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

2012 Jan 16
Whalesbone has recently lost its chef, Charlotte Langley. Possible it's re-calibrating a bit. Maybe give it another chance in a month or three.

2012 Jan 15
I finally got to eat at Whalesbone for the first time last week. Based on the reviews here, I was prepared to be blown away and wasn't. We were there for lunch and, between us, my husband and I had a beet salad with pecorino, the fish and chips, "clamghetti" and doughnuts with a pot of warm dipping chocolate. The clamghetti was delicious, the fish and chips were more chips than fish and the rest was average to good. Nonetheless, we did enjoy ourselves, as we had the booth right by the kitchen and were able to watch the dishes being prepared. I also found the restaurant offered a fun people-watching experience compared to a lot of other places in town. We actually did spot a knit hat (as per Fresh Foodie's recent review), but also a few suits, a couple of blue collar types, singles at the bar, etc. I realize this isn't food-related, but it added to the overall experience, so thought I'd mention it. We found the service to be casual but excellent and the staff was great about the fact we had our (low maintenance) baby with us. On the food front though, it was only ok and less than what I expected given its price point and reputation. We'd probably go back at some point just to see if our impression of the food improves, since we did have a nice time and enjoyed the atmosphere, but, as it stands, I wouldn't recommend it as a must try.

2012 Jan 14
Visited with my wife for lunch on a Friday. Given the glowing reviews and relatively high price point, we were a bit surprised at this restaurant. It is pretty rustic and it is cold inside when it's cold outside. If you look carefully and have an eye for that sort of thing, you can spot some tiny figurines of naked women behind the bar (the kind you might see hanging from a rearview mirror - not particularly tasteful). This place is unique and kind of cool in a Bohemian chic sort of way, but it is not what you would call classy. Bathrooms are down in the basement and it's a pretty grungy trek to get there. I quipped to my wife that this place would be especially appealing to people who wear knit hats and hang out in socially conscious coffee houses but who also have a decent chunk of cash to spend on dining. And before anyone gets offended, I should point out that my wife and I are almost in that category, although we drive a volkswagen (diesel of course) instead of wearing knit hats. ;-)

Service was personable, smiley, and efficient, with water glasses being refilled often.

The food was generally very good but it didn't really meet our high expectations. One downside, for which we are partly to blame: my wife avoided the chowder because the menu mentioned dill and she isn't a fan. She opted instead for the salmon sandwich pictured here. To her chagrin, both the coleslaw and the salmon patty were *loaded* with dill. The menu didn't even mention dill in the description, so please ask your server if you have an aversion to it! Dill aside, she found the patty to be bland and underwhelming. I tasted the coleslaw and it was good, but too much dill even for me. Having dill as the prominent flavour in both the sandwich and the salad strikes me as a culinary error. The potato chips were great!

2011 Oct 26
Had to try the Whalesbone Oyster House! Did it last night and had a wonderful meal experience, in unique Ottawa style.

We started with 18 oysters -- all Canadian from both coasts. They're so fresh, they don't need condiments. The white bread and their signature brown butter is a truly lovely addition to the table. To stay in the raw, I had the beef tartare, it was seasoned beautifully with white truffles, a must try on their current menu.

The servers are friendly, pleasant and knowlegeable, making up a big part of the atmosphere of this gorgeous tiny place. The kind of place that makes one love what Ottawa restauranteurs are doing for us.

2011 Aug 23
I took my father to Whalesbone, looking to impress him. He loves seafood, and he loves all around quality. I feel that the Whalesbone is very consistent, but they somewhat failed my old man on Saturday. I on the other hand, had a fantastic meal.

We started off with 4 oysters - two from PEI and 2 from Nova Scotia. The unanimous facorite were the oysters from Nova Scotia. Very delicate and subtle with a beautiful - yet not fishy - ocean taste. The PEI's oysters were great too, we just thought the N.S. bad boys were better. They also offer kick ass oyster condiments - scotch, 3 or four kinds of hot sauce and shallot oil. Yum.

For my "brunch main" I had the lobster benedict. Everything about this dish was right :) Decadent holadaise, perfectly poached egg, beautiful bread, and perfectly cooked - not chewy - peices of labster claw and tail. So good!

