Hamburgers at Allium
Banoffee Pie at Allium
Foods from Allium

2010 Jul 15
I was looking for a new spot to catch up with a good friend and client this past Monday and figured I would give Allium a try. I had heard good reviews from friends and online, but was definitely surprised but just how excellent this little spot was.

Upon walking in I loved the dark and rich décor, not pretentious, but clean and wine bar/lounge like. Since a part of our meeting would discussing business, I asked for a table in a bit of a private area and the hostess promptly and politely found us a table.

I had looked into the menu online (noticing they have an $8 Stoli martini…) and was excited to eat off the menu or their Monday tapas selection. What I didn’t realize is that on Mondays Allium only offers tapas, and as my waiter put, “is a more laid-back day here at Allium, which is why I’m wearing jeans this evening.” I hadn’t noticed.

My friend arrived, as did two martinis in great looking glassware (classic martini lip and stem, but the glass itself was somewhat bowl shaped). We agreed the pour was fantastic and looked into the tapas menu. Everything looked excellent. We started with some vegetables (asperagus and tomatoes) as well as some duck and tuna. Although the veggies were tasty, all the tapas portions were small when shared, and rightly so, that’s what tapas are. Case in point our next round was some raw meats and poutine to fill up on. Foie gras poutine.

All dishes were excellent – beautify presented and arranged, the veggies fresh and tasteful, and the meats savory and satisfying. After looking into Allium more closely, their website features photos of their garden – not a bad idea if you want fresh produce.

Include another round of drinks, he had a Caesar (it came with a green onion and a strip of bacon) and the bill was $100 taxes inc. Not bad for 4 drinks and 6 tapas.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there and would be very happy to return so I can try their full menu.

2010 Jul 13
A great place to go for tapas in town. I've been to Play, Must, 222 Lyon and Aroma Meze, and I would say Allium is your best bet for value, freshness and variety.

Their once-a-week tapas menu features different dishes every Monday night and its offerings are always well-priced, arranged attractively on the plate and bursting with flavour. There's a great variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

A regular item on the menu is foie gras in different variations. Great salads, especially in the summer, using ingredients from local farms and herbs they grow themselves. Desserts are to die for, in particular their Banoffee pie, and their Pascale's ice cream, at $2.50 a scoop served in an espresso cup, is perfect for when you're too stuffed for anything beyond a little something sweet.

2010 Mar 29
Well, tonight I finally made my way to Allium. I've been craving tapas for a few weeks now and doing everything in my power to get to Allium for their Monday night tapas.

Since it was my obsession that brought us there, my husband and friend let me drive the boat. I immediately jumped in and started ordering.

Olives in herbs, chili, lemon, oh how delicious you are to me. We also got some bread for dipping that came with herbed goat cheese, olive oil and balsamic.

Roasted yellow beets. I love beets! As does my husband, my friend Gina, and many other people I know (Marysol!). These ones came with a pepper puree, creamy herbed goat cheese, heavenly candied pecans, radish sprouts and tiny round slivers of radish.

Another light dish as we slowly worked our way up to the heavier ones, Albacore tuna tataki with a sweet mango and red pepper salad, soy marinated mushrooms, spiced honey, lime, shiso.

This maple roasted duck breast was one of my favourites, served with red cabbage, foie gras vinaigrette and pea shoots. The menu stated it also came with candied pecans but they were nowhere to be found. That was ok with me though since they were replaced with these tiny little lentils that tasted just like homemade baked beans, yummy!

The smoked fish cakes we ordered were delicious. Smoking + fish cakes = heaven. These tasty bites were served on a bed of mango salad, guacamole, Daikon sprouts and roasted jalapeno mayo.

Then came the shrimp lollipops – so fun! Tempura shrimp, so light and crispy, melted to an oil as soon as it hit your tongue. The sweet chili sauce for dipping was to-die-for and made you want to eat so many more than the three on your plate. And the slivers of carrot on the side were doused in aromatic truffle oil.

The seared foie gras with roasted pepper French toast and maple syrup was painfully rich, but the pickled apple and apple chutney helped bring you back to normal. The entire thing was like butter in your mouth.

And last, but certainly not least, the steak tartare. One of the more mild tartares I've ever had, flavoured beautifully with truffle oil, my favourite herb – cilantro, chives, lime, 8 year old balsamic, bacon candy – ohhhh bacon candy, and aioli.

Petite portions with a multitude of ingredients that made each dish unique, along with good service and a warm atmosphere made this evening one to remember. Tapas prices range from $3 to $12 per plate.

2009 Oct 30
Been here twice now in the last two month. The one question I have is this: why did it take so long to discover this place?? With two short visits this has quickly become a favorite.

The food is excellently prepared and served, of the highest quality ingredients of the items we ate, and nice atmosphere with good music although a little more sound absorption would be good.

We will definitely be going back!! More after the next visit...

PS - Good to see James again!

2009 Oct 28
I like Allium. I go about once a year but it's always nice. I went last night, the first time since the renovations. No wow factor with the new changes but still nice.

