Moving to Ottawa (near Montfort Hospital), looking for recs [General]

2008 Aug 18
Hey guys!

I'm happy to say that I'm finally moving back to Ottawa for school. I just signed the lease on a place a few minutes walk away from Montfort Hospital, and as I'm unfamiliar with this area for the most part, I was hoping that maybe some of you fine foodie folks might have a recommendation or two for good restaurants in the area, and info about places that may deliver to me!

Has anyone eaten at Shawarma Plus? I'm right by that, and I love shawarma. I'm really hoping that this place is decent.

Anyways, looking forward to embarking on Ottawa food adventures next month! Thanks in advance for your help!


2008 Aug 18
Hi Vorpal,

Welcome Back! Sorry I can't help you out with recommendations (not my stomping ground), but I am happy to see you back and look forward to your upcoming Reviews and hope you share with us some tales about the Toronto Foodie scene.

Also, good luck in your PHD studies this year.



2008 Aug 18
hi Vorpal, have you tried Chahaya? I've visited Chowhound (for a couple Toronto visits) and noticed your endorsement of several Malaysian & Thai places. I'm not too familiar w/ the Montford Hospital area, but perhaps Chahaya will help scratch an itch?

2008 Aug 18
Food&Think: Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I'm very excited to be coming back and hitting up all my old favourite haunts, as well as finding new ones. I'll definitely share my stories from Toronto. I had a really hard time finding restaurants here that satisfied my tastes, especially Thai. Toronto doesn't seem to know how to do Thai: ketchup is pretty much a given in Pad Thai no matter where you go. I've managed to find two places here that I love, namely Matahari Grill and Mengrai Thai, both which I'd highly recommend if you're into Thai / Malaysian.

itchy feet: I've really, really wanted to try Chahaya Malaysia for the longest time, but unfortunately, they use MSG, and I have a health condition that is triggered badly by eating it. I'm not sure how I'm going to get my Malaysia fix in Ottawa after becoming wickedly addicted here in Toronto :/. Thanks for the tip all the same, though!

2008 Aug 18
yikes, i guess msg sensitivity can complicate things. I wonder, though, if they (Chahaya) would accommodate if you called them or paid a visit on a quieter day? At least, they might be able to steer you away from the dishes beyond their control, e.g., those that include curry pastes / spices of unknown(able) provenance? They're a small, family-run operation ... i can say, at least, they've accommodated my vegetarian requests.

btw, on other fronts, there's a grocery store called Win Tai (sp?) on Olgivie next to the Mandarin that has some Thai, Japanese and lots of Chinese ingredients. Not as well stocked as the stores on Spadina, but some interesting items here and there.

2008 Aug 18
I used to live there up until 2 months ago; I miss some of my old haunts.

My faves:

- Bon Thai: Somewhat pricey but tasty and filling.

- Pilos: Great Greek food at low prices. I used to order their über garlicky tzatziki along with Greek pitas for pickup. They'd warm up the pitas for me... Yum!!!

- Dragon Tavern: Somewhat limited selection at the buffet but food is good. I believe they use msg in most dishes as I vaguely recall a mention of no msg above some items which led me to believe the others would have it.

2008 Aug 19
Two words: Host. India. It's in a white stucco building on Montreal Rd. near the Independent.

There are mixed reviews on here for the buffet, but the dinner menu is fantastic. By far the best Indian I've found in Ottawa.

I've also heard good things about the Coconut Lagoon on St. Laurent.

2008 Aug 19

somewhat off-topic, but have you been to Taj on Carling near Bayshore? Perhaps Host India is the best Indian dinner on your side of town, but I don't think you've had Indian on this side of the tracks my friend...

2008 Aug 19
Nanook, are you serious? I always thought Host was a front for a cult. Must be the creepy bulding...
I live at Blair & Montreal, will need to try it.

2008 Aug 20
I don't find Taj to be all that at all. Go next door on the little side street to Little India, if you want truly inspired cooking!

2008 Aug 20
Fair enough. I will have to try there Zym. My SO has his favourites, which I sort of acquired when I moved here, hence my presumption that Taj is all that.

2008 Aug 20
I second Zy's reccomendation for The Little India Cafe. Little India Cafe

Waaaaay better than Taj .... and you don't have to put up the owner who can be obnoxious and make you order more food than you need/want.

Comments from The Restaurant Thing:

"I also found that the owner is slightly aggressive when making menu suggestions. I wonder if you guys feel the same. Just turn him down sternly and politely if you're not interested in whatever it is he's pushing."

"... were charged for every single item he brought, including sides of mango chutney and raita. He never asked if he could include items, just brought them over and explained them. Even at dessert -- we didn't ask for it, but he brought us a split portion with tea...and then charged for all of it."

"As per the other reviews, whatever you do, DON'T let the owner talk you into trying other dishes if you're unprepared to spend the $$$! The owner is very friendly but you won't be so impressed with him once you get the bill for everything he "recommended"."

"The manager kept trying to get us to order more food and was mad that we didn't."

"The owner added extras to our order while making it sound like they were included in the price (the kinds of things that actually WOULD be included at every other Indian restaurant!) He saw that we were weren't using them, so he actually came up and dumped them on our plate without asking!!! Then he charged us for everything at the end."

"Do not, I repeat, do not let the waiter/owner "take care of you" when you are deciding what to order. My hubby and I did and we spent over $100 on a dinner that would have cost us half that elsewhere."

Looks like a pattern here.

2008 Aug 20
Daft Diner - I think it used to be a language school up until a few years ago. I agree, the fact it looks like a house makes it look sketchy!

Lady Who Brunches - I actually don't live in the East End. I've actually been pretty disappointed with the Indian I've had in the Core. It doesn't wow me like Host India does.

2008 Aug 20
OK, only because Captain C went off on this tangent... Restaurant Thing(y) does else read their reviews? I rarely do so, but I know that our Vendor Pages are linked to them and once in awhile I'll take a peek. Most of the time I don't bother though because I like this site so much, and way too often there is some technical problem or other with their website. It has got to be frustrating to be a memeber over there.

2008 Aug 20
CC: That's the problem of the people who do not know how to say "no". I don't disagree that at times he can be a bit overwhelming. But that's not to say that we haven't discovered a handful of dishes that we love on account of him, and that he has also been incredibly accomodating with this--ie. new dish we want to try? He'll give us a half portion, at half the price, that way we can get a few and try them all, and not wreck the meal if we don't like it.

We'll have to try the Little India Cafe, but in my mind, an eager owner is never a reason to turn down good food.

2008 Aug 21
Vorpal - Welcome back! Sadly, I don't have any recommendations for places to eat over in your neck of the woods, but I look forward to hearing what you find, since exploring the east end a bit will do me well ;)

2008 Aug 28
There was a small Caribbean takeout place tucked into the corner of the plaza at Montreal/St Laurent. It's a couple doors down from the beer store and right beside the dollar store. Is it still there?
I haven't tried the roti but I know they make jamaican patties in several different kinds, beef, chicken or vegetarian.