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Review: Haveli Restaurant

39 Clarence St. Ottawa – (613) 241-1700 – Website

Date of Visit: July 27, 2012 

I had initially planned to try this place out for lunch on my recent visit to Ottawa, but, after a disappointing and abortive attempt to order a meal at The Cornerstone Bar and Grill one evening, I decided to have supper here instead. Thankfully, my experience at this establishment was an order of magnitude better than my original choice Read more

Nunavut: Thumb-twiddling in Kimmirut…

I am writing this post in the tiny hamlet of a Kimmirut, a community of only 300 souls which happens to be the closest neighbor to my home  city of Iqaluit. The name ‘Kimmirut’ is roughly translated as ‘the Heel’ and the hamlet takes it’s name from the odd-shaped rock in the harbor that is featured in the above photograph. As you can see, there is indeed a resemblance (given a little poetic-license) to an upturned human heel.

Anyway, I flew down here on Monday morning with two Crown Prosecutors, a witness coordinator and another defense lawyer. Things began reasonably well, in the sense that I made it to Iqaluit airport without serious incident, but from that point, things seems to have gone down hill all the way. The rest of the court party has failed to materialize (due to a deterioration in landing conditions), and I am now stuck here with nothing to do, no internet connection and, as it happens, no luggage… Read more

Ma Po Style Eggplant (麻婆茄子)

I put together the above-pictured dish to try out the Lee Kum Kee Spicy Bean Sauce I featured in ‘Foodstuffs’ post a while ago. At that time, I wrote that this particular product is intended as a sauce for the classic Chinese dish Ma Po Tofu (which I describe more fully in that article), but since I really don’t have a great liking for tofu I decided to substitute eggplant instead… Read more

Spice: Galanga

At first glance, one might take the rather root-like item in the above picture to be a section of fresh ginger, but, while this particular rhizome is a member of the ginger family, it is, in fact, an Indonesian native known most commonly as ‘Galanga’. Few North Americans are likely to be very familiar with it (it doesn’t appear in most grocery stores, generally), but anybody who has eaten in a Thai restaurant will probably recognize the unique taste, as it is common addition to many curry pastes and soups. It is, of course, widely used in Indonesian cuisine (where it is known as ‘lengkuas’), as well as in Malaysia and Vietnam. Other names for the spice are ‘Blue Ginger’, ‘Galangal’ and the much prettier ‘Galingale’, and in China, where it is occasionally used, it is known as ‘Sand Ginger’… Read more

Penne with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

I love roasted vegetables. Generally, I make the heavier root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, turnip and parsnips the focus of such dishes but I have been meaning to try roasting asparagus for some time now. Since I had some zucchini and red pepper as well, I thought that a pasta dish was in order. Penne, along with a few shrimp, seemed like an ideal choice… Read more

Review: The Cornerstone Bar and Grill

92 Clarence Street  Ottawa – (613) 241-6835 – Website

Date of Visit: July 27, 2012 

I hadn’t planned on visiting this place especially but when the restaurant I had intended to eat at turned out to be closed I walked around Byward Market and ended up here. I had a look at the Menu that was posted by the front doors and, when I saw that one of the specials was steak served on a sizzling hot stone, I remembered a friend telling me about it and I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, the experience started out so badly I never got to eat… Read more

Experiment: Arctic Char with Lemon and Thyme

As I mentioned in my ‘Hello New Kitchen’ post two days ago, a neighbor brought us two freshly caught Arctic Char on the day we moved into our new house. Arctic Char, for those unfamiliar with them, are a fish native to these parts and are somewhat like Salmon. I had to fillet our gifts right away, and had no time to cook them immediately (due to the demands of unpacking and so forth), but in a future post I will show you some whole fish and the general method of preparing them for the kitchen.

For this experiment, which represents the inauguration of my new kitchen, I am doing something very simple with the fish… Read more

Exotic Asian Drinks in Ottawa

Just a brief, rather light sort of post for today… I usually feature actual foodstuffs rather than beverages but, on my last trip to Ottawa, I happened to come across a couple of drinks at a Vietnamese grocery store that are definitely not on the list of common liquid refreshments amongst the majority of Canadians. Coke and 7Up are ubiquitous, of course, but ‘Tamarind juice’ and ‘Grass Jelly Drink’ don’t seem to have made the popular rounds yet as far as I can tell… Read more

And… Hello New Kitchen!

Well, the long anticipated move is finally over… at least in the sense that we are quit of the old premises, and living in the new abode. There is still however, a lot of work to do.

In a post a few weeks ago, I bid goodbye to the old kitchen and, for today’s post, I am very happy to be able to show you the new one. It is quite a disaster with boxes all over the place, as in this picture, but the kitchen, as far as I am concerned, was a priority when it came to unpacking, and I got started on the job right away… Read more

Review: Cafe Shafali

308 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa – (613) 789-9188 – Website 

Date of Visit: July 25, 2012

My wife and I visited this place some 6 years ago and really enjoyed a couple of Thali platters together. On this most recent visit to Ottawa, I wanted to try them again but, after perusing the online menu and the dinner menu at the restaurant, I found no mention of Thali plates at all and started to think I had maybe confused this restaurant with another. I soon discovered, however, that Thalis are only available on the lunch menu and, though being a little disappointed, I stayed and happily ended up enjoying a very good dinner indeed … Read more

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