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We came out here for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it. The patio and surrounding scenery is terrific and the food is excellent. I had a boxty which was described as a crepe-like thin potato pancake, filled with mushrooms and chicken. It was served with a bechamel sauce within and over the top and came with vegetables, and your choice of rice, fries or salad. I had the fries which came piping hot and crispy. The vegetables were fresh, not frozen and consisted of french green beans, cauliflower, broccoli and carrot. My husband had the steak sandwich which was also pronounced very good. It arrived with the aforementioned fries and the steak was cooked medium rare. Service was friendly. A great way to spend a few hours on a Sunday, one we will repeat.

The ThirdMay 25
Cheap good beer and reasonably priced food - what more could you ask for? Well, a better tasting Club Sandwich would be one I guess. This was mediocre at best - not a lot of flavour and I even had trouble tasting the bacon that was on there. Even just a bit more mayo would have helped.

The fries were perfect but do you notice something odd about this plating? I'm sure someone thought that would be a cool idea to pile up the fries between the sandwich, but how am I supposed to eat my fries first with ketchup especially if I'm a dipper? There is no room for the ketchup and even if you put it on top of the fries you risk getting it on your sandwich. So I had to eat half the sandwich first to make room for putting some ketchup on the plate.

As an aside and this is really everywhere not just here, but what is this obsession society has with chicken / turkey breast? It the most flavourless cut there is and you get charged more for it! This sandwich would have been an awful lot better with dark meat. Maybe they should consider giving us a choice.

The ThirdMay 25
How can you not go back with cheap beers like that? And clearly they take their beer seriously - a lot of places could take a lesson here.

The ThirdMay 25
Admin : when I do a site search on "The Third" it does not come up. All lowercase if that makes a difference. But when I search on "The 3rd" I get it. Odd.

Kothu RottiMay 23
Flandroid Thanks! I always assumed it was lamb. I learned something new today!

Kothu RottiMay 22
Mutton is goat in India as well, that particular restaurant is simply trying accommodate its vastly-white clientele.

(which is funny because Railway Mutton Curry itself was created to avoid upsetting the colonial/British palate)

Kothu RottiMay 22
Sadie Hmmm when I order mutton curry from East India Company they definitely use lamb. So I guess mutton is lamb in India and goat in Sri Lanka?

Kothu RottiMay 22
Just FYI Pasta Lover, when Sri Lankans say mutton they mean goat.

Kothu RottiMay 22
I went to Kothu Rotti last night before a movie at the Bytowne. This small restaurant is located on Dalhousie across the street from Island Flava/Smokes Poutinerie. There are a few tables for dining in but it is quite warm in the resto so I decided to get take-out and ate in the food court at the Rideau Centre. They have a rather extensive menu of Sri Lankan dishes and I had a tough time deciding what to order since everything looked good. I love lamb but haven't had it in awhile so I decided whatever I order will include lamb in the dish. I decided to settle for the mutton biryani asking for medium spice level. I got a generous portion of fried rice with mutton and vegetables and a hard boiled egg on top. It was quite spicy in a good kinda way and I really enjoyed my meal. The prices are a bargain and the staff is pleasant. I will have to add this resto to my list of favourites.

A little on the expensive side but it was a choice of 2 meats and 1 spring roll. It was all very tasty with a good mix of shredded vegetables and vermicelli.

The vegetable thali was very good. I don’t remember all the items but it included eggplant, chickpeas, lentils, among other things with a couple of spicy items. It came with a bread.

Ginger beef and chicken on rice with a spring roll and salad at the Montcalm location. It is a lunch special with a soup for $9.50. They have a few items on the lunch menu for the same price. It is an ok place for lunch. I go there mostly due to proximity to my office.

eldon'sMay 17
Citrus tart. Because it was the best part of the meal so it deserved its own photo.

eldon'sMay 17
This place has been on my “to try” list for a while, and we finally got round to visiting for dinner recently.

The space itself and the menu are both fairly small, but both appeared very inviting, so I really wanted to like this place.

