Tag: Review

Yangtze – A second visit.

Yangtze 1

The Har Gow pictured above were served to me as part of a dim sum lunch at the Yangtze Dining Lounge in Ottawa’s Chinatown. I first visited this place almost 8 years ago and I later prepared a short review based on my notes. It was a very brief and rudimentary review, especially as I did not take any pictures.

My notes of that first visit recall, at best, a mediocre experience in that there were a couple of decent dim sum offerings, along with some not so good, and service that varied from server to server from moderately friendly to brusque and unwelcoming. On my recent second visit back in August of this year, I found that little had changed. The dim sum on offer was passable, but distinctly unimpressive, and the service, while generally friendly and efficient on the part of the ‘cart-ladies’ was sharp to the point of rudeness on the part of the hostess (as was the case 8 years ago, although I cannot say if it was the same person or not).

Anyway… the Har gow pretty much reflected the overall experience. I have had many worse, but here the wrapper had a bit of a doughy-raw taste and the shrimp inside had very little flavor at all. The only thing I like about these, really, was the size. I dislike overly large Har Gow as they are unwieldy to eat and often tear under their own weight, especially where you have to take more than one or two bites. These ones were just right for a single mouthful each. Continue reading “Yangtze – A second visit.”

Sushi Village Revisited

JR Egg Sushi and Sashimi 1

I don’t generally give restaurants a second review…  I visited, and reviewed Sushi Village almost two years ago and all I will say about this most recent visit is that the ambience, food and service are about the same as they were for my first experience. That being said, I dropped in to the place once again quite recently (as the place is very close to the hotel where I most commonly stay in Ottawa), and I thought my readers might like to see the dishes I selected.

The first, which you see pictured above, was listed on the Sushi/Sashimi menu as just ‘Egg’, which I took to be a sushi/sashimi version of the multi-layered Japanese omelet known as ‘Tamagoyaki’. It was an egg dish, no doubt, but the connection between that basic fact and the complex Japanese egg specialty ended there. What I received was sort of an omelet, I suppose, but it was little more than plain egg that was cooked (in some way) to produce a thin, faintly rubber-like, sheet of yellow plastic. It didn’t taste bad, by any means, but it could easily have been powdered egg, and the texture was nothing like I a proper Tamagoyaki omelet. In fairness, the menu never made that specific claim but I will note, in passing, that I went and had what was definitely touted as ‘Tamago’ in a much higher end sushi restaurant only a few days later and got the same thing … Shame! Continue reading “Sushi Village Revisited”

Stoneleight Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Stoneleight Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Today’s selection is a table wine from New Zealand’s South Island that I purchased at Iqaluit’s local beer and wine store. I wasn’t terribly taken with it, given the price, but it is still eminently drinkable…

  • Winery: Stoneleigh Vineyards
  • Price: $18.95 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Sugar: 3 g/L

This Pinot Noir is light ruby in color and slightly effervescent on decanting. The nose is aromatic but the fruit is indistinct and almost matched by a vegetal, and also somewhat meaty quality. There are some woody notes and an ephemeral hint of spice. The body is medium light and the effect is dry with a high acidity that impacts immediately. The tannins assert themselves only near the end and, though not strong, have a noticeable astringency. Sour red fruit dominates, but this is matched by a strong forest mushroom presence. There is some woodiness, but not a great deal else in the way of highlights. It is not bad, but not especially interesting.

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013

This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (actually a blend) is classified as a ‘Gran Reserva’ from the Maipo DO in the Valle Central wine region. The Gran Reserva classification is meant to denote a wine of superior quality, and, for the price, this particular product and vintage certainly merits the distinction. I purchased it at our local beer and wine store and was told, when I placed my order, that it was a very good wine. I am happy to say that the recommendation was more than just sales pitch… Continue reading “Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2013”

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz

Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz 2015

I like Shiraz based wines from Australia generally. This one is drinkable, to be sure but it is a bit blunt as far as complexity goes, and a little too sweet for my taste.

  • Winery: Rosemount Estate
  • Price: $15.85 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Sugar: 5.5 g/L
  • Blend: Gamay 90% – Pinot Noir 10%

The color is a dark cherry and the body thick and quite silky. The nose is moderately aromatic and rich with red fruits and berries, notably raspberry and red-currant. There is also a pleasant highlight of straw along with touches of wood. The primary flavor is a mix of dark fruit and red-berries but the highlights are limited  to some woody notes. All in all, the effect is rather flat. This wine is pleasantly drinkable, if a bit sweetish, but not overly complex overall.

Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz 2015

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2015

Today’s selection is a table wine from Australia’s South Eastern wine-making region. I happened to try the 2014 vintage a year or so ago and gave it a three star rating. This vintage is a bit better in my opinion, and, having regard to the very decent price, I awarded it another star…

  • Winery: Lindeman’s Wines
  • Price: $12 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Sugar: 8.2 g/L

This Shiraz is a dark cherry color with a slight purplish tint.  It has a somewhat muted yet aromatic nose with dark berries, some floral notes, a slight woodiness and even a very faint spicy hit of liquorice. It is quite full bodied with a creamy texture and is quite dry. Acidity is moderate to high and impacts quickly with robust tannins developing only a moment later. Sour cherry and blackcurrant dominate and the faint floral quality of the nose is much more noticeable. There is a faint earthiness and nice notes of pepper. The finish is decently long but the acidity near the end breaks the more rounded effect earlier on. It is a very decent wine for the price.

Levert Frères Coteaux Bourguignons 2015

Levert Frères Coteaux Bourguignons 2015

The Coteaux Bourguignon AOC in Burgundy produces reds, white and rose wines, and the reds can be Gamay,Pinot Noir, or a blend of the two. This one is a blend, heavy on the Gamay…

  • Winery: Compagnie Vinicole de Bourgogne
  • Price: $13.35 CDN
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Sugar: 2.1 g/L
  • Blend: Gamay 90% – Pinot Noir 10%

This Gamay-Pinot Noir is a clear, slightly pinkish garnet. The nose is quite muted with a faint candied fruit quality that is accompanied by an earthiness, some aromatic dried flowers, and  a touch of leather. It is medium bodied and quite dry with moderate acidity and tannins that don’t assert themselves at first, but which lend a bit of astringency towards the end. The floral quality is much more obvious in the mouth than the nose and nearly dominates the sour red and black fruit forming the base. There is a woodiness, with a touch of vanilla, and a few peppery notes as well. It is not a great wine, but pretty decent for the money. A little more aging might improve some of the rougher edges, perhaps.

Review: A’Roma Meze – Ottawa

239 Nepean St, Ottawa

A'Roma Meze 1

Date of Visit: April, 2018 – Website

I have to begin by saying, right off the bat, that this place is a little gem of a find. I had it on my list of places to visit on four or five visits to Ottawa and never managed to make it until just recently. I am just sorry, now, that I didn’t get there earlier … Continue reading “Review: A’Roma Meze – Ottawa”

Review: 222 Lyon – Ottawa

222 Lyon St N, Ottawa- Website

222 Lyon 1

Date of Visit: April, 2018

This place was my last restaurant visit on a recent trip to Ottawa. It is a Tapas Bar with a pretty decent selection of different small plates, and though I went at lunchtime, which has a much smaller menu than in the evening, I had some fairly good selections and a pretty decent time…  Continue reading “Review: 222 Lyon – Ottawa”