Phở Bò Gà L.A, Ottawa

If you're going to eat phở in Ottawa's China town, it's gotta be at Pho Bo Ga 2 or Pho Bo Ga L.A. The two restaurants are owned by the same owners, and they also own Pho Bo Ga 3 down the road from L.A (creative huh?).

CK, my mom, and I recently ate at Phở Bò Gà 2. Their specialty is soup, soup, soup!

I ordered M13 on their menu which was the spicy beef stew with rice noodles. Not as good as the home cooked beef stew, but still pretty tasty. This is a good option if you don't want to order the standard beef rice noodle soup.

My mom loves both rice noodles and yellow egg noodles, so she ordered M7 on the menu which provides both. On the menu, the description is shrimp and pork meat with rice noodle, but it really does come with two types of noodles. It also has a deep fried shrimp chip on top. You have to eat the shrimp chip fast because the soup will make it very soggy quickly.

CK loves the standard fare, so he ordered 001 on the menu: rare beef with rice noodle. If you want more variety in your meats, I would get the beef and chicken soup, or the beef soup with rare beef, beef tripe, and beef balls.

All soup should be served with lime wedges, bean sprouts, hot peppers, and herbs. Whether or not you eat the herbs, you should throw it in your soup for flavor.

Phở Bò Gà L.A
784 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-230-2931

New Pho Bo Ga La on Urbanspoon

Rideau Restaurant, Ottawa

CK loves Chinese food. When he comes home to visit, we're sure to go out for some. I called my mom and the three of us went to my mom's favourite west end Chinese restaurant, Rideau Restaurant.

Every time we have come to eat here, this restaurant is packed. Not only are their tables filled, but there is a huge line up for take away, and their phone is ringing off the hook. If you live in the west end like me, this is a great place to go if you are too lazy to drive to china town for good Chinese food.

We started with the moo soo (also spelt moo shu) chicken served with a sweet hoisin sauce, and six moo shu pancakes. I love ordering this because it is so fun to eat

You place some filling and sauce on a pancake, wrap it up, and enjoy. The flavours go really well together. The filling served here was a combination of cabbage, green onion, chicken, carrots, and cloud ear fungus.

Our next dish was beef with chinese broccoli. This is a pretty standard chinese dish, but for some reason, it is not offered on their English menu. This is Beebs' favourite dish. Too bad she wasn't able to make it.

Our next dish was also something not offered on their English menu: salt and pepper sole. This is my mom's favourite dish at this restaurant, and we order it every time we eat here. The sole is deep fried, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and chilis. It is served over a bed of stir fried broccoli.

Our meal, of course, was served with chinese tea and white rice.

We finished our meal with red bean soup. The red bean soup here is good but not the best I have had. There is not as much bean as I would like. I think they also add coconut milk to it.

Rideau Restaurant
500 Eagleson Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-254-8824

The Rideau Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Fraser Café, Ottawa

It was a very rainy day today. With nothing to do, CK and I headed to Fraser Café for Sunday brunch.

Fraser café is a lively 27-seat restaurant located in Ottawa's trendy New Edinburgh area. This place is constantly busy, so if you plan on dining here, be sure to make reservations ahead of time.

As soon as we walked in, we could smell home fries and eggs being cooked in their small open kitchen.

I ordered the eggs benedict becauseI love poached eggs!! I asked them to hold the prosciutto, and got the sweet and sour tomato relish instead of the hollandaise sauce. The poached eggs were served on top of a toasted english muffin with a little bit of mayo, and roasted tomatoes. On the side were greens, and home fries that were fried with onions and capsicum.

CK ordered the house cheeseburger with no bacon. It was served with greens and fries.

Our bill came in a re-used sweet basil seed pouch which I thought was smart.

Besides the good food, I really enjoyed the excellent service. The staff here are very friendly, pay close attention to detail, and really make sure that the customer's needs are taken care of.
7 Springfield Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-749-1444

Fraser Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wedding Dinner at Sea King Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant, Ottawa

CK and I made a recent sudden decision to get married. We booked an appointment at the court house the day I got back from the UK, and bought our wedding bands over the weekend. Our ceremony was with immediate family only, and it was truly perfect for us. It was a very emotional day for everyone, especially for me. We've been living apart for so long (7 years), that it felt great to have made it this far. Things haven't changed much on the geographical front, however. He is still living in Australia and me in Ottawa. We are both doing what we want to do, so for the time being, we are ok with that.

