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Diana’s Seafood – fresh fish, great value (review + pics)


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Diana’s Seafood – fresh fish, great value (review + pics)

BokChoi | Jan 8, 2009 10:36 AM

Happy New Year CHers. It’s been a while since my last post and scan of the board. During my time away I noticed a number of inquiries come up on Diana’s seafood. Sorry I could not make this post earlier to help Googs and others out. Either way, perhaps it can now be of some assistance to others.

Since I wandered into Diana's a little over a year ago, I have never bothered stepping foot into another fishmonger. The seafood they offer is exceptionally fresh and the selection is wondrous. The prices are very reasonable and IMO it is the best value in the city that I have discovered so far. Though I sometimes get live Tilapia from Chinese grocery stores for steaming and Chinese preparations, I go to Diana’s for all other types of fish and shellfish. I appreciate the availability of whole fresh fish, rather than the filets/steaks that SLM offers. The vast selection of oysters is also a lure for me.

When you enter the store, it has a pleasant fresh aroma. No heavy solvent smell, nor stale fish smell. You face a giant lobster tank when you first enter (I believe they are going for $9.99/lb currently) and a display of whole certified organic salmon at about $5.99/lb (prices are subject to change of course, but this was the price on my most recent visit):


There are two columns of fridges/fish kept on ice. In the whole fish section there are porgies (several different varieties), red snapper, mackerels, flounder, striped bass, black cod, etc. They also offer the whole fish in a filet form on the other side. If you buy the whole fish, you can have them prepare it (filet, clean, etc.) after you pay for the fish at the cleaning counter.

Whole fish selection with prices:
Photo 2 with prices:
Some prices:
Fillet/fish steak section (with prices):
Salmon filet/steaks:

Filets with prices:
More fish with prices:
Shrimp and Squids:
Clams with prices:
Oyster selection:
More oysters:

They supply the oysters to Starfish and to Rodney’s as well (the owner did a plug for Starfish when I was there and the Rodney’s car is often parked outside when I go). So if there is an oyster you ‘discover’ you love on a visit to Starfish, head to Diana’s the next day and pick up some for home shucking. It’s a great deal, provided you’re a good 'shucker'. They sell shuckers at the cash register if you need one. I received a lesson on my first visit to Diana's, but I have yet to master it with the quick flick of the wrist like the pros do it.

Recently, I have noticed that they stock sea urchin regularly – both in their shells and with the roe/gonads removed and put into trays. I believe the trays are a great deal and having done price comparisons with Sakana-ya and Taro’s, I believe that Diana’s offers the best deal. The quality is also exceptional. Great texture since it isn’t just mushy, but has a nice ‘shell’ around the silky smooth milky interior. On my last visit, the owner (a great guy that always tries to remember his customers) mentioned that they were just flown in yesterday. If you prefer the live/fresher urchins and do the cleaning yourself (not too difficult once you get the hang of it), they have the whole urchins – but don’t think you’re getting much of a better deal on those. I believe the fresh urchins were around $6/lb and about 1.5lbs each. At $20 for that tray, I would definitely go with the trays (it is the equivalent of 2 urchins per tray).

Fresh Uni and scallops in shell:

Here is a photo of a red snapper I bought a little while ago. You can see the freshness of the fish in this close-up. The eyes are exceptionally clear.

Red Snapper:

The fish was then steamed and turned into this soba dish:
The flesh was incredibly sweet and succulent.
Another snapper was stuffed and then grilled: stuffed:

Do pay Diana’s Seafood a visit because I definitely believe it is worth the drive to Scarborough. And while you’re there, do the combo visit that I often do: stop by Arz for some baklava and baked goods. Though the baklavas have slipped a bit recently (IMO), they are still a nice treat.

Arz Baklava:
Photo 2:

If anyone has any other suggestions for fishmongers in the Scarborough area, please let me know. I would always like to discover something new. TIA.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and may 2009 bring more happy eats for all!

Cheers and Happy Eating!

Diana's Seafood Delight
2101 Lawrence Ave. East
Toronto, Ontario
M1R 3C3

Hours of operation:
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Monday 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 9am - 7pm
Wednesday 9am - 7pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 7pm
Saturday 9am - 6pm


1909 Lawrence Ave. E. (at Warden)

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