?

2011 Jan 28
Amazing!

The quality, service, atmosphere and uniqueness of this restaurant speaks for itself. This restaurant has the most personal (and unpretentious) yet, highly knowable and laid back service I have experienced in Ottawa. The food is to die for, the beers they carry are amazing, and there is honestly nothing bad I can say about this restaurant. Definitely in the top tier.

For lunch this afternoon I had the Whalesbone version of the Nicoise. Everything about this dish was exceptional. The flavour, presentation, variety of textures, speed of arrival, smell, etc etc.. was perfect. Their Nicoise is made with seared tuna (which was amazingly tasty, cooked perfectly, and very high quality) anchovy ramp vin, dilly beans (dill pickled green beans), roasted potatoes, truffle, some kind of slightly fishy mayo type dressing, a perfectly soft poached egg and HUGE caper berries. It was magnificent. And for 14 dollars, a serious bargain. You, yes you, need to try this.

To wash this down they recommended a fantastic beer (the name of which I cannot remember) – it is aged in whiskey barrels by the way… Delish!

2011 Jan 28
My colleagues had perch and chips, and the seafood “pizza” respectively. I had the opportunity to try both. Only one word can describe it – fantastic. The sea food pizza almost resembled a beavertail. It was topped with all kinds of top notch ingredients such as salmon, goat cheese feta, mushrooms, and other sea creatures. See the picture….

2011 Jan 28
The fish and chips were so damn good that it puts your standard greasy fish and chips to shame. Again see picture… The tartar sauce was fantastic.

These dishes were served with warm and fresh sour dough baguette which was amazing.

The presentation is equally impressive (see pictures). Another thing to mention is that the food was just the right portion. The portions were just large enough to fill you up, but not too big so to leave your stomach busting after lunch.

While sitting and dining, my table might have been mistaken for a Whalesbone cheer leader squad, since most of our conversation was about how amazing the food, service and beer was.

Highly recommended and I look forward to my next visit. Hopefully sooner than later.

2011 Jan 21
Amazing. When I can afford a really nice meal out, this is THE place to go. The flavours are otherwordly and the seafood is so fresh and sweet. Great selection of oysters and the servers are very helpful with explaining the varieties. Whether you opt to order seafood or something else (the lamb I tried last time I went was devine), prepare to have your proverbial tastebuds' socks blown off and over the moon. Yum.

2010 Dec 31
My husband and I were really excited to try this place out...I wish I could say we were wowed, but it was just ok.

Our server seemed impatient with us. Asked us multiple time if we were ready to order within minutes of our arrival. We had never been and were excited to look through the menu.

My husband asked to try a single oyster since he'd never had one, and she walked away and brought him one. No asking what he'd like to try, no explanation of the kind she brought or why.

On a good note, when we asked which dishes could be made dairy-free, she went to the chef and came back with a good number of menu items that could be made safe for a dairy-allergic person.

We started with the salmon starter - hot smoked salmon with a cherry vanilla jam. It was... Fine. My husband liked it more than I did.

I had the beef tenderloin, and it was very good although the broccoli rabe overpowered the other delicate greens. Husband had the mackerel. Big flavours, but he wasn't wowed.

Waitress was also rather put out when asked to recommend a wine pairing.

For a Thudsday night at 5, it would have been nice to get friendly service. Also, the small tables are pretty jammed together. We really wanted to love this place, but for the environment, service, price and selection, I don't think we'll be back.

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Oysters 4


23

2007 Sep 15
FINALLY went and tried not only oysters for the first time, but caught Vardy on his last night in Ottawa!
I asked the server which oysters I should try being my first time and she suggested one from the east coast (PEI) and one from the west. The bigger one on the left in the pic is west and the smaller east. I tried the east first and it was smooth and the texture creamy almost. Then I tried the west and it was completely different than the PEI oyster. West was 'fishy' tasting and had a grainy texture. Both were good but I definitely preferred the east coast oyster.




2

2012 Jan 14
I chose the fish and chips for my lunch, as it is a kind of gold standard for any seafood restaurant. In keeping with the rustic style of this restaurant, it was served in a beaten up metal dog bowl of a plate -- a little too whacky for my taste considering the $17 price point.

I had high expectations for the fish and WOW did it deliver! Incredibly moist and succulent, with a perfect shell of crispy tangy batter. Certainly some of the best fried fish I've encountered anywhere. The only downside is that there were just three tiny fingers of it on my plate.

As for the chips, they were not my thing. Thick wedges of potato, fried to a dark brown on the outside, but tasting like oven-roasted potato on the inside. It's probably just personal preference but I didn't see this as an improvement over pub-style chips. I even left some on my plate, which is something I never do! The smear of tartar sauce was totally unnecessary for the delicious fish, but it did help moisten the potatoes. The sweet pickled onions are also a nice touch if you're into sweet pickles (I'm not).

So overall, I'd go somewhere else for my fish and chips. But if you want to see how perfectly fried fish can be simultaneously moist and crunchy, this dish is worth a shot!




1

2007 Sep 15
This was my main dish. "Hot filicetti sausage, organic king eryngii mushrooms, pickled ramps and warm crushed heirloom tomatoes"
This was absolutely delicious!! The sauce, heirloom tomatoes, was so perfectly flavoured I wished I had some bread at the end of it so I could soak it up! I did find the scallops to be a touch overdone but nonetheless was still very good. The little sausages added a nice texture to every bite.




1

2007 Sep 15
My bf ordered the Potato Crusted Red Spring Salmon which was described as "Organic young beets, pea shoots, "broken" soy-chevre-truffle sauce". The server asked how he would like it done and suggested that it should be medium rare but my bf not eating fish/seafood alot opted to have it done medium. He totally LOVED it! He couldn't stop saying how good it was and him being a lover of beets just couldn't get over how delicious it all was. I tried a bite of the salmon and yes, delciousness! The potato crust was perfect.


Steak -1

1

1

2007 Jun 22
I can't comment on their oysters, but I had their angus steak in a pepper sauce last week. It was about $35 and fantastic. Much more flavourful than the the pepper steak at Hy's, presented in a more appealing way, and at 2/3s the price.