Doughnuts at Sidedoor
Tacos at Sidedoor
Sidedoor
Ramen  at Sidedoor
Sidedoor
Tacos at Sidedoor
Ramen  at Sidedoor
Ramen  at Sidedoor
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Foods from Sidedoor
Comments

2018 Mar 20
Have you considered seeing a medical professional about your aberrant sweet nose-sweat?

2018 Mar 19
OSoloMeal, I threw that in there to see if anyone was paying attention! I've noticed that when I eat certain sweet fruits my nose sweats a bit on the sides (the way it does for some people when they eat spicy food). Canned peaches do it more than anything else and apparently sweet pickled onions do it too.

2018 Mar 19
"the sweetness made my nose sweat like I was eating a fruit salad"

...wait.... wut?

2018 Mar 18
Four years after my last somewhat disappointing lunch visit, I returned with coworkers. The fully enclosed sunroom patio and cool vibe is definitely a draw and the place was quite busy for Friday lunch.

Knowing that the tacos are overpriced and having already tried the ramen, I opted for the Korean Rice Bowl (Bibimbap) ($13) with no added protein. What arrived at my table *could* have looked great but instead reminded me somewhat humorously of a splattered latrine (this pic did not make it to my Instagram). If it tasted wonderful I wouldn't have minded, but it was a bit bland and excruciatingly sweet.

The cloying sweetness was the result of the inexplicably pale orange "gochujang" (labeled as such but assuredly unlike any gochujang I've encountered) and the sugary pickled onion slices. The beets were an interesting touch but they were dried out. Stirred together, the whole thing was okay but the sweetness made my nose sweat like I was eating a fruit salad. The coddled egg (likely sous-vide) was a clever way to get a rawish egg onto this dish without violating food-safety guidelines.

The creatively reinterpreted bibimbap I had at Pure Kitchen was miles ahead of this one in flavour and overall appeal.

Stay away unless you like to sprinkle sugar on your vegetables.

2014 Dec 11
Went for lunch. meh. The food was tasty, but pricey for the size of the portions. I left hungry after ordering the 'lunchbox' (2 tacos, a small bowl of soup and a microscopic salad). Nearly $10 for two teensy-weensy tacos. I think that maybe the green papaya salad would have been the way to go - a generous portion, and looked really great. My dining companion really loved it. I think the trick if you want tacos, is to go on Tuesdays when they have their taco and drink specials..... Gluten -free options seemed to be a compromise at best. Not sure that I'll be rushing back any time soon.

2014 May 27
Enjoyed a great meal at Sidedoor. This restaurant consistently delights me. I enjoy the vibe of the restaurant, the good service, and the always-excellent food.

We ordered:
- tacos: beef, pork, and fish -- We started off ordering the pork and fish tacos, and only added the beef later in the evening. The beef and pork were incredible! The flavours of the various components were perfectly married. The taco itself gave me flashbacks of the authentic ones in Mexico. The fish taco was good although it’s called “Bajan crispy fish” on the menu but there was nothing crispy about it. I couldn’t figure out what type of fish it was at it had a slight pinkness to it. My guess was trout.
- green papaya salad -- Sidedoor’s salad is the best I’ve ever had. My friends tried it for the first time and were in agreement. My one complaint is that the portion seemed to have shrunken from my last visit.
- calamari -- I am a HUGE fan of their calamari and would probably throw a fit if it ever came off the menu. I have no idea how they get theirs so tender (although I have guesses). Trying it for the first time, my friends agreed the calamari was a hit. For me personally though, there was something a bit different about it that night. It was still good but I think I’ve had better on other visits.
- Chinese greens - buttery and salty, always delish!
- fries -- it was my first time trying their fries (“with tasty sauce” as it says on the menu) and we all thoroughly enjoyed. Possibly fry perfection!
- cinnamon sugar donuts -- served warm and sugary. Mmmm!

I also want to mention that we had made later reservations (8:30) but took a chance in arriving earlier (by about an hour) to first get seated in the bar area. Upon arrival, our table was already ready which was a pleasant surprise.

2014 Apr 1
Organizing large group dinners are always a hassle but Sidedoor readily took our reservation of 10 and confirmed that they would be able to serve the birthday cake which we planned on bringing for a fee. Not a big deal but still a little "prickly" as we had done this previously with other well-established restaurants and never encountered the cake-serving-fee. Nonetheless, it wasn't much and none of my eating companions complained anymore than saying "Really? Ok, sure, doesn't matter." when I mentioned this detail.