On the night of our wedding, we celebrated with a traditional 9 course chinese meal (not counting dessert) at Sea King Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant here in Ottawa. I was ecstatic because that meant that I was going to have great food pictures for my blog. CK is now more convinced than ever that I love food more than him :)

Our meal started with a cold plate of meats. Starting at the red squid, and moving clockwise, we had: squid that was dyed red to signify marriage, chicken salad, beef slices, spicy jellyfish, and roasted duck.

Our second course was stir fried snow pea shoots with dried scallops. Snow pea shoots are considered a Chinese delicacy, and are perfect to harvest this time of the year. The snow pea shoots were very tender. It is one of my favourite Chinese vegetables.

Our third course was the shark fin soup, a must at a wedding dinner. Shark fin doesn't have a lot of taste, and they look like little pieces of vermicelli.

Our 4th course was abalone with baby bok choy and chinese mushrooms. This, to me, is also another must at a Chinese wedding dinner.

Following that was the twin lobster. In Chinese culture, good things always come in pairs.

Next came the crispy deep fried whole chicken with shrimp chips.

The 7th dish was a fish dish. The meat of the fish was stir fried, and the bones were deep fried to make them edible. The Chinese believe that fish bones are a good source of calcium.

The 8th course was a combination of long life noodles and pineapple rice. The noodles are called long life noodles because they signify long life to those who eat it.

This was supposed to be the last dish of the meal, but there was a slight mix up.

The 9th course came a little late: deep fried shrimp balls served with a sweet cherry sauce.

It was actually supposed to be the second dish to come out, and the manager apologized profusely for it. The blame was partly on us. We changed the menu so many times that the restaurant was getting confused. One of my guests, who didn't end up coming, was allergic to shrimp, so we originally omitted this dish.

Even though I was stuffed, I still managed to eat 3 shrimp balls.

We finished the meal off with red bean soup and fortune cookies.

New to me was the purple rice in the red bean soup.

This was my father in-law's fortune. We all had a good laugh because he loves wearing his old clothes and his family is always pestering him to buy new clothes!

Here comes the best part of the meal. I SWEAR this was my fortune.

It was the perfect fortune for a die hard foodie, and it definitely made my night.

Sea King Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant
1558 Merivale Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

New 168 Market, Ottawa

I was craving red bean cake today, so CK and I paid a visit to Ottawa's biggest asian market, New 168 Market.

Right at the border of chinatown, this market offers just about anything you need. I prefer coming here over the other asian stores mainly because of it's vast selection, and cleanliness. Their fruits and vegetable section is not as big as some of the other chinatown stores, but they do have a better selection of just about every thing else.

I decided to take pictures of the store for this post, and the whole time, CK was shaking his head, asking me to put my camera away. He said he felt like a tourist in his own city, and people were blatantly staring at us.

Despite his badgering, I did not put away my camera and managed to get some good pictures. WARNING: I am not trying to gross anyone out in any way with my photos. I just decided to focus on things you wouldn't see everyday. Here is a little tour of the market:

I started at the dried snacks section. Here you will find a great selection of dried and preserved fruits and meat such as preserved kumquat and dried squid.

I ended up buying these preserved licoriced mandarin peels. I get motion sickness really easily, and the mandarin peels are good for that. I love the taste of them.

Next are the sauces and soup section. They have just about every asian hot sauce available, and offer many ingredients to make traditional chinese soups.

What you see below is black moss or fat choy. It is an ingredient that is commonly used during Chinese new year cooking because 'fat choy' in cantonese means to be prosperous. When cooked, it has a very soft texture, and looks just like black human hair.

Next stop was the fruits and vegetables section. This was actually the first time I saw real bamboo shoots that were not canned.

Their noodle section is where the radish cakes are kept. I buy these all the time, and they taste great when pan fried.

Beside the noodle section is the cured meats section. Below are cured porked belly sticks, and chinese sausages, called 'lap cheung'.

These are cured duck legs.

Last stop was the seafood and butcher section. They have a variety of meats including fresh fish, pork liver, fish balls and beef tripe.

These salmon heads are great for making soup broth.

Chicken feet look kind of creepy uncooked, but they are tasty as a dim sum dish. There's not much meat to chicken feet, so you mainly eat it for the skin.

Beautiful fresh fish.

I found this sign absolutely hilarious!!

I bought CK's dad some Japanese red bean mochi.

And finally, the baked red bean cakes that I was craving!

New 168 Market
1050 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada