Squid Grilled at Ken’s

Squid Grilled at Ken's Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa

Squid Grilled at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa

I enjoyed many decent meals at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa before they finally closed their doors for good. Some of the best dishes served to me were grilled appetizer specialties, notable their Grilled Salmon Collar, and their Grilled Sanma. The Grilled Squid dish pictured above wasn’t one of their best efforts, but I still enjoyed it very much.

I am sure I have mentioned elsewhere that Grilled Squid is one of my favorite dishes and I will generally order it if I see it on a menu anywhere. I would be hard-pressed to decide as an absolute certainty, but I think I would have to say that I generally prefer a good helping of the legs and tentacles over the whole body, at least when grilling is the cooking method. One of the best servings of this I have ever had was the Grilled Squid Appetizer at Mei’s Restaurant in downtown Montreal.

At Ken’s, the serving size was pretty generous and both the legs and tentacles were decently sized. The smaller ones are fine, and always very tasty, but the lend themselves more to steaming or deep-frying rather than the grill.

Here, they were tossed with a sweetish sauce which may have been Oyster Sauce, but was actually more probably Japanese Eel Sauce. There were plenty of Sesame Seeds, which added both texture as well as a nice nutty taste, but there was also a very strong presence of Garlic. I couldn’t see any actual pieces of Garlic in the dish, so it is possible the glaze was prepared with Garlic and the pieces removed before adding to the Squid.

The dish had a very lovely aroma of the grill when it arrived and, really, the only flaw in execution was that the grilling had been just a little bit short. There wasn’t any real charring, which really adds to the flavor, and a few of the larger pieces were just a little overly chewy. In truth, though, I didn’t mind that all that much (it is certainly preferable to being overdone), and, what with the lovely sauce, I thought the Squid Grilled at Ken’s was an excellent appetizer.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!