When I arrived, we were surprised to see we were to be seated in a booth... for 10?! 5 on each side apparently, and we chuckled as we tried to slide elegantly down the long leather booth. Funny at the time, we were quick to realize this would be a source of annoyance for the rest of the night; getting up to use the washroom, passing food/drinks down the table, straining to hear the server who could only stand at the head of the table because we were flanked by a wall, the windows and a set of stairs to the 3 sides of our strange seating arrangement. Suffice it to say, we all agreed this was a terrible design flaw.

Our earliest arrival sat alone for a while but was continually asked about drink orders by the server who she claimed was friendly enough, but perhaps a little overzealous to the point of eye-twitching annoyance. Once we all arrived, our server's (overly?) attentive nature was much more appreciated - taking our orders swiftly and explaining that our food would be served as soon as they were ready.

Everyone ordered tacos to share and the steady stream of food began. The tacos were great; across the table, we tried every one on offer except the tofu. The son-in-law egg (pictured) was my favourite app, crunchy and soft with fresh herbs and salty shrimp paste on a bed of rice - the mixture was strange and delicious. The Panaeng curry was fragrant and quite the large serving, although perhaps better and less expensive at a Thai restaurant. The striploin was perfectly medium-rare and well-seasoned. Overall, we were not disappointed by the food.

As we motioned to our server to indicate that she could serve the surprise birthday cake, she informed us that they also serve donuts for birthdays, so of course, we said great, thinking they would bring a little complimentary donut for the birthday girl with a candle it in or something to that effect. To our surprise, we were presented with the donut sharing platter when our birthday cake was cut and brought to our table. Another price tacked onto everyone's bill at the end of the night; again, not much but we would have appreciated a more thorough explanation when "birthday donut" was offered, especially since we could barely finish them with everyone already having birthday cake.

All that to say, Sidedoor really is a mixed bag for the overall experience. The food was mostly delicious, some perhaps a little pricier than deserved and maybe slightly better at another establishment (ie. tacos at El Camino, Panaeng curry at any of Kingston's Cambodian restaurants), the service was patchy and at times attentive but not really friendly. We all agreed we would probably all come back eventually, but with the awful booth and that nagging feeling of being nickeled-and-dimed, we will probably be doing our group dinners elsewhere and coming to back to enjoy those happy hour specials in pairs.

2013 May 13
Went to Sidedoor last night after wanting to go there for a long time. I was not disappointed. After reading some comments about the service, I was a bit apprehensive, but the server we had was excellent. He was very good at explaining the different dishes and the sharing plates concept. We ended up having the Bajan fish tacos, Prawn Dumplings, Son-in-law egg, Pan roasted Duck Breast, Raman noodles, and Cinnamon sugar donuts. The fish tacos were really good and we thought about ordering more but decided that we wanted to try a bunch of different items. We will definitely be back for those tacos though. I liked the prawn dumplings, however my dining partner didnt really like the texture, so they only had one of them. The Son-in-law egg was different. It had a little too much cilantro for me, but I did enjoy the combination of the texture of the softboiled egg and the crispiness of the deep frying, and the jasmine rice. I was nervous to try the Duck breast as I have never had it before. I really enjoyed it, the duck was cooked to medium-rare and the flavours were really good (although I have nothing to compare against, being the first time eating duck). I will be happy to try duck again! The Raman noodles were pretty good, but for me, nothing really special. I found them a bit salty. The donuts were the perfect end to a great meal. Still warm and the right amount of sugar for me. The meal was a bit pricy but I will go back again for the next special occasion.

2013 Jan 26
Amazing tacos....I could eat 10! We tried the fish & spicy beef. Then we shared the seafood laksa. I wish we had decided to get our own, not that the portions size was too small but because it was that good!

2012 Aug 21
Have gone many times in the past and would have to agree that the food was consistently good but the service was consistently terrible.

Went over the weekend because we just wanted some drinks and a few "snacks". We tried the shrimp, lamb, pork, and lobster (on special) tacos as well as the calamari and lamb shoulder. Everything was delicious and the flavours were spot on.

The service this time was noticeably different. There actually was service, it would appear that Sidedoor may be listening to reviews and has changed in that regard. The server explained that "food comes out as ready" very well, always topped up our water and wine glasses, and checked on us about every 15-20 minutes.

Huge improvement over the last visits. If you've been avoiding Sidedoor because of the service issue, I would try it again because maybe that issue has finally been resolved.

Older


3

Oct 31
Soft cinnamon sugar doughnuts.


Tacos 4


1

Oct 31
The beef tacos are really good.

