Wednesday, November 20, 2013

the lucky country

Have you heard of the saying, "Australia is a lucky country"? It's a common saying in Australia to describe our general prosperousness -- although the original intent of the saying was critical to the country. Nevertheless, I feel that we are indeed a lucky country, we have great weather (none of this snow non-sense), the economy is robust, and the people are easy-going and generally tolerant.

I would account some of that laidback attitude to the fact that australia is very much a coastal country. This beach culture stems from the fact that the majority of our population lives on the coast. Our favourite pastime is to laze around the beach -- not that I approve roasting your skin under the sun. On christmas, we cook all kinds of seafood on the barbie, as opposed to roasting a turkey.

As lucky as we are, and as much seafood variety as we have, what we don't have is salmon. Sure we have farmed salmon in tasmania, but they are an introduced species. There's also exported frozen salmon, but they don't taste the same, do they? Salmon is a luxury, it's rare to find it in the menu of a fish and chips shop as a battered item. Not so in canada, where salmon is as ubiqutous as snapper is to australians.

The battered salmon at Pajo's is a delightful version of this. The batter was featherlight and crispy. I fell in love with it from the moment the crispy batter crackled under my teeth. Enveloped within was fresh salmon with no fishy odour or taste detected.

Salmon & chips (large) - $12.99
We also ordered the cod -- pacific grey -- while also delicious, I would stick with the salmon next time. The salmon shone the brightest that day.

Their chips are made of kennebec potatoes, which has this pleasant potato sweetness. Pajo's have masterfully fried theirs to perfection, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and most importantly it doesn't taste like burnt oil. I also like the fact that both the fish and the chips were not drenched in oil with only the slightest blotting required.

At Pajo's, the definition of large is indeed that. My order of large fish and chips came with two and half portions of fish and plenty of the yummy kennebec fries that had me reaching for the buttons to my trouser pants.

Cod & chips (large) - $11.99

Kennebec potato fries
But what firmly sealed the deal for me was their strict no smoking policy. As I was busy enjoying my salmon, I heard the cook asking a customer -- politely and firmly -- to butt (their cigs) out. This may very well be my favourite fish and chips shop in canada.

Oh canada, you are indeed a lucky one.

Pajo's Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon  
Pajo's (on the Wharf)
3500 Bayview St
Spring/Fall open certain days 11am-7pm
Summer open 7 days 11am-8pm
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