Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shucked oysters at the Oyster Shack.

The Oyster Shack is a small seafood restaurant and bar situated in the pub district of Bishop's street. As the name implies, their specialty seems to be the oyster, but they serve various other seafood platters as well, ranging from the simple Fish and Chips to the creative Clam Chowder Poutine, and even a fancy Seafood Pasta.

By the way, random fact. Facebook makes you fat. Yes, it's scientifically proven. You see, it all starts when your friend posts some amazing pictures of a meal they had. Then, a chemical reaction occurs in your brain, wherein it basically starts sending these red flashes of 'WANT!' through your mind, and you are forced to go seek out that particular restaurant until your cravings are satisfied. Then seratonin and dopamine happen. IDEK. As you can probably tell, I am not a neuro-sci major.

Accessibility - Grade: A
It's less than a 10 minute walk from Guy-Concordia metro, Guy exit.

Service - Grade: B+
Our waitress was really sweet. She smiled a lot and was pretty courteous and she apologised to us about the food taking a while even though we didn't complain. Which leads us to the problem. The restaurant was relatively empty. Well, I don't know about the second floor or the terrace, but our floor was completely empty. Yet still, the food took a while to arrive. The waitress also didn't check in on us that often.

Food - Grade: B-

Unfortunately (or fortunately), the pictures I took didn't turn out that well, and I didn't take a whole lot, so I'm going to borrow my friend's photos (with their permission, of course). She also ordered a bunch of stuff that I didn't try, but I'll post the pictures anyway to give you an idea of what their food is like.

Oyster Platter
 My friend didn't really like the oysters, except for 'the little pointy ones', she says. But then again, my friend didn't even like oysters when they were cooked. She did, however, say that they were sandy and weren't cleaned properly.

Fish and Chips
My friend did like the fish and chips, though. She said that the fish was tender and the batter was very crunchy, and 'a pretty golden color'. The dip, on the other hand, was 'meh' (her words, not mine). She found it a bit too thick; otherwise, it tasted like standard tartar dip.

Seafood Pasta
Unfortunately, because of my friend's pictures, I had a ridiculously high expectation level for the seafood pasta going into the restaurant, which may be why I was a little disappointed with the meal.

The seafood pasta is a massive platter of linguini with tomato sauce topped with a mix of mussels, scallops,  shrimp and half a freaking lobster. The scallop and the shrimp were incredibly tender and juicy, and they tasted very fresh, but the mussel and lobster came up a little short. The mussels were a little dry, and some of them still had a sandy texture to them. The lobster meat was a bit bland, and it didn't have that slight crunch to it that fresh lobsters tend to have. Also, when we cracked open the claw, it felt like half a gallon of water splashed out. The pasta itself was lightly spiced, but it was a kind of lacking in flavor other than saltiness.

I also tried my friend's (not the same one who had the oysters) Clam Chowder poutine, but I unfortunately don't have a picture of it. Basically, instead of using gravy, they poured hot clam chowder on a bed of fries and cheese, then topped it with some clams and mussels. I also think that they might have replaced cheese curds with regular mozzarella. The dish was suitably creamy, and the cheese was nice and stringy. However, it was also a bit on the salty side, and was also quite heavy. 

Interestingly enough, this friend, who had never seen the glorious facebook pictures, said she really liked the meal and would be returning soon. So yeah. The pictures probably did affect my judgement. But just a bit.

Price - $$
The price also depends on what you order here. The Clam Chowder Poutine and the Fish and Chips are $10 a plate before tax, but the Seafood Pasta is $25 before tax. It's also one of the more expensive menu items. So if you're a non-picky student with a little extra cash and are craving seafood, then sure, why not? It's pretty solid seafood (can't speak for the oysters though) for a decent price.

Final Grade: B-

The Oyster Shack
Oyster Shack on Urbanspoon
1242 Bishop St., Montreal


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