Salt Grilled Sardine at Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island

Posted on Sep 30, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

By the time when we checked in at Wickaninnish Inn, we were salmoned-out. We asked the waiter at the restaurant if the chef today has any interesting, different fish in the kitchen. We also told him that we love oily fish, such as sardine and mackerel. The waiter left our table and we waited without much hope. Then, Nicholas, chef du cuisines of the inn came to our table with a plate of very fresh sardines! He had purchased and just received today 80 pound of very fresh locally caught sardines to prepare one of the signature appetizer dishes on his menu – cured sardine (he said he is trying to entice the inn’s customer to try more than just the local salmon and halibut though both are excellent). I politely asked him to cook two large ones (10 inches each!) in my way, the Japanese way – salt grilling with intestine intact. The chef followed my instructions and here we are enjoying one of the best fish dishes in Tofino. The oiliness of the fish and strong flavor reminded me of sardines with that I enjoyed as I grew up in Tokyo. The frozen sardines that we get in New York from Portugal and North Africa don’t measure up at all to the delicious fish we had at the inn.