Best Seafood on Vancouver Island?

Welcome to a genuine treasure of a seafood restaurant on Vancouver Island. Not to sound pretentious but if there is one thing I can be picky about, it's seafood in restaurants. Too many places over cook seafood (I suppose it's pretty easy to do). Most of the time I forgo eating seafood in restaurants all together, and prefer to cook it myself at home. My father was always an avid fishermen so I grew up eating a lot of it and therefore learning to cook it properly.

I approached The Rock Cod Cafe with an open mind, after reading it may be featured on the Food Network's "You Gotta Eat Here" episodes. I was excited when I heard it was in Cowichan Bay, as I absolutely love the drive to Cow Bay and the small down town business district is awesome to peruse. We arrived in the late afternoon on a Sunday (around 2pm) and I was already impressed to see that it was quite busy in between lunch and dinner (this can often be a lull time). We were greeted promptly and seated quickly. Our server was extremely polite and our drinks arrived immediately. I just had to try their chowder out. I like a chowder with ample seafood and less potatoes, this one was JUST that! I just got a cup of the RC Clam Chowder to leave room for the other seafood I was about to devour.

Delea ordered the Mate's Plate was contains 1 piece of cod, 2 prawns, 2 oysters and 2 scallops. I ordered the Oyster Burger with the biggest salad I've ever seen! The service couldn't have been any better and the portion sizes left a little to take home. The food was perfect, seafood was not even slightly overcooked and it all tasted fresh and made with care. There was so much on the menu I wanted to try, and we will definitely be going back. Those fish tacos with mango habanero sauce looks incredible as do any of the Asian bowls.

They do offer weekly specials:

Monday - Red Snapper Fajitas $16.95
Sizzling cajun snapper, bell peppers & onion served with flour tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, salsa & sour cream & guacamole.

Tuesday - Bouillabaisse $17.95
Seafood Medley of mussels, clams, scallops, crab, snapper, prawns & vegetables simmered in a rich saffron broth and served with garlic toast

Wednesday - Prawn Pad Thai $15.95
12 succulent prawns & vegetables stir-fried in peanut oil and chiles, tossed with rice noodles, garnished with fresh cilantro & roasted peanuts then drizzled with Thai sweet & sour sauce.

Thursday - Seafood Operetta $17.95
Seafood Medley of calamari, mussels, snapper & prawns simmered in a medium spicy tomato brandy sauce. Served with choice of Rock Cod or Caesar salad.

Friday - Indonesian Hot Pot $17.95
Seafood Medley of calamari, clams, scallops, snapper, prawns & vegetables simmered in our house Thai curry sauce, served over rice & garnished with fresh toasted coconut & cilantro

Ummm yes please!

The Rock Cod is located right in the waterfront in Cowichan Bay, at 1759 Cowichan Bay Road.

Cowichan Bay is about an hour's drive north of Victoria and an hour south of Nanaimo.

Rock Cod Cafe on Urbanspoon

Phone 250 746 1550
Open for lunch and dinner
7 Days/Week
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Find them on Facebook


Anonymous said…
Great restaurant--low key, definatly more diner than resto
Michelle V said…
Was there for lunch today and had the Mate's Plate - was not impressed at all. Bland favour (the cod was good, but soggy). Chowder was nice. Should have ordered the Oyster Burger, your dish looked way more appealing than mine. =(
s. said…
Thanks for your comments! It's interesting to hear about other people's experiences!
Unknown said…
Meh, last few visits have left us totally un-impressed. Final visit was a craving for a halibut burger, which I ordered without even looking at the menu, and was so bad we havent been back since, topped off by a bill that made me choke a little. I have heard many similar reviews by many locals this last year, too bad, i love seafood, but I'm not paying that price and eating that poor of quality just for the view, we live here!
s. said…
awww that's too bad. I have only been there once, first experience was really great!

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