Kung Pao Chicken at the Juxiangyuan Restaurant in Ottawa

Kung Pao Chicken at the Juxiangyuan Restaurant in Ottawa

Kung Pao Chicken at the Juxiangyuan Restaurant in Ottawa

Some version of Kung Pao Chicken appears on the menu at almost every Chinese restaurant these days it seems. Some cleave closely to the traditional Chinese dish, while other are quite westernized, and often have only a passing acquaintance with the original form. The rendition at the now defunct Juxiangyuan Restaurant in Ottawa, formed a bridge between the two culinary styles and was one of the better restaurant versions I have been served.

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Sweet Rice Ball Soup at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Sweet Rice Ball Soup at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Sweet Rice Ball Soup at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

The soup you see pictured above was served to me at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown. It turned out to be something of an unexpected novelty for me, first, because it was the first time I had ever tried a sweet Chinese soup, and secondly, because I was expecting something different based on the menu description. In any event, I found the texture of the rice balls and the flavour of the soup broth to be very enjoyable.

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Seaweed Salad with Garlic at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Seaweed Salad with Garlic at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Seaweed Salads are quite common in Japanese restaurants, but they do occasionally appear on Chinese restaurant menus as well. What made the version at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa stand out was the use of Kelp, rather than one of the more commonly used varieties like Wakame, or Arame. A variety of Kelp, known as ‘Kombu’ is widely used in Japanese cuisine to make the ubiquitous ‘Dashi’, but it doesn’t appear often otherwise. As such, I was very interested to try this particular appetizer.

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Grilled Haloumi at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

Grilled Haloumi at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa

Grilled Haloumi at the PFW Restaurant in Ottawa

I love visiting the Play, Food & Wine Restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market district. Aside from being a lovely wine bar, they specialize in ‘Small Plate’ dishes rather than full meals, which is my favorite sort of dining experience. I have only had a few ‘fails’ there over the years, and the Grilled Haloumi Cheese you see above was most definitely not one of those.

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Vietnamese Cucumber Shrimp Salad at Wei’s Noodle House in Ottawa

Vietnamese Cucumber Shrimp Salad at Wei’s Noodle House in Ottawa

Vietnamese Cucumber Shrimp Salad

The rather attractive salad pictured above was one of the Vietnamese appetizer dishes offered at Wei’s Noodle House, an Asian Fusion Restaurant in Ottawa. It actually contained more lettuce than cucumber, as it turned out, but the ingredients were fresh, the dressing subtle, and the overall effect very pleasant.

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Scallops Grilled at Lapointe Seafood Grill in Ottawa

Scallops Grilled at the Lapointe Seafood Grill in Ottawa

I have eaten many meals at the Lapointe Seafood Grill in Ottawa’s Byward Market over the years, and have generally enjoyed everything I have ever been served. I was a little bit disappointed with the appetizer of Grilled Scallops you see pictured above because they weren’t quite as advertised on the menu. That being said, it was still an interesting dish and I liked it overall.

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Pork Stuffed Betel Leaves at Wei’s Noodle House in Ottawa

Pork Stuffed Betel Leaves at Wei’s Noodle House in Ottawa

Pork Stuffed Betel Leaves at Wei’s Noodle House in Ottawa

The little appetizer pictured above was served to me at Wei’s Noodle House, which is an Asian Fusion Restaurant down in Ottawa’s Chinatown. This particular dish was Vietnamese in style and spirit and was a bit of a novelty for me as I have never before, nor since, had Betel Leaves. Here, they were wrapped to form rolls around ground Pork, and, though the result wasn’t especially exciting, I did enjoy it.

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Calamari Manko Appetizer at the Curry Kebab House in Ottawa

Calamari Manko Appetizer at the Curry Kebab House in Ottawa

Calamari Manko Appetizer at the Curry Kebab House in Ottawa

One evening, during a visit to Ottawa, I went on an ‘appetizer tour’ and stopped for drinks, and one or two appetizers, at a series of restaurants down in the Byward Market. One such stop was at the ‘Indian Curry and Kebab House’ which sits in the space once occupied by another Indian restaurant called ‘Haveli’. I missed Haveli after it closed as it was one of my favorite Indian Restaurants in the area, but its successor turned out to be just as good, and their little appetizer, you see above, was absolutely terrific.

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Pasta Carbonara at Café Mezzaluna

Pasta Carbonara at Café Mezzaluna

Pasta Carbonara at Café Mezzaluna in Ottawa

The Café Mezzaluna was once the restaurant located in the Cartier Place Hotel in Ottawa. It has been replaced now, with Big Daddy’s Bourbon Street Bistro, but I enjoyed a number of meals at the place during several successive stays at the hotel. It was, as the name suggests, an Italian eatery, and some of their dishes were fairly traditional, and some less so. Their Pasta Carbonara, pictured above, really departed from what most would consider to be a ‘true’ Carbonara dish, but I still enjoyed it very much.

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Black Fungus Salad at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Black Fungus Salad at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

Black Fungus Salad at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa

I am sorry I didn’t get to visit the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa more often when I traveled to the capital on a regular basis. They seem to have gone a little bit more mainstream as far as their menu goes these days, but I certainly enjoyed a lot of interesting dishes there over a number of visits. Their Husband and Wife Lung Slices were certainly a novelty for me, but their Black Fungus Salad was absolutely delicious.

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