The Oddities of Halibut

Regarded as one of the most delectable of our pacific food fish, the halibut is a peculiar species. Sample this funny, fancy fish on our new summer menu!

It is considered one of the world’s largest flatfish. Some sport fishermen have even boasted of catch over 500lbs, which is comparable to hoisting an 3-meter concrete slab from a depth of 200 feet. The reward on the end of the line is a two-tone flatfish with long fins and a funny-looking face.

Despite its odd appearance, the halibut is aptly named from the derivative, “holy-flat fish” (haly- butte) as it’s worshipped for the firm, white, flaky meat beneath the scales of its belly. Scales of which are so small, they’re invisible to the naked eye.

Whether it’s served poached, fried, or baked, a halibut requires very little seasoning, making it a culinary favourite for it’s pure, natural flavor, texture, and visual appeal.


Top left/right: Available on the dinner menu- Baked Pacific Halibut... black rice, butter sauce, & seasonal vegetables Bottom: Available on lunch menu - Halibut & Chips...Phillips beer batter, house-cut fries, tartar sauce & coleslaw.

Yes, halibut have two eyes on the same side of their flat body but they didn’t always look that way. When born, these fish swim and look like any other, upright and symmetrical. It’s not long until they move to a side swim with the left eye slowly migrating to the right/top side of its face before settling into a comfortable position on the ocean floor.

The countershading of it’s flesh give the halibut a distinct top and bottom, allowing it to camouflage within varying depths of the water column. The white from below and brown from above allow it to hide from sea lions, killer whales, & salmon sharks.

Although they are commonly found at the bottom of the sea, they are considered near the top of the marine food chain. Many things have been found in the stomach of a halibut. Generally speaking, if it fits in their mouth, they’ll eat it. They’ve even been known to eat each other.

Slow to mature and reproduce, halibut are closely managed to avoid over-fishing. Come in and enjoy the halibut on our new summer menu while it's in season, fresh and available!

Tofino Live