Kingsway Fish and Chip
Any Michael Jackson fan who's seen even a few scant minutes of his bat-shit crazy antics in the now-infamous Bashir documentary, or picked up a tabloid in the last half-decade can admit that they may not share his sense of aesthetics or lifestyle choice but they would also argue that yer boy wrote some fucking classic tracks ; the work forgives for a multitude of sins--nearly. Prepare to likewise forgive the decorator at Kingsway Fish and Chips and follow the hungry throng of west-end diners filing through the door to enjoy a tasty plate of fish and chips that won't disappoint.
The eye-roll inducing decor at Kingsway is an interesting pastiche--equal parts institutional cafeteria and flotilla with non-descript tables and painted wooden chairs in orderly rows, uninspired pot lighting illuminating a host of wooden tropical fish (none of which are on the menu), banquettes it can only be assumed were made from the wood of the Ugly Tree and the odd lobster trap thrown in for good measure. The seasick swell is almost palpable.
Luckily, the signature Fish and Chips dinner ($8.99) will go a long way to distracting your from the questionable ambiance and is a fine example of how fresh ingredients can take standard fare and elevate it beyond the pale.
The halibut Kingsway uses in their meals is mouthwateringly fresh. The flesh is flaky in texture and almost creamy in taste absent even the faintest hint of fishy odour. The fish is surrounded by a light, crispy batter coat that's fried to golden brown perfection and neither too brittle as to completely shatter upon the application of a fork nor too soggy to disintegrate with the addition of an ample helping of table-side malt vinegar.
Fresh cut fries are tanned in the fryer to a toothy bite that's neither too crisp or soggy definitely transcending humble side dish status and deserving the equal billing the dish's name implies, which only makes it more disappointing that unlike other chippies who seem to heap on the spuds, there don't seem to be enough of 'em to make you feel full once the meal is done.
The scant serving of classic creamy coleslaw, plated along almost as an afterthought can be substituted with a pretty standard out-of-the-jar dressed Caesar salad in the Fish, Caesar and a Few ($11.99) which does make a slightly healthier choice and despite the threat on the menu doesn't seem to skimp on the portion of excellent chips.
In the iconography of family restaurants kitsch is king--the stylishness of the decor usually inversely proportionate to the quality of the food. This is definitely the case with Kingsway Fish and Chips, its fantastic food attracting local blue-haired grannies, Lenten observers, and young families that call this west Bloor west neighbourhood home all wise to one of the premier fish shops in the city.
Kingsway Fish and Chips - 3060 Bloor Street West (at Royal York) - 416.233.3355