When: Friday, February 27, 2009.
What: Tall Ships Fish 'n Chips, $13.95+tax.
Myself and a couple of friends wanted to try out some new fish and chips one Friday night. The first place we chose was too packed to move, so we went across the street to McKelvie's, a seafood restaurant in downtown Halifax. The restaurant opened in 1980, but was originally the home of the Halifax Fire Department. Their focus is on fresh Atlantic seafood, but the menu also includes pasta, meat and chicken dishes.
We arrived during the prime Friday after work time, and were seated right away. The restaurant was not packed like the pub across the street, which we didn't mind at all. Our server was very friendly, explained the daily specials, and started us off with drinks. We also received a basket of fresh raisin bread and nice, creamy butter. That was unexpected and a nice change from what you get at most restaurants.
I was the only one at our table to order the fish and chips. The four, not three, pieces of fish arrived with fresh cut fries, homemade coleslaw on a bed of lettuce, a slice of lemon, fresh tartar sauce, and ketchup.
I liked the light batter on the fish, and also enjoyed having four small pieces instead of three as described in the menu. Sometimes when you only get one or two large pieces, the fish gets a little overcooked. I did like the fish, nice fresh flavour and the batter was not doughy. The fries were hand cut, but not very plentiful, nor were they shoestring as the menu said. For the price I would normally expect more fries. The tartar sauce could have used more dill, and the coleslaw was almost tasteless, but I did like the presentation of the dish.
I decided to have a coffee for dessert. One of my favourite treats after a nice meal.
Overall I think this was a great experience. McKelvie's is a nice, family style restaurant, but with a local feel. A lot quieter than a crowded pub for sure, with fast and friendly service. It may be a little pricey as your favourite seafood restaurant, but a nice place to take out-of-towners you might want to impress! I did find the decor a little odd. Lots of brightly painted wooden decorations with a Canadian or ocean theme, with classy and comfortable table settings.
I give McKelvie's 4 little fishies out of 5.
Pay by cash, debit, or credit.
Gift certificates available.
Open seven days a week.