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9

641 Somerset West (near Bronson)
613-321-3669 closed Mondays
Specializing in Northern Chinese food, including Sichuan (Szechwan)
Grilled foods in evening
Spicy soups
Salt & pepper pork and seafood
Broad selection of dishes not found in Cantonese restaurants
Takeout available

ju xiang yuan
Foods from ju xiang yuan

Comments

2012 Feb 4
I finally made my way back to check out the renovations and of course eat some good non-Western style Chinese food.

Not being able to eat here without ordering the bread soup, I fell to old habits and ordered it again. Fortunately, the bowl was large enough for two full servings for two people with enough left over to take home. Despite the fact that it is middle of winter, I also ordered marinated cucumbers to remind myself that at some point the cool, refreshing crispness of this dish will be necessary to fight off the summer heat.

The first main was eggplant and shredded pork with garlic sauce. Even though it is supposed to be spicy, my mouth didn't even tinge in protest but that was quickly solved by asking for some chili oil. Either way, it was very tasty and came as a generous portion. The second main was sizzling Sichuan beef. Again, the promised heat was subdued but that didn't detract from its excellent flavour.

The service must have been a bit off because we also ordered snow pea tips stir-fried with garlic and the waitress only noticed that we didn't get it when we asked for the bill. Fortunately it was no loss because we were stuffed from all the other food.

Next time I go I'll have to find a group of people with whom to eat because two people aren't enough to order soup, skewers, dumplings (written in Mandarin on a whiteboard - don't be afraid to ask for translations, the worst that can happen is you'll hear about someone you might want to try) greens and main dishes.

I must confess I'm a bit conflicted about their renovations. The place has a clean look about it, but the plants are all gone and I find it a bit cold. But again, I went there for the food so I won't let a little thing like decor get in the way of a good meal.

2012 Jan 6
Just wanted to say that this place's interior has been revamped and now looks great and surprisingly stylish! (Will try for some pictures next time I am there - if I remember.)

2011 Dec 19
Went here for dinner with my mom and 2 friends on Sat. Dec. 17 2011.

We had:

2 bowls of Wonton soup - 6 small dumplings per bowl with mealy shrimp and pork filling in watery broth.

General Tso's Chicken - Tasty and crispy fried chicken bits in a sweet-sour-hot sauce that had a caramel taste. The dish was garnished with 4 pieces of cooked broccoli that were cold.

Chicken in Black Bean Sauce on Sizzling Plate - Excellent.

Singapore Noodles - Greasy with overcooked, greyish Char Siu slivers.

Steamed Rice - Excellent.

Tea - Good.

Service:

Poor - our server had to be reminded to bring rice, water and bill to our table; she had a brusque attitude even though the restaurant was not busy.

Environment:

The place was nicely decorated and clean, but it was so cold that my mom and 1 of my friends put on their coats mid-meal (other patrons in the restaurant were also wearing their coats).

Summary:

They've got room for improvement.

2011 Nov 9
I've eaten here several times and I passed by it a couple of weeks ago and saw it was closed and all sorts of renovations were taking place inside. I can only hope that they are sprucing the place up because it would be a shame if they were closed.

They make some really good Northern Chinese and Sichuan dishes here. I really enjoy the bread soup and the shredded potatoes as staples I order whenever I go here. The salt and pepper squid was fresh, crispy and spicy when I ordered it. The mao po tofu had a great flavour but even though there were three chilis next to it on the menu, I really didn't feel much heat. Next time I'll have to convince them that even though I'm pale, I expect my cheeks to flush when I order a dish like that. The lamb with cumin has always been a stand out: it has a unique flavour and the lamb differentiates the dish from chicken, pork or beef dishes.

The menu also offers a lot of authentic Sichuan dishes that I'm almost too reluctant to try (look at a menu and you'll quickly see which dishes I mean) even though I'm tempted when I see other tables ordering them.

Here's to hoping that they aren't closing or changing the menu.

