Billingsgate Fish Co. Limited
7331 104th St
After not being able to satiate my oyster craving at Vons (here), things didn’t get any better after seeing fellow Edmonton bloggers shucking their hearts out at home (here & here). Without anyone to bring with me, I decided the only way to conquer my desire was to head over to Billingsgate Fish Company and pick some up for homestead.
Billingsgate has always been a good destination in my mind. The homestead has been picking up fresh fish from this location for years, and we haven’t ever been steered in the wrong direction. Offering everything from seafood flavourings (spice mixes, rubs) to sushi grade fish (tuna, octopus, salmon etc.) to a handsome selection of steaks and fillets (marlin, swordfish etc.) They also offer a restaurant in house (or should I say in lighthouse) which offers a basic menu but the kind staff will cook anything they have at the fresh counter.
The restaurant was sparsely populated when I wandered in, but that’s beside the point because I was here for the oysters. Having both Village Bay Oysters, and Malpeque Oysters in stock I decided my best option was to bring home 6 of each. I figure it’s one thing to talk about flavours, but if both are available why not compare the two.
Even though I was alone, I decided to go for broke and bring out the salt collection. What says over the top like an assortment of salts from all over the globe. Size wise, these two varieties were in different leagues. The Village Bay oysters were small, with the Malpeque’s being double the size, if not bigger.
I should say at this point that I don’t own an oyster knife. In fact, I’ve never shucked a damn oyster in my entire life. So this would be a first. I think when all things were said and done, I went through most knife options. Heck, I almost got a flat screw driver at one point because it things just didn’t seem to go as smoothly as it should. I’ve watched enough Food Network to know the pro’s can shuck these bad boys in their sleep. While I did get the better of the dozen, a few did chip and one cut my finger. There was no oyster towel here, silly Chris was simply using a paper towel which did little to stop the sharp edges from poking into my finger.
The verdict. Both were good, but very different. The Malpeque were salty (something I’d read) and tasted very much like the ocean. The Village Bay oysters on the other hand were sweet. So sweet I think you could fool a non-seafood eater into having a few (just blindfold them). I didn’t make any alteration on purpose; meaning no hot sauce, wine, pepper, vodka etc, as I wanted them to stand on their own. Having eaten hundreds of oysters in time, it wasn’t about making, or baking any combination’s in the end. No this was about filling a craving and accomplishing a new food task, and lucky enough for me, this little adventure did both.