Old Fish Market
Old Fish Market
Foods from Old Fish Market


2013 May 29
I bought a 15 for 30 groupon. Wow. I'm glad I did.

The food is bland, mediocre and overpriced. We ordered mussels (which were small and not so fresh, with way too many chopped up peppers - My guess is that this adds to the weight). The white wine/garlic sauce was bland and watery (and they didn't include very much.)

We ordered the special of the day... in fact 2 of them. Which were 3 jumbo shrimp for 3 bucks. So we order two orders of that. The shrimp were totally bland, and definitely!!!! not jumbo shrimp. 6 bucks for 6 normal sized shrimp on a skewer. Rip off maybe? yep!

We also ordered a salad, which was quite nice. Except the dressing was completely -un-emulsified, and were merely layers of balsamic and olive oil. Ugh. Fail.

When bread arrived with our mussels, it was kind of like a sandwich keizer (similar to the bread you would find in the bins at loblaws). It wasn't very good, and they brought us exactly two pieces. (for 2 people, who ordered mussels). I expect much better bread from a restaurant with such high prices.

My girlfriend kindly asked for more, and the server literally brought one more roll on a plate. Seriously, bring us a basket of proper bread. However, since the bread was very poor, we didn't want a basket.

This came to about 40 dollars with one beer.
For a fish restaurant, they royally failed on the mussels - which are so easy to do if the produce is fresh. It’s also a good judge of a sea food restaurant in my opinion. If you want good mussels go to Johnny Farina (huge plump, juicy PIE mussels), or check out the Black Bear Pub for mussels better than the "old fish market".
This place is a tourist trap par-excellence. I used a groupon once and I will never return. Considering the prices are competitive with restaurants that are actually "good", such as Murry St, Whelaesbone, or Domus. I repeat... prices are competitive with Whalesbone.... That alone should diswade any foodie from trying this place.
Sorry for the strong words.

This place is so meh.
Server was acceptable, no complaints.

2013 Mar 27
Caper, I have an idea which company trained you, but I'm not positive, so I'll sit down and have a Snapple while I grapple with my memory. In a chapel.


As far as the OFM's behaviour goes, I would value the two separate calls and a sincere promise to investigate much more than an apology or expression of 'sympathy.'

2013 Mar 27
arugula ... Well I'm sorry to hear about your incident wrt the Old Fish Market (Was the market old ? or was the fish old ?).

Maybe the management had similar training that I did with a well known multinational (years ago).

I was trained never to say 'sorry' or apologize to a customer ... even if in the wrong. We were to use lines like "It's very unfortunate that blah blah blah..." or " I understand how you feel. Blah blah blah ..."

The primary reason given was to avoid any litigation or give the customer any 'ammunition' for litigation.

If the manager said sorry in anyway it may appear that he is liable for any of your damages (and pain and suffering).

It sucks to live in such a litigious society.

Things have changed a lot here, ever since Canadian lawyers can now get a piece of a legal settlement $$$.

I've even seen the American style lawyer ads on Canadian TV.

"Have you suffered an injury from a car accident, slipped and hurt yourself on someone's sidewalk or BEEN FOOD POISONED AT A RESTAURANT ??... Call Ruth Less LLB. at Slimie/Greasie/Greedie Associates at 1-800- ... ").

2013 Mar 26
Epilogue: After I reported my discomfort on that Friday after lunch at this restaurant via the City of Ottawa website, I received a call from a Public Health staff member on a Sunday no less. She took further details and explained that she would be investigating. She called yesterday to inform me that samples were taken and tested, and there was no evidence of foodborne issues from the lab results.

I received two calls from the restaurant management in response to a call I made about the incident. In both calls they said they were actively investigating the issue and cooperating with the city. Each time I was offered a gift certificate to make up for the bad experience.

While I felt the restaurant's efforts to discover the source of the problem commendable, their attempts to address my issue lacked one simple thing: in neither conversation did the person say they were sorry. Not sorry they caused it (that was yet to be proven) but just sorry. As in, I'm sorry to hear you didn't feel well. Some sort of empathy for the other person's discomfort. That would have set the right tone for any further discussion.

It's the simplest thing to simply say "I'm sorry to hear that" but far too many times businesses forget this simple human courtesy.

I thanked the owner for the offer but said I was satisfied with how they looked into the matter.

