This small and unassuming Junction restaurant is as fresh and unfussy as a spritzed P.E.I. oyster with lemon. Small green chalkboards arrayed on the shelves spell out what’s on the menu and in the counter, typically stocked with Atlantic mackerel, cod, pickerel, rockfish and more. “It’s a neighbourhood place,” says John Bil, co-owner of Honest Weight “I don’t want it to be a destination spot, or feel like we have to show off.”
These are humble expectations for one of the country’s best-known fishmongers. Bil farmed, sold and shucked oysters, served seafood at places like Joe Beef and Cabane à Sucre au Pied de Cochon in Montreal and ran a remote but well-loved restaurant in P.E.I. called Ship to Shore – all before setting up in Toronto.
The place is a hit with locals, and the tables along the tufted banquette fill quickly each day. Not to worry – most of the fare is takeout-friendly. One thing you won’t find at Honest Weight is fish ‘n chips, which frees patrons to be adventurous. Try the Okonomiyaki ($14), which riffs on a savoury Japanese pancake and is one of the few composed dishes on the menu. Packed with cabbage, mussels and fresh fish – and topped with smoked salmon, a drizzle of Okonomi sauce and a flurry of bonito flakes – it’s salty and sweet, rich and bright all at once. For a festive meal, order up oysters ($1.50 a pop) for the whole family, and the staff will offer shucking tips (for diehards, the restaurant sells its own oyster knives). Or bring home a bounty of raw Salt Spring Island mussels and savoury clams – Bil will instruct you on how to cook them in a simple yet flavourful shallot broth.
2766 Dundas St W 416 604 9992 Tue & Wed 11-8, Thu-Sat 11-10, Sun 11-8