Pork Hock with Lotus Root at Kent’s Kitchen in Vancouver

Pork Hock with Lotus Root at Kent’s Kitchen in Vancouver

Pork Hock with Lotus Root at Kent’s Kitchen in Vancouver

It is not easy to make out in the above picture, but the Pork Hock with Lotus at Kent’s Kitchen in Vancouver’s Chinatown was served in what is essentially a Styrofoam Coffee Cup. The restaurant, as you might guess, is not one of your high-end, up-market sort of establishments, but, ambience aside, the food was excellent, and the Pork Hock dish in particular very satisfying and tasty.

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Bon Bon Chicken at So Good

Bon Bon Chicken at So Good

Bon Bon Chicken at So Good

The now defunct So Good Restaurant, a long-time fixture in Ottawa’s Chinatown, was a small family restaurant that advertised itself as serving Canadian, Thai, Vietnamese, Sichuan, and Cantonese cuisine. I only managed to eat a few meals at the establishment but, in the main, I enjoyed everything I was served. The Cold Chicken dish you see pictured above was their interpretation of a Sichuan classic. It was actually much more Cantonese in spirit than is traditional, but it was still very good.

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Freshwater Smelt at the Brother's Bistro in Ottawa

Freshwater Smelt at the Brother's Bistro in Ottawa

Freshwater Smelt at the Brother’s Bistro in Ottawa

In the Maritime Province of New Brunswick, where I grew up, Smelt, also known as ‘Éperlan’, are a small sea fish, typically deep-fried whole with head still attached, and eaten as a snack with beer. I had always assumed that all Smelt were Saltwater fish until I came across the dish you see above at the now closed Brother’s Bistro in Ottawa’s Byward Market. They were described as having been harvested from Lake Erie, which surprised me, and they turned out to be very nice indeed.

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General Tso's Chicken at the Sushi Village in Ottawa

General Tso's Chicken at the Sushi Village in Ottawa

General Tso’s Chicken at the Sushi Village in Ottawa

General Tso’s Chicken has not only become virtually ubiquitous in Chinese Restaurants these days, it has also spread to Tavern menus, and other establishments that serve mainly Western food. It was only a matter of time, of course, before it began cropping up on Japanese menus, such as the version at the Sushi Village Restaurant in Ottawa that you see pictured above. Unfortunately, this particular offering bore little resemblance the basic form and was really not very good.

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Beef Carpaccio at Restaurant E18teen in Ottawa

Beef Carpaccio at Restaurant E18teen in Ottawa

Beef Carpaccio at Restaurant E18teen in Ottawa

Well, I have start out by saying that Restaurant E18teen is one of my favorite restaurants in Ottawa. The ambience is great, the service always top-notch, and the dishes I have been served have all been pretty much excellent. Occasionally, though, every good restaurant is going to produce a ‘clanger’ or two, and the Beef Carpaccio interpretation I had on my last visit sadly fell into that category.

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Pork Belly with Kumquat at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

Pork Belly with Kumquat at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

Pork Belly with Kumquat at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

The little bistro known as Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa is one of my favorite restaurants to visit when I am in the capital. They regularly come up with interesting new creations and most tend to be very good indeed. The Pork Belly with Kumquat dish you see pictured above was certainly novel, and visually appealing, but it need a bit of tweaking to make it really good.

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Aloo Tikki Chat at the India Curry and Kebab House in Ottawa

I very much enjoy visiting the India Curry and Kebab House in Ottawa’s Byward Market as I have always been served terrific meals there. I have to say, though, that I was taken a little off-guard by the Aloo Tikki Chat you see pictured above as it was considerably different from my expectations after reading the name and the description in the menu. Happily, it turned out to be truly excellent, and one of the best appetizer dishes I have ever been serve in an Indian restaurant.

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General Tso's Chicken at the Oriental House in Ottawa

General Tso's Chicken at the Oriental House in Ottawa

General Tso’s Chicken at the Oriental House in Ottawa

The Oriental House Restaurant in Ottawa advertises itself as offering both Cantonese and Sichuan dishes. Much of the menu is geared heavily towards Western tastes, but some of the dishes I have been served there were quite traditional in their preparation. One of these was their rendition of General Tso’s Chicken, which was simply prepared and very good.

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Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

I have had many occasions to post some fairly scathing reviews of dishes I sampled at the now defunct Piment Rouge Restaurant in Montreal. What had once been a high-end restaurant went into noticeable decline in its final days and this showed in both service and food quality. The Yuxiang Eggplant Appetizer you see above, however, was on of the few dish I ate there that was actually pretty good.

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Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

After sampling the Grilled Squid at the now defunct Juxianyuan Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown, I returned a few days later for more of their Northern Chinese Barbecue specialties, all of which are broiled with a dusting of dried Chili and Cumin. I tried three items, actually, but the first two seen pictured above were Duck Tongues and Hog-Guts (although, on the menu these were just referred to as ‘Pig Intestines’.

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