The general consensus was that although the food was very fresh, it desperately needed some seasoning, and that it was quite pricey.

We started with some homemade bread. You pay depending on the topping of which there were several to choose from. We went for herbed cheese which was very nice, but would have been even nicer if it were complimentary. However, given the pace of the service to follow and the portion sizes, we were glad that we “splurged” out and had something to sustain us.

For starters I had the Digby scallops (top left). Very attractive, and I wasn’t expecting a pile of scallops for $16, but it seemed more like 1 scallop, cut into 5 thin slices. The herbs and accompaniments were nice & attractive but if I’d had this dish blind I wouldn’t have known the scallops were in there.

Mrs Rat had the mushrooms (top right), which came with barley. Pleasant enough (I had a small sample) but really needed a bit of salt or pepper - neither of which were available on the table or offered.

For mains, I had the pickerel (bottom right) with grits and tomato gravy. I was expecting a piece of fish with crispy skin (not that it was described as such, just my assumption), but it was more like several small, and somewhat dry pieces on a bed of grits. Pleasant but not much flavour. I’m not a big tomato fan, and it seemed like an odd match, but as I was fairly hungry and desperate to not miss out on any discernible flavour I had the tomato gravy. Also, if you can make out the white bits - that was popcorn. Maybe it was to provide a contrast in texture, but sitting on the grits just made them chewy and lead to a decidedly WTF were they thinking moment.

The steak (bottom left) was nice enough. The potatoes were described as “fussy” by Mrs Rat, and the whole dish could have done with some salt or pepper (spotting a trend yet …?) and something, anything, else. Just a bit of wilted kale or even a modest carrot. But no, $32 got you steak and potatoes. Thats quite a hike from when Peter Hum reviewed the place (ottawacitizen.com). I wouldn’t have minded paying $22 like he did, but $32 … it wasn’t worth $32.

We still had room (which is unusual for us after starter & main, especially with bread as well) so we both opted for the citrus tart. We both agreed this was the star of the show.

Service was … leisurely, but adequate.

We didn’t have wine, I had 3 beers. All in, including tax & tip the bill was just shy of $200 for 2 people. Thats on the upper end of my scale, and to be honest I think we could have got better for less (we miss you Allium).

I splurged out for the Thali at lunch.

The main dish (centre) was a lamb Chettinad with coconut & spices - very tasty indeed and the lamb was tender.

At the 9’oclock position, that was a Sambar soup which had a decent kick to it.

Up from there (10 o’clock ish) was Aviyal (veg, coconut curry leaves & chillies). I could quite happily eat a whole plate of that by itself.

Continuing clockwise, i think this was carrot & coconut. This was the weakest of the dishes and between the heat of the lamb and the sambar, I couldn’t really taste much.

Next (1 o’clock) we have Erussery, squash, peas & lentils which was a nice middle ground (wasn’t the star of the show, but I’d quite happily have it again).

The next one (2’oclock) was a complete surprise. It certainly seemed fruity, but neither I, nor my friend who tried some, could place our fingers on what it was. But we liked it. We had to ask, and it turns out it was Pachadi, which is pineapple, coconut and yoghurt. Pineapple! Yes that was it, it was obvious now. You can order this as its own side dish at dinner, and I would never have thought to do so (and that might be too much anyway) - but the sampler I got with my Thali was a delightful surprise and I’m really glad I had it.

At 3 to 5 o’clock is the delicious porrota and rice.

At 6’oclock, that was a portion of raita. It looked plain there, like it was just yoghurt, but the good stuff (cucumber & coriander & spices) were underneath and just needed a stir. This is a lifesaver if you misjudged the spice level and need to tame the fire.

Finally, round to 8 o’clock that was a dessert of sweet coconut milk with vermicelli.

This was quite a feast, and for $22 I wouldn’t do it every lunchtime. But as a splurge and to try new things (like the pineapple surprise) it was definitely worth it.

I’m surprised this place doesn’t have an entry already, it’s been open a while, and produces consistently delicious food.

