Nestled in the heart of the historic Steveston village in Richmond is one of my favourite places to eat: the Shady Island Seafood Bar and Grill. The Shady Island will forever be a special place for me, as it was the last place I ate a meal before asking my wife to marry me; but this restaurant has excellence far beyond my association with it, and features the best fish and chips I have ever had.
With a view overlooking Steveston Harbour, the place has incredible ambience, especially if you get the chance to sit on the patio during the summer and watch the sun slowly fade into the horizon.
Alternatively, if you’re there for an early summer lunch, you might catch a glimpse of kitchen staff walking down to the boats moored at the wharf to quite literally get the freshest fish available.
The place also has a rustic feel that melds perfectly with its historic setting. But enough about the ambience — you want to know about the food.
The fish and chips are expertly prepared with the perfect ratio of fish to batter and an enormous helping of crispy chips, and you have the option of cod, halibut, or salmon. Can’t decide? The Shady Island has got you covered with its Gulf of Georgia fried seafood platter for two, which features all three fish plus a helping of calamari.
The portion size is very generous for what you’re paying, and I’ve almost always ended up with lunch for the next day.
If fish and chips aren’t your thing, the menu also contains several signature dishes, including a seafood linguini that my brother, who worked as a high-end chef for several years, described as the best he’s ever had.
Though I tend to stick with the fish and chips, with the occasional venture into oysters and chips, I can say from experience that the warm seafood salad and Pacific prawn penne are also excellent choices.
If you’re a fan of fish and chips, or even just seafood with a great atmosphere, I encourage you to make the trek to Steveston Harbour and give this place a try.