Foods from Mekong

2017 Apr 6
My SO and I ended up at Mekong after wanting to go to Koreana and it being too full... Discussed where else to head and came to the shocking conclusion that my partner had never been to Mekong despite us having lived in chinatown for a matter of years. Not sure how I never brought him here since this place has been a family fav for many years but this needed to be fixed immediately.

I basically said that I was going to do the ordering. Went to my all time favourites.

Crispy Beef - IMHO one of the best in town with a great sweet/spicy/tangy sauce to crisp balance (1/2 portion is perfect for 2 to share).

Moo See vegetable pancake - full of flavour and generous portion, additional pancakes at no extra charge, I tend to add a little extra hot sauce and hoisin for a little extra jazz but its definitely unnecessary.

Vegetable spring rolls - crispy outsides, great filling mix of assorted asian veg, not to greasy, served with a traditional chunky plum sauce with a hint of chili.

We got an egg roll just because my partner has thing about egg rolls all though not so much something I usually would order. He said it was one of the best closed ended egg rolls he has ever had although he maintains the open-ended is far superior.

The customer service is really notable here. I would compare the service to casual fine dining in contrast to some of the other restaurants in the neighbourhood who have a more rushed feeling service... for around the same price! The ambiance is nice as well, and the drinks are very reasonably priced.

The server mentioned to me that Mekong has been owned and operated by the same family for over 30 years. I can tell why this place has passed the test of time.

2016 Feb 20
We stopped in for lunch last week and everything was great. The Hunan dumplings were top notch as was the General Tao's chicken. And I could not get enough of the Cantonese noodles. So good!

2011 Jul 12
If there is one type of cuisine that I'm hyper critical about - it's Asian. Moving to Ottawa it was a particular challenge to find a 'good' Chinese restaurant... but Mekong's menu is a cross-section of cultures and that suits me just fine.

Chinese, Vietnamese & Thai... oh my.

They boast a surprisingly good wine selection and I've had nothing but absolutely amazing service. Plates changed between courses, smiling, attentive staff, food that's fast and hot and Chef Denis takes extra effort in plating and presentation.

I love pretty food.

Big fan of Mekong's Hunan Dumplings, the peanut sauce truly is outstanding. Among my favorites off the menu: Crispy Beef, Five Spice Shrimp (wicked) and Cantonese Noodles.

But my all time favorite: the delicate Vietnamese Spring Rolls; served with fresh lettuce to wrap before dipping, cutting the fat and adding a cool crispness.

Oh great now I want take out (10% off all take out orders!)

Read more, see more on my blog:

2011 Jan 14
"Keep your nose to the grindstone" read my fortune cookie, which in retrospect was a suitable end to a very mediocre visit to a restaurant I first frequented in university 15 years ago.

Ottawa's dining scene has grown exponentially in the time since Mekong was a cheap and cheerful hole in the wall serving a spicy, satisfying and filling meal for under $10 (including the lychee juice!) At some point it probably even seemed exotic. But revisiting it for the first time in a few years, my SO and I were thoroughly disappointed with what seemed to be a scaled back version of this one time favourite.

Keeping things light we ordered two old standards, the duck and mushroom soup and rice paper shrimp rolls, for a quick bite at the end of a long day. What was once made with a rich brown broth and brimming with crispy skinned duck and black Chinese mushrooms, was sadly watered down to a bland and beige melee of mostly bamboo shoots with a pitying amount of duck to be found, perhaps 5 shreds at best (in the L size bowl). Ditto for the rice paper shrimp rolls, which were mostly rice noodle with miniscule salad sized crevettes, considerably less shrimp than they once featured.

A disappointment to see that Mekong is charging more and offering less than they used to but hey, I guess the times really are a changing. Based on this quick bite I'm not sure I'll be back given that I have a backlog of other places to try in town.

2010 Oct 15
I wont lie. I am hyper critical of just about every restaurant in Ottawa, particularly Chinese.

Mekong is no exception.

Perhaps we would have been better off with dim sum but we just finished some take out and I would say that Mekong serves a very bland approximation of Chinese food.

We had:

Hot and Sour Soup - the ingredients were right, but the taste was slightly off. I like my hot and sour HOT and SOUR. There was very little heat up front and not enough vinegar. The addition of cilantro was out of place and distracting. The tofu, mushrooms and bamboo shoots were great but the taste was just off.

Szechuan Green beans - These were cooked quite well but where was the heat? This was just bland and slightly greasy, most of the flavour coming from the soy sauce made them overly salty.

Hunan Beef - For a supposedly spicy dish full of hot peppers this had zero heat to it whatsoever. A nice beefy flavour accentuated by the salt / soy sauce in the liquid at the bottom of the dish (sauce?). The addition of at least one vegetable would have been nice and would provide a more substantial base for the sauce (ginger? garlic? onion? something?).

