Octopus Vinaigrette at Ken's

Octopus Vinaigrette at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa

Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa has since been replaced by Sushi Village for some time now, but, before it closed for good, I ate there a fair number of times. Most of the dishes were pretty decent (if not always very well plated or presented), but a few were rather dismal failures. The Octopus Vinaigrette you see pictured above was one of these.

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Octopus Grilled at Sabor

Octopus Grilled at Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta

The Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta offers both Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, including a pretty decent selection of Tapas. I visited there initially to try their Paella, but I also sampled several small plate offerings including the Grilled Octopus served in a Black Olive Tapenade you see pictured above. It was interesting, I suppose, but not especially impressive.

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Tuna Tataki at The Empire Grill
Tuna Tataki at The Empire Grill

Tuna Tataki at The Empire Grill

In the Japanese ‘Tataki’ grilling method, pieces of meat or fish are seared at very high heat for just a few seconds, and then quickly cooled to arrest further cooking. Some sort of marination usually follows, and then the result is served thinly sliced with dressings and garnishes, rather like a Sashimi. The appetizer of Tataki-style Tuna you see pictured above was served to me at The Empire Grill in Ottawa as a first course before a grilled steak. The Empire Grill, now defunct, was not a Japanese restaurant, but they did a fairly decent job with this menu offering.

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Oyster Katsu at Wasabi

Oyster Katsu at Wasabi Restaurant in Ottawa

Back in the day, the now defunct Wasabi Restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market served some excellent meals, and created a number of unique and wonderful dishes. Sometimes, though, their flights of creativity came crashing to the ground with some tragic failures. Their attempt to do a ‘Tonkatsu’ with Oysters was one of these.

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Gyuniku Maki at Ken's
Gyuniku Maki at Ken’s

Gyuniku Maki at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa

I have mentioned the now defunct Ken’s Japanese Restaurant a number of times in other posts. Back when it was open, it was a pretty decent place to eat down in Ottawa’s Byward Market. It wasn’t a high-end place, and sometimes you might get served a dish that wasn’t the best, but mostly the food was pretty good. The Gyuniku Maki, or Beef Rolls, you see pictured above pretty much encapsulate the overall dining experience at Ken’s insofar as they were a bit flawed, but otherwise enjoyable.

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Chinese BBQ at Gain Wah

Chinese BBQ at Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown

If you are lucky enough to have a Chinatown, or sizeable Chinese population, in your community, you may have establishments displaying and serving classic Cantonese style 燒烤, or Chinese BBQ. Here, in the windows of such places, you will see whole golden Roast Duck and large, crispy chunks of Roast Pork hanging from hooks. In Vancouver’s Chinatown, Gain Wah is a Cantonese Restaurant with a full and varied menu featuring all sorts of delicious items, but it also does a number of Chinese BBQ specialties, especially Duck and Roast Pork, that are truly delicious

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Crab Cakes at Vineyards
Crab Cakes at Vineyards

Crab Cakes at Vineyards

When I was a kid, I disliked Fish Cakes and Crab Cakes, even though I liked both those types of seafood prepared in other ways. When I got older, I tried Crab Cakes again and found I now enjoyed them (although I still don’t care for Fish Cakes all that much). I also began to get interested in the different styles and methods of making them, and I first began keeping notes on my experiences when I was served with the ones pictured above at Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro, one of my favorite restaurants in Ottawa’s Byward Market. These ones were not as good as many I have had since, in all honesty, but I still enjoyed them well enough.

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Octopus Sashimi at Kiko Sushi

Octopus Sashimi at Kiko Sushi in Ottawa

Kiko Sushi is a very nice Japanese Restaurant, situated, somewhat incongruously, in Ottawa’s Little Italy District. It is a little out of the way from where I usually stay when I am visiting the City, and, for that reason, I have only visited it once so far. All the dishes I was served, however, including the Octopus Sashimi shown above, were very nice, and made the place worth noting as somewhere to visit again.

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Octopus Grilled at Spiga
Octopus Grilled at Spiga

Octopus Grilled at Spiga

Back in the day, the Spiga Café specialized in Portuguese cuisine down in the fashionable Byward Market area of Ottawa. I had some excellent dishes there, including the Grilled Octopus appetizer you see pictured above, and I was sorry I was unable to work my way through their menu before they closed their doors for good. Everything I ate there was not only delicious, it was, I thought, always very skillfully and artistically presented.


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Octopus Sashimi at Ken's
Octopus Sashimi at Ken’s

Octopus Sashimi at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa

Most people think of Sashimi is being raw fish. Much of it is, of course, but there are varieties using shellfish, and even non-marine products, and some items are served cooked. Octopus is one of these, and it happens to be one of my favorites. Accordingly, I tend to make it part of my order on most visits to Japanese Restaurants.

The small Octopus Sashimi plate shown above was served to me at the now defunct Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa (it has since been replaced by a different Japanese Restaurant). Ken’s was not a high-end, Kaiseki sort of place, and I rather think that Is well illustrated by the plating job, which, I have to say, is pedestrian at best.


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