It’s a small, unassuming place in the mall at March & Klondike. It has <10 small tables and the decor is bland, but the food most certainly is not.

I’ve had takeout several times for dinner when having to work late, but today I went for lunch with colleagues from work, and managed to take some photos.

The regular lunch items are ~ $12 and gets you a main dish (several veg, chicken, lamb, beef or fish options), plus a mystery side dish and either 2 porottas, a “full” rice, or most commonly half rice & 1 porotta. Now, I’m not sure if the scale comes across, but that “half rice” was pretty substantial so a full portion must come in a bucket. Also you don’t want to miss out on the deliciously chewy, but with a slightly crispy outer, porotta brad.

Shown here was butter chicken, rice/porotta and the side was potatoes & coconut.

This is a delicious and hearty lunch for that price.

Although this place isn’t quite on a par with the famous Coconut Lagoon, its not a bad substitute when you are at the other end of the city!

NOTE : The spice level here is somewhat elevated compared to other places. They ask how you would like your dish, and even though I like hot curries, their medium is plenty hot enough for me. So go conservative with your spice instructions until you’ve calibrated yourself!

DonermaMay 17
I met up with a couple of friends for lunch a couple of days ago. When we were planning our lunch outing one of my lunch mates mentioned that she has been to Donerma a few times and the food is really good. The other lunch mate and I had never been there and we were eager to try it out. The resto is very small but they still managed to squeeze in a dozen tables or so if you choose to dine in. It is also very hot since they have a grill set up in the resto and it was getting very toasty while I was lunching with my friends so next time I may decide to get take out and eat my lunch somewhere else due to the heat.

On to the food. Donerma has a few menu options including wraps, bowls and platters. I ordered a kofta platter pictured on the right (I already made a dent in my lunch before I remembered to take a picture;). I got two koftas which came with rice, potatoes, salad, garlic sauce, a pita, hummus, and pickled turnip. One of my friends got a chicken wrap and she was given a choice of toppings and there was a lot to pick from. The other friend got a chicken bowl which is a roast chicken salad that comes with potatoes, hummus, and garlic sauce. Our portions were large and we ended up taking home leftovers. The food was really tasty and the service very friendly. I look forward to going back.

Go Gi YaMay 16
Picked up a late lunch today, boneless fried chicken lunch ($13.50 tax-in) and some japchae ($4.50 tax-in).

The generous portion of chicken is indeed delicious, crispy, with a welcome kiss of heat; they offer a sweet+spicy sauce and a soy-based sauce as add-ons. The quick-pickled radish and carrot were also just right as a refresher between hunks of chicken. While the puffy noodles beneath the chicken are edible, I imagine their job is to absorb humidity/oil and keep the chicken from crowding the container and losing its crispness.

The japchae was good and simple, and I think the serving would be plenty shareable for two at lunch.

Do Good FoodMay 15
Went here before a movie last night for dinner on date night. I saw everyone's reviews and decided to take a look.

Yeah, we both agreed this is now go-to place to go before a movie.

I had, and is pictured, the oxtail. Tender, melt in your mouth, with a nice spice hit. The sides were pretty great, and the standout was the mashed potatoes, which tasted garlicy and cheesy, and I could probably just eat an entire bowl of it.

My fiancé has the chicken curry, and she absolutely loved it. The chicken was literally fall off the bone, and the spices were complex, layered, and great (I stole a couple bites).

When we go back, we'll go small instead of medium, but I also am looking forwards to trying the Roti.

Go Gi YaMay 15
Went here for lunch today, and the fried chicken is sold as a lunchtime thing, at $11.99 (Not bad for the amount you get).

Weirdly, it's named on the signs as B.O.N.E.L.E.S.S

So, I have no idea what it's an acronym for. But what I do know is that it was delicious. The breading was super crisp, and had some heat in it seasoning wise, which elevated it. The chicken was dark meat and was really juicy.

The styrofoam noodles underneath weren't really my favourite, but the small container of coleslaw was super good and a palate cleanser.

I am def going back, having a bottle of soju, and trying the k-bowl.

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