My Father had their standard fish and chips. sorry for the grim picture of that - not intentional trust me. Although he ate it, and it was passable, he really didn't enjoy it very much. He said the chips were way over cooked, the fish had too much batter and the over all dish was way to greasy. I have seen the whalesbone do fish and chips in a number of ways, but this happened to be of the least quanity, most greasyness and most over cooked I have seen it.

It wasn't bad enough to complain, but it was bad enough to say, meh.

I will still be back, since I have never had a bad dish at the Whalesbone, but I see my Dad's point. If one is paying 17 dollars for fish and chips, it better be amazing. We had a kahoot coupon so, at the end of the day, after 4 oysters, 2 innes and gunn's, pretty much a whole loaf of bread (we had it refilled so many times) and my lobster benedict, it was still a nice lunch.

2011 Jul 2
I just returned from The Whalesbone where I enjoyed a wonderful ‘brunch’. Today we were pleased with the exceptionally fast service and the fantastic food - as usual.

When we arrived we were brought a generous portion of the most delicious, fresh, soft and moist sour dough bread you can imagine. This was served with caramelized butter. Oh man, this butter was a party in my mouth. It was very salty but it had a very deep taste with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Oh and it's also pure evil. AHH-mazing!

I am a little disappointed that I didn’t order the Lobster Benedict, but after all, my choice was really good. (the reason I say this is because I saw another patron receiving his lobster Benedict and it looked epic!

2011 Jul 2
My girlfriend ordered the smoked mackerel sandwich which was made with beautiful sour dough bread and stacked with bacon, tomato, greens and some very tasty mayo. They were not skimpy with the fish. The sandwich was served with fresh potato chips. The fish was delicious and it embodied the perfect balance of smokiness and fishiness. mmm…. the ocean and smoke!

2011 Jul 2
I ordered the ‘chicken’ and waffles (which the menu does not explain). I was blown away by what the chef did here. It wasn’t chicken at all, it was ‘chicken fried’ tuna! If you didn’t tell me it was tuna, I would have believed you if you said it were chicken. It was amazing; I would rename it the ‘tuna schnitzel’. The cutlet was placed on a savory-ish waffle which was drizzled with very tasty syrup and served with a dollop of this very tasty seasoned mayo.

Including an Innes and Gunn and a pop, lunch was 43 dollars before tip!! Worth every penny!
I’ll be coming back many, many times.

2011 May 30
I went to the Whalesbone on Friday for lunch with some colleagues. Fantastic as usual!

I had the seared tuna and asparagus salad. It included 4 nice pieces of tuna, beautifully seasoned and seared on the edges; served with grilled and pickled asparagus, this cilantro pesto-type stuff, and a soft poached egg. Beautifully presented and extra tasty! Sorry I don’t have a picture, I can’t find it.

One colleague of mine had the catfish and chips – which was excellent. The chips are now more akin to thin potato chips rather then French fries. I personally like the fries better, but I do have to say the tarter sauce served with the meal was out of this world. Full of dilly goodness :)

My other colleague ordered the ‘poutine’. This was the cheapest dish ($11) on the menu and equally satifying. It had beautiful large fries topped with cheddar cheese, tuna and a nice thick gravy. Unorthodox forsure, but amazing none the less. Trust me, this wasn’t your classic heavy, cardio busting dish. Poutine with class!

2011 May 30
Finally, one colleague ordered the salmon fishcakes served on a ‘toutan(sp?)’. It was explained to us that a toutan is a pastry of Newfoundland origin. I didn’t try this, however my friend absolutely raved about how good her choice was. She really enjoyed the Innus and Gunn that she drank with her fishcakes.

Overall, this was a fantastic lunch at a very reasonable price. My bill for the tuna salad with an Innus and Gun was 21 bucks before tip. Subtract the beer and that is an affordable and fantastic lunch at a very reasonable price. And to think I paid more than this at the Ex-change for garbage.

The Whalesbone is a real gem!

PS. The service is great. Personable but not pushy, and totally unpretentious.

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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.