2011 Mar 25
I popped into Ju Xiang Yuan today for a late lunch with my dad. Wasn't offered the whole menu unfortunately, which was too bad since I could see 2 other tables eating some pretty interesting things.

So we both had the lunch special which came with hot and sour soup and a spring roll, I ordered the eggplant with minced pork and chef sauce.

The hot and sour soup was very nicely flavored, but the temperature was pretty cool. The spring roll was very thin, forgetable and there was no sauce served with it.

The eggplant and pork dish came with a generous portion of perfectly cooked sticky rice. The dish itself was very well flavored with big wedges of japanese eggplant and tiny crumbles of what seemed to be ground pork, slightly hot but unbelievably greasy! The oil was pooling all over my plate.

My dad ordered the general taos chicken, I didn't try it, so the only thing I will remark on is the fact that it was a decent sized portion and that it did not have any vegetables. He said it wasn't bland at all, and quite hot.

These lunch specials (served till 3pm) are only $6.95 and tea is on the house, lunch for 2 was $15 which is amazing!

I will be back for sure, would love to try some of their skewars, and more adventurous dishes that don't make the lunch special menu.

2010 Sep 20
Over the past year or so, this place has become one of my favorite places to eat. I actually crave their fried salt & pepper tofu and the squid skewers that always seem to be done well. (Never havethey come to us rubbery and overdone.) The food is very flavourful, and not especially expensive and you can be as adventurous as you'd like to be.

My only regret going there is that thus far I haven not gone with a group. Why? I want to try more things in one meal. Regardless there are still a bunch of small dishes to munch on.

Link to their menu: www.menudb.ca

2010 Jul 27
Yes, I was here a few months ago and I would still recommend it as authentic sichuan. Certainly worth checking out.

2010 Jul 27
Has anyone eaten here recently? Is it still authetic sichuan? Are there other restaurants that you can recommend to me that are authentic? I'm only going to be in ottawa a couple of days!
Thanks,
Christina

2009 Oct 14
For dinner, we started with the lamb skewers...very authentic and tasty, generously covered in cumin and sesame seeds with a light touch of dried chili flakes. I don't know if it was halal, but it was pretty damn close to what you'd find near the Ox Street Mosque in Beijing. What this town needs is a halal Chinese place serving genuine Northern Chinese Muslim food, but I digress...

We also ordered a few skewers of duck tongues,and some more skewers of squid tentacles, all seasoned with the same spice mix. This would have gone down beautifully with a few bottles of Tsingtao beer, but the drunken mental case at the table across from us mumbled to himself all night and wouldn't stop staring...totally ruined it for me.

For mains, we had spicy beef in broth (shuizhu niurou)...it was so spicy we had enough leftover chilis and Sichuan pepppercorns for a week's worth of cooking afterwards. My sister visiting from Toronto commented that the food was more authentic than anything she can find in downtown TO.

The salt and pepper shrimp was good, but you'll probably find better at a Cantonese place. We finished off with a sparerib, winter melon, and goji soup, all kept warm by a burner right on the table. The food was great, the ambiance was lacking, but hey, that's entertainment.

2009 Sep 27
I went here for the first time after reading a review in Ottawa Magazine. I was so surprised to find this place across from Saigon Noodle House because I had been eating their pho almost weekly, like clockwork.

Without going into great detail, my wife and I went with our server's suggestion.... the Fengsa Chicken, and one of the spicy pork/eggplant dishes. We started with a skewer of delcious chicken hearts (1 buck!) which had a great roasted cumin flavour. The chicken though was OUTSTANDING! I'm not one for fried chicken, but this is unlike anything I've ever enjoyed in the past. IT was so juicy and flavourful. I couldn't help but eat all the skin on my pieces, and I really went to town eating ever last bit of meat off of the bones.

The eggplant dish was wonderful as well, and the sauce that this was served in was a perfect complement to the chicken.

The staff is very courteous and helpful who really help create a very comfortable atmosphere.

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