A newish Ethiopian restaurant located on Gladstone, between Percy and Bay. It also delivers pizza.

Ph: 613.321.0774

Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Blue Nile
Foods from Blue Nile


2009 Feb 19
Just because Anne DesBrisay likes something doesn't have quite the same force and effect as the word of God, she has written some terrible reviews in the past in my opinion and given that there were photos taken with the review I hardly think they were unaware a review was being made of their food. (I noticed as well that her review contains a misspelling of the dish my companion ordered that echoes their mispelling on the Blue Nile website.)

My portions were literally a quarter of what is shown on her platter.

That said, "The Blue Nile is a fairly generic-looking restaurant. The tourism posters, a flag, wooden giraffes, some tusks, and a traditional costume hanging on a wall are the clues this is an Ethiopian restaurant" more than echoes in a politer fashion my description of the place as Mel's Diner with some added 'africana'.

The giraffes look like they came from 10,000 villages and the tusks are clearly plastic, the place reeks of tchotchke.

For the record Doro Wat is a chicken dish, my companion ordered Yebeg Tibbs which is NOT a stew which I hinted at before pretty clearly.

I'm not holding myself out as the greatest reviewer of all time but I think it's important that on this page which had uniformly positive reviews previously that my voice be clearly shown to disagree, this is actually the first negative review I've written out of many many positive ones on restaurantica.

I don't go out of my way to diss restaurants but I feel like either the people who wrote these reviews have never eaten in an Ethiopian restaurant before or are the type of person that don't like writing something negative.

The food we received places this restaurant in the very small category in my mind of "places I will never go again"

There was no excuse for the terrible portions I received and her lamb was both poorly presented and clearly overcooked.

2009 Feb 19
Hmmm, interesting discussion considering that the Blue Nile was reviewed in today's Ottawa Citizen by Anne Desbrisay.


I find Anne Debrisay generally to be a bit of a picky eater... and she had no complaints (which in my memory is unusual). And the accompanying photo makes the food look absolutely delish (nothing looked dried-out to my eyes)... and the photo looked quite similar to the one Mr. Red posted here about a year ago. So that speaks to consistency.

The article also confirmed Food Is Hot's comments about the cuisine in general... The base of which is Ethiopia's national dish a stew called Doro Wot (proving but once again that Chef FIH really knows her stuff).

Of note also is the fact that Ms. Desbrisay didn't seem to mind the decor, stating that it was "fairly generic"... but there was no mention of it being "dumpy" or tacky.

So based on that info... I'd think that perhaps somehow Golden Turtle RIP was there on a bad day... cause it looks like the Blue Nile is still a great place to go.

2009 Feb 18
Now now, no need to throw the "a-hole" term around :) I really wasn't trying to take "exception" to your review (I actually thought about specifically stating that I was not attacking your review on a personal level, however I thought I had worded my comments politely enough to avoid offending you - aparently I was wrong :P). As someone who works in the restaurant industry, I am sometimes compelled to comment on reviews from the perspective of the restaurantuer - even if I haven't eaten there; this is especially true when I read reviews regarding cooking techniques and expectations involved therein. I felt that many of your points were very fair, however I did feel the two points I brought up previously did detract from the overall quality of your review, as they made assumptions and were not backed up by further information. You may find that some of the longer term members here will chime in from time to time to guide the newer members to construct well-rounded and informative reviews (us foodie busy-bodies!) and don't mean any personal offence or think you are "wrong" in your opinion - actually, I feel like you backed up yourself well in your response because you gave additional feedback on the issues mentioned such as specifying that you felt the place was "dumpy" and felt like a diner ad that your meal was "like gruel" - rather than just speculating that it may have been "reheated".

2009 Feb 17
You've never eaten there but you want to take exception to my review anyways?

Please allow me the right of reply.

Of course a review is subjective, opinions are like a-holes but unlike the person below who claims to have eaten at many Ethiopian restaurants, I in fact HAVE and this place given the reviews was a shocker of a disappointment.


I was not p'oed that they didn't have 'better' ethiopian-ISH decor I was unimpressed because the place looks dumpy (except for very clean bathrooms). This place looked and felt like Mel's Dinner with some cheap 'Africana' around added in for decoration.

There is most definitely an A-Game that a decent Ethiopian restaurant brings including a pre-meal hand washing service and if you're lucky nice low slung tables and benches. But I don't expect that from one just because it serves Ethiopian dishes and I most certainly didn't hint towards that as I said better food can be had in a similarly down at the heels environment.

Re: The lamb, yes many Ethiopian meat dishes are served in a bit of a reduction involving clarified butter and spices so yes 'stew like', but also, there is a clear difference between something served in a 'stew' (which this wasn't supposed to be incidentally) and something more approaching gruel on a hot plate.

Vegetarian platters are also in part slow cooked yes but parts of it are usually made to order or batch made in general around the time customers usually start arriving.