My friend and I shared the Mushrooms!!! Starter. OMG, SOOO delish!!! The dish comprised three components: chantrelles on small slice of garlic toast with micro greens, truffled mushroom soup, and mushroom galette with brie and roasted garlic coulis. I wish there had been more, the tastes were phenomenal. The soup was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the galette tasted like escargot with garlic butter. Mmmmmm.

I love the Steak-Frites at Allium but decided to go for the Scallop Stuffed Wild Sockeye. My friend did order the Steak-Frites and the dish certainly looked delectable!

I have to say, I am so accustomed to eating the farm-raised salmon that the taste of wild salmon seems like such a detour for my taste buds. It's sad to say but I didn't really enjoy the main feature of the dish: the scallop stuffed salmon. The taste seemed "off" but I know it's because I'm used to being downgraded in my regular salmon selections. The butternut puree and kale with bacon and scallions were the highlights though. Absolutely delicious!

The only disappointing element of the meal was my virgin caesar. I drink a lot of these around the city and the one I had yesterday at Allium simply sucked.

All in all, a lovely meal.

2009 Oct 20
Finally got a chance to try Allium last week when some family was visiting. Had an absolutely fabulous meal, probably one of the best of its kind in Ottawa in recent time. I had the smoked fishcakes and the flatiron steak, both were really tasty, perfectly seasoned, and with interesting flavour combinations. Another person had the salmon stuffed with scallops, also very good. Lemon tart desert was spectacular. Great atmosphere, friendly staff with lots of info to offer, and the place was buzzing when we left around 8:30.

2009 Aug 28
Allium is reopened:

2009 Aug 16
Went to Allium for the 4th time last night and left happy & full as usual.

We started with the chilled broccoli soup which was very refreshing after such a hot weekend. Everyone at the table was quite satisfied with their bowls.

The four of us had different mains - the duck, the bc halibut, steak frites, and the stuffed pork tenderloin. Each of us enjoyed our dish very much and we decided to share a little bit in order to have a taste of everything. My compliments to the chef.

For dessert we all shared the chocolate trio as we were quite full and again, it was delicious.

Each time my wife and I have gone to Allium it has been a great meal at a price that doesn't break the bank. We are waiting for August to end as we are both looking forward to the September menu. See you soon!

2009 Jul 8
I've been there for lunch with co-workers on a few occassions, and I always seem to order the steak and frites. Why? It's just that good!

The steak is always done well and the sides are very tasty. The price is also very reasonable considering the food that you're getting.

We've never had a bad lunch there; the food is always good and the plates usually go back empty!

Highly recommended.

2009 Apr 24
Had lunch here the other day, and it was good. The atmosphere is upbeat and fun. I had the salmon tartare as an appetizer, and the rare white tuna for my main. The tuna was served with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and marinated grapes. The tuna was cooked perfectly, but I found the spinach and mushrooms a little to oily and heavy for lunch. I was insanely stuffed by the end of the meal. My friend had their burger and we both really liked their fries.

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2010 Oct 4
Pictures from my meal at Allium on Friday night! My super yummy dessert...banoffee pie! (If you have time check out my blog, , there is more about Allium!)

Wine 1


2006 Oct 4
For a place that otherwise seemed happy to emphasize local and seasonal items, it was surprising to see only a few Canadian wines (2 red, 4 white, all from Niagara). Otherwise, the wine list seemed concise (like the menu) and well-balanced -- something for everyone.

Salad 1


2012 Apr 13
Had an amazing salad here the other night for a light supper. There are many places that serve an upscale salad, several of which fall short. This one is stellar.

Referred to as “Lettuces” on the new spring menu, the large bowl was brimming with bibb lettuce with cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes but the flavours came from the mixture of cranberries, candied quinoa and carrot‐lemon puree and then lightly covered with a mint‐lemon dressing. To top it off it was beautifully presented with a smear of cranberry puree which looked like it had been painted onto the bowl.

Steak 1




2008 Mar 20
I had the vegetarian lasagne currently on the menu (without the cheese). I was layers of grilled veggies, wild rice pancake, tomato sauce and something crispy (pasta perhaps?). That night, the butternut squash and apple soup was vegan, so I had that to start. I certainly didn't have the problem that I sometimes have when there aren't many veggie options on the menu where I come away hungry! I was offered a fruit plate for dessert (since none of the desserts were vegan). It was definitely plentiful and interesting in presentation with lots of variety of fruit. The raspberries were incredibly fresh and flavourful for this time of year.

2006 Oct 4
In the two different menus I've seen, Allium has had at least one creative vegetarian main; I tried one (with tofu served like a risotto layered with various vegetables). Appetizers, however, showed less creativity -- last time I went, only the soup and salad were vegetarian.



2013 Apr 5
Enjoyed the lunch burger yesterday. Thick, juicy, tasty seasoned patty, generous ingredients. Their little brown fries are pretty addictive too. A most hearty lunch for $14!