2014 Feb 28
I agree Camino does tacos better overall, and just marginally larger, but for the price at Happy Hour i have to say Side Door for tacos and
beverages is my go to. They always have 4 or 5 kinds going, running from at least good to outright great. Drink prices at either place are comparable.

Also, as much as i love Camino, you have a way better chance of getting a seat at Sidedoor, and they take reservations. If i can afford to risk an hour wait or arrive at 515 to secure a table, off to Camino i go, but otherwise Sidedoor gets my dollars.

But on topic, both are doing great tacos.

2014 Feb 26
If you're here for a meal then by all means get a pair of tacos as an appetizer. They're really quite good. But if you want excellent tacos, you should go to El Camino where the tacos are tastier, more generously garnished, individually orderable, and fifty cents cheaper. You're welcome. :-)





2014 Apr 12
I was hoping that the ramen here would be good but it's strictly average. I ordered the BBQ pork ramen.

The BBQ pork is truly the best part of the ramen. It's very fatty and flavourful. I savoured each bite of the pork. Unfortunately, the pork's flavour doesn't carry over to the bland broth. I had to add a lot of chili oil to add flavour to the broth. As for the shitake mushrooms, bok choy and poached egg, I didn't feel that they added anything to the ramen. In fact, I was very disappointed with the egg as it wasn't the soft boiled egg that is typically served with ramen. As for the noodles, it was nice that it was made in-house but nothing truly special jumped out about them.

A good ramen should have a good balance between the broth, noodles, and toppings. In this bowl, only the BBQ pork stood out. I might be back for the beef ramen but it'll be last on the list and only because not that many places in Ottawa currently serve ramen.

2014 Feb 26
I've been wanting to try the lunchtime ramen at Sidedoor for a long time, so a day off work to skate on the Rideau Canal with wifey was a perfect opportunity!

We enjoyed it but I think our expectations were maybe too high. This broth is not flavourful the way Hủ Tiếu is (nor does it claim to be--the comparison is mine only).

The fresh housemade noodles are delightfully toothsome and I fully endorse supporting restaurants that make this extra effort!

The rare beef with chili (left pic) was lean and enjoyable, especially after adding more chili oil from the ceramic jar conveniently placed on each table. The BBQ pork (right pic) was the star for me, with its crisp-fatty sticks of deliciousness, yet it was too rich for my wife's taste.

The poached egg was verry soft, meaning the yolk ran out and mixed homogeneously with the broth after poking it. This emphasized the broth's blandness and made us a little bit sad. Apparently (www.meemalee.com), ramen eggs are optimally soft-boiled and then marinated in soy sauce, leaving their yolks moist and jelly-like, definitely not runny.

Generous thin-sliced bok choy, green onions, and shiitake completed the bowl. The veggie content and presentation was excellent.

Definitely worth a lunch visit if you're a soup enthusiast. Just keep your broth expectations in check and focus on the meat and veg.

2013 Apr 30
Aisu: I wasn't saying that the instant stuff is any better or worse. It seems to be the go-to for broth even though a home-made one (dashi/chicken/pork) would be just as easy for some of these places.

2013 Apr 29
HonestTooth: There is nothing wrong with instant dashi, I use at home all the time.
But for the professional cooking, it is good to understand what is dashi. Dashi means stock. Use bonito flakes (katsuo bushi)or dried infant sardines (niboshi)...it all depends on what you cook. Dashi can be vegan (shojin) too, mede from Kombu kelp,shitake for example.

Sidedoor's ramen has good potential, but it was too salty. BBQ pork was good.
I personally love ramen soup made from torigara (chicken) stock and dried scallops. Lots umami comes out from dried scallops!!!

2013 Apr 28
Aisu: I find a lot of the finer places like Domus, Sidedoor, and the like all seem to use the (powdered?) dashi for broth in any Asian noodle dish. Interesting considering they have no problem making there own chicken/pork/beef/fish stocks and broths for everything else.

2013 Apr 19
I have never tried ramen in Ottawa, so I decided to try BBQ pork ramen at Sidedoor.

I asked what kind of soup stock they use. Chicken(torigara) or Pork(tonkotsu) stock are the most common for ramen, Sidedoor use dashi for their ramen.

Ramen looked nice. Looked like ramen, but didn't taste like ramen I had before.

Lots BBQ pork in ramen and they were tasty.

Noodle was okay, I prefer slightly chewy noodle for ramen.

Soup was way too salty.
Too much soy sauce.
I couldn't taste anything but salty soy sauce in the soup. No flavour, body or umami in the soup. It was just too salty.