Restaurant: Fresh Off The Boat
Location: 404 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A7
Price Range: $$
I have passed by Fresh Off the Boat numerous times by now, and the name have became a joke among my friends as it literally stands for FOB. And if you don’t know what it means, well, Urban Dictionary it. It’s not a bad thing, we just like to make fun of each other’s “Engrish” and how you can tell who’s a FOB and who’s a non-FOB. Technically I’m a “fresh off the boat.” Geeeeeet it? ;). No? Fine, I guess we are just a bunch of immature kids LOL.
On a lovely day, Karen (Stenoodie) and I visited Fresh Off The Boat (FOTB) for their famous softshell crab sandwich that we have seen all over Instagram! Currently FOTB also have a stand at Front Street Food by Union Station so you can go there if this location is inconvenient for you. Unfortunately due to limited space, the stand only sell the lobster roll and frisco fries (review here), so if you are looking for the crab sandwich, go to the restaurant!
The store is quite small so depends on when you visit, most likely you might have to take-out and go. The decors gave off a hip and chic vibe with sea related pictures and decorations around the restaurant. Chalkboard menu was simple and straightforward, check here for their full menu.
Did you know at one point Sriracha was going to be gone forever? Their US factory was declared as a public nuisance by the neighbourhood, and I actually got scared and stocked my pantry with several bottles lol. I can’t live without it. Sriracha is like fish sauce to me. True story.
I ordered the lobster roll because you know, lobster is in season right now, get it while you can!! For $15 I thought the roll was a bit small, however in terms of taste, it’s pretty much comparable to Rock Lobster. I felt the FOTB one had a stronger buttery undertone and bread was lightly toasted with butter, which was what Rock Lobster didn’t have. However the lobster didn’t feel as fresh and you are actually getting huge chunks of lobster meat at Rock Lobster, whereas FOTB was lacking in that. The fries were a bit limp and just your standard cut fries. I’m not a slaw girl but these were refreshing, not overly drenched in dressings and had a nice crunch to it with some sweetness from the raisins.
Karen ordered the softshell crab sandwich and it also comes with fries and slaw. I liked how after we opened the box, we both said “it didn’t look like the Instagram picture.” No lie, if you check FOTB’s Instagram or other food bloggers, the sandwich actually shape like .. a crab! But I’m sure they re-arranged the meat to get the shot lol not a big deal :).
The softshell crab was perfectly crispy, lightly salted and not greasy at all. With that said, I felt there might have been too much batter and you couldn’t really taste the crab meat, but the batter had some seasonings so it wasn’t bland at all. The spicy mayo sauce was delicious and added a nice spicy zing to the crab meat. The buns felt a bit greasy but still held up really well :).
Although I have had better in Asia (of course lol), there aren’t many restaurants in Toronto that serve softshell crab so I definitely recommend this place if you never had it before! For food I say try the lobster roll and softshell crab sandwich, pass the frisco fries as I felt it was overpriced and the crab somehow tasted like dry pork floss.