5:30pm on a Monday, I'm expecting FRESH food that tastes recently made not recently reheated.

2009 Feb 17
Never eaten here, but to be fair, the way a particular food "should be" served (atmosphere-wise)is pretty subjective, no? Our impressions of atmospheric cuisine are based on so many things including childhood memories, the place we first ate it, our previous favorites etc. I appreciate the fact that this review makes it clear that teh reviewer didn't care for the decor, and that they felt the atmosphere could have been more inviting, however I don't think its necessarily fair to discount them for the reason that they felt that the specific ethnic denomination of thier food demands a particular setting.

Also, I've never worked in an Ethiopian restaurant, so I don't know for sure (so if anyone knows the inner-workings I'd be very curious to know :)), most of the cuisine is based on long-slow-cooked stews of sorts, correct? Almost all the Ethiopian food I've ever had seems to be slow-cooked fall-apart meats and braised legumes etc. All of these items must be cooked well in advance, otherwise they wouldn't be a stew, they would be fried or sauteed items. I've always assumed that my meal at an Ethiopian restaurant is "pre-cooked" (ie: either "reheated", or "kept-warm-for-hours) as it were - otherwise the meat in the stews would be tough and/or my meal would take 4 hours to get to the table. Obviously if the restaurant knows what its doing, the meat should still be tender, moist, and not seem "cooked to death", but I can't imagine ANY Ethiopian restaurant not using this "reheat/keep warm" method logistically...

2009 Feb 17
I went to this restaurant based on two things

1) I live around the corner

2) the reviews

Clearly you people need to go to more Ethiopian restaurants because while the food was 'good' it was far from the quality I have come to expect from a "Very Good" restaurant Ethiopian or otherwise.

First the good: A decent beer and wine selection, very nice and personable staff in the realm of acceptable pricing.

Now the: nicht so gut

The portions for the vegetarian platter were abysmally small and the meat used in the lamb dish (full disclosure: long time vegetarian but used to love the dead animals) that my companion ordered was clearly from a very poor cut that had been cooked to death.

If you're ever in Windsor Ontario find the restaurant bearing the name Marathon and then you will know a great Ethiopian dish and you'll get it served the way it should be in an atmosphere that is very inviting and not so neighbourhood lunch counterish.

If you can stand the decor ... well you all previously recommended this restaurant so the decor shouldn't be an issue. If you can stand the decor, just keep to Horn of Africa here in Ottawa for better (marginally I'll admit) food at slightly better prices that I can assure you were not reheated (as ours was).

2009 Jan 20
i was here last night. i had the vegetarian combo, the vegetarian sambussa and my husband had the VERY spicy beef stew (not for the timid!).

the food was really good and the service was prompt. there were the most vegetarian options on the combo here, compared with other ethiopian restaurants in town. my favourite is still the vegetarian combo at east africa restaurant on rideau.

i had the homemade honey wine. it was very sweet and i found it heavy. i would have liked to have cobra beer with dinner and save the wine for after. i didn't get a chance to try the chai tea they offered, so i will go back to have that.

this is perhaps the fastest service i have received at any of the african restaurants - i have a feeling it was reheated as my sambussa was still cold in the middle. it did not affect the flavour of the food at all. the quick service means i can bring my son here and know he can last the duration of the meal. the woman working was very sweet and kept making special trips out to visit with him and played funny games with him through the kitchen window into the main restaurant.

there is a separate kids menu with lots of options for picky eaters.

so i will be back for the quick service and decent food. they also do takeout and now have a website with their full menu.

2008 Nov 4
Went here for dinner Sunday night and ordered two "Blue Nile" combos (a little bit of beef, a little bit of veggie, a piece of chicken and a hard-boiled egg) and a bottle of that oh-so-delicious, oh-so-moonshiney honey wine.

I cannot but reinforce what CharityCase says below. I enjoy the food here immensely, and the wait staff are very friendly, but the place hasn't been all the busy the two times I've been.

Methinks I'll eat here more often in order to ensure that it stays in business.

And, yes, next visit I'm definitely ordering one of their tartare dishes. A table beside ours ordered it, and they didn't fall over dead or anything, and it looked sooooo good.

(Bargain-hunters may want to take note that there's a 2-for-1 coupon available on the Entertainment web page.)

2008 Jan 28
This is a great little restaurant that could use all the help it can get. I've had two great meals here but we've always been the only people in the place. The homemade wine is unique and not available at "that other really popular place" that shall remain nameless.

Blue Nile has an entire page of their menu dedicated to various ethiopian-style steak tartares. I'm very interested to try them out too.

2008 Jan 18
This is my main injera: a combo of veggies, lentils, berberian hot sauce and succulent lamb. My meat was served with spicy green peppers and white onions. I love lamb meat, and I can tell you that they know how to cook it! I suggest to match African dishes only with beers.

Newer · Older