2013 Mar 18
Food poisoning? What do you expect from a market selling "Old Fish"? (sorry couldn't resist - hope you feel better arugula)

2013 Mar 15
Not one to frequent the tourist restaurants in the Byward Market, I made an exception today because a colleague wanted to use a gift certificate. We were a party of six, arriving a tad before noon to beat the rush.

Service was decent and upbeat. That's the only positive part.

Seven hours later, I am still feeling the effects of badly handled tuna or perhaps some sketchy aioli, and my colleague is feeling the same from her fish filet on salad entree. She had to leave work by mid-afternoon. I had to forgo any dinner and head to bed early.

Two out of 6 diners negatively affected in a place specializing in fish. Not good odds for the Fish Market Restaurant.

I've already filled out the form on the City of Ottawa website. I may go talk to the Manager, but I'm not sure what that will get me.

What a great Friday! Hope everyone else is enjoying a more pleasant evening.

2012 May 1
Date of Visit: March 23, 2012

I have visited the Fish Market Restaurant some half a dozen times over the last 9 or 10 years. I have had a few good meals there, but also a couple that were not so good. This most recent visit was one of the better experiences…

Malpeque Oysters ... Rating 3 out of 5
Bouillabaisse ... Rating 4 out of 5

Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc ... Rating 1 out of 5
Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon ... Rating 3 out of 5

Despite making me feel a little rushed, the service was generally very good and the surroundings pleasant. The oysters I had for my first course were not especially enjoyable (though this was not the fault of the restaurant), but the Bouillabaisse I had was excellent. I had a very pleasant dining experience on the whole.

See ful pictorial review at: sybaritica.me

2009 Jun 23
Digitalman - I too was thinking of marking your comments "Questionable", but considering that the Old Fish Market has on previous occasions been discussed as indeed one of those "tourist spots" in the Market, I will for now leave "the Q-Button" alone.

It does interest me though your graphic choice of words... (shock impact) this usually points to a Newbie with "an agenda".

2009 Jun 23
Worst lunch in Ottowa so far. Salads were awful, they even forgot to put the mustard dressing in it. The inside of the tuna was coagulated unfrozen blood. My girlfriend almost vomited. Service is non-existent, we had to stand up for our own ketchup. It was a real insult we even had to pay 100 bucks for our meal. The food was very bad quality. I guess this place is just for tourists or something. Never going back again, neither should you.

2008 Jul 31
I just got back from the Fish Market, and i must say i wish i had read the reviews here in the forum before going. I went there with a friend, we had not decided where we were going in advance, but decided to give this place a try.

We sit down, and immediately had to ask the waittress to change all the dishes that were on the table because they were dirty. Usually at this point i would have just walked out, but i guess i was in a good mood and decided to try it out anyways.

The bread we got next was great. It tasted really good. So there was a bit of positive.

Then we order, and i decide on having the steamed mussels as the appetizer and pan seared Florida Mahi mahi as the main course.

While we were waiting for the appetizer, we were brought a "chef's compliments" which consisted of exactly what Nanook said.. some dough-like thing with salmon. Average.

Finally the appetizer gets to the table, and what a disappointment. The mussels don't look all that fresh (some are orange-y as i've always seen them, and some are really white). The plate in general is very average and doesn't look good either.

The main dish: What a huge letdown. As soon as the plate is set down in front of me, i know i won't like it. First I get mashed potatoes instead of the fries i asked for. The mashed potatoes are PLAIN. I don't think they put anything (not even butter) along with it.
I can tell by looking at the Mahi Mahi that it was not cooked properly. For one, it was supposed to be pan-seared, but it was VERY WET. It just didn't look good. Taste wasn't that much better, and i had to watch every bite because i got 4 fish bones (probably more but i only ate half the fish). The side veggies were not good at all. Other than carrots, i couldn't even tell what the other veggie was.

Last course is dessert, and i get the vanilla cheesecake, which was ok. I guess along with the bread, it would have been the "highlight" of the meal. :|

Then we get the bill.. 40$. To add to the fun, while we're paying, the fire alarm sounds and everyone is evacuated.

OK OK, that last part is not their fault, but taking 40 of my hard earn bucks and giving me such an awful and disappointing meal IS. I rarely give bad reviews.. but tonight's meal was simply BAD.

I'm definitely not going there again.
(same for my friend, his dishes were average at best)