celine’s fish and chips
When I was a kid, I used to always love going to Granville Island. I mean, where else is there a multi-floor building almost completely devoted to toys and candy? And with a separate, appropriately-sized kids’ entrance? There are ducks to feed, a playground, and an old, pigeon-infested parking lot (which is now renovated, removing the pigeon nets on the ceiling, which of course, never stopped the pigeons). I got the rare opportunity and excuse to make my way back there to participate in the Spatial Typography workshop put on by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, featuring local design studio Working Format. During my lunch break, I decided to explore the Market and see what food I could rustle up.
I ended up at Celine’s Fish and Chips, and since I have faint memories of eating fish and chips, and feeding the chips to the seagulls, I decided to see if it was still as good as I remembered. In short, if Celine’s was indeed the Granville Island fish and chips establishment of my childhood, it is definitely not as good as I remember.
For my quick lunch, I ordered a one piece Halibut and Chips. The first thing that struck me when I started eating was, “Man, this is pretty greasy.” I know, I know, fish and chips is one of those meals where the oiliness is part and parcel of the food. It wouldn’t be the same if you could somehow make a plate of deep-fried potatoes and fish healthy. Still, this was above and beyond the regular levels of grease that are usually entailed in the food. The texture of the halibut was okay, it was firm, as it should be, and the batter stuck to the fish as it should, but in all, the fish was inferior to those I’ve had elsewhere, even at Cockney Kings. The fries were straight up bad. Soggy, greasy, and tasteless. I don’t usually eat tartar sauce, so I can’t comment on that.
Maybe the nostalgia goggles have made me remember fish and chips on Granville Island as better than it really was, but that’s what they’re there for. They help you keep those childhood memories pristine, perfect, ideal, so you can eat the greatest fish and chips in the world in the sun with your family and the seagulls.