Szechuan eggplant - Blech. Another spicy dish that failed to deliver. Mushy, greasy, bland.

Fried noodles with Vegetables: This is where things went totally off the rails. Do carrots and Bok Choy constitute vegetables? What happened to broccoli? Peppers? Onion?

Generally when something is fried I expect it to be crispy. It seemed that these noodles were fried in butter with maybe, possibly a hint of oyster sauce. This was basically a greasy heap of noodles sitting in a grey liquid.

I just read this to my wife who is moaning on the toilet and she concurs. "Never Again!"

Maybe some MSG would help? This was just all wrong.

2010 Jul 19
Was happy to have finally made it out to Mekong after Rachelleeatsfood review.

I ordered the hunan dumplings (a fav of mine) and the sauce was absolutely wonderful!!! I even had some left after eating the dumplings and ate the rest on its own. The dumplings skins themselves were tough (more around the edges), like they had been pan fried. I asked about it and was informed that they were steamed. A mystery.

I also had the soft shell crab with the red ginger vinegar. A very nice dish and I really like the sauce, unfortunately my dish arrived pretty cold. My personal preference is that I thought the dish should have been crispy. I discussed this with the server and they let me know that it is not cooked to be crispy. I found it difficult to cut with just my fork as it was on the soft side. I still think crispy might be nice.

I could have used a knife for this and my dumplings as well.

I also had the rice paper wraps with fish sauce. I'm always pretty satisfied with those almost everywhere I go and Mekong was no exception, but it seemed like there was no mint in the roll. It could be how they make them, but I'm a fan of mint so I missed it :)

When I received the bill, I found they had been kind enough to remove the crab, even though I had eaten it all.

The service was great, the restaurant looks really nice (I want to sit on the patio next time!) and I think it was just an off night. I am looking forward to going back. I had a sneak peek at the General Tao on someone else's table as I was walking in and it looked really yummy.

2010 Jan 11
With all the choices for restaurants out there, it's really difficult to make it back to the ones that have been around for a while mostly because you know they'll always be there to back you up on a night that you really don't feel like making any decisions. One of the first Asian restaurants I tried when I moved to Ottawa 10 years ago was Mekong. I adored it. We didn't have a restaurant in Moncton, NB that lived up to this type of cuisine at the time. In fact I don't think we had any restaurant that served any kind of Cantonese, Szechwan, Vietnamese or Thai. And if we did, I didn't have anyone to introduce me to it.

It's been quite a few years since I'd been back, but one evening my husband and I were on our way home, tummies partially full from a late lunch and thought, why not just stop in for a few nibbles. Mekong is one of those restaurants that is consistently good. You won't leave there unsatisfied. The service is always fantastic, the atmosphere warm and welcoming, and the food, fresh and yummy.

We ended up ordering more than we needed; nonetheless, we gobbled down every bite. Pot Sticker Pork Dumplings, Curry Beef Triangle Puffs, Shrimp and Crab Cakes, my absolute favourite dumpling in the whole world Hunan Dumplings, and the final appetizer, one we asked our server to surprise us with, Shrimp Shooters.

Everything was delicious. My soft spot for any kind of dumpling will put both the pot sticker and hunan dumplings on the top of my list. I was surprised that the beef triangle puffs were fried, not sure why, but they were fantastic dipped in the curry plum sauce either way. The crab cakes I wasn't crazy about. I prefer a crispier outer shell, and a more minced texture inside, these pieces were small chunks. My husband enjoyed them though. And the shrimp shooters were very fun, 4 lovely shrimp wrapped in a wonton wrapper, fried and dunked in a shooter of sweet and sour sauce. Delish!

Each item in the Dim Sum and Appetizer section of the menu is only $5. Appetizer soups run between $4 and $5 and mains between $11 and $20.

2009 Dec 20
Went here for a work outing. Tried many dishes, including these 5-spice prawns. Food is very good, but I'd rather go to So Good and pay 1/2 as much. The service was definitely better at Mekong, but if you don't mind So Good's "quirks" then you're in for a better deal.

Imo, So Good's dishes just have that something "extra." Mekong was very, very good, but doesn't quite meet So Good.

2009 Dec 19
Don't leave the restaurant without topping off your meal with their fried banana and homemade ice cream. Alternatively, take it to go! It's delicious.

2009 Nov 12
I went here for lunch yesterday and had the best dish... 5 spice prawns. They were crispy, without being dry, and a bit spicy. They were great! Not really "Asian", but they were delicious. I want to go back to Mekong just for this time I will also have to try the crispy beef : )



2007 Sep 19
One of the better variations of General Tso's I've tried in the city. The chicken had little to no batter (a nice change!) with a light crispy outside layer and juicy morsels of chicken. The sauce was a deep red, if I recall correctly, and had just the right mixture of sweetness with a spicy kick.