Oz Kafe
Oz Kafe
Oz Kafe
Oz Kafe
Oz Kafe
Oz Kafe
Foods from Oz Kafe

2008 Feb 20
I apologize for the quality of these photos. We were in a dark corner at the rear of the restaurant so available light was scarce.

I had the Duck special. It was decent, although I really had to saw away at some of the duck. The roasted parsnips were very tasty except for the woody bits that I couldn't chew. The cheeky thing about this dish was that most of the entrees in the menu go for around $17, but this special goes for $24. The server did not make us aware of the price when telling us about the special. Caveat emptor

I think our desserts were good, but for the life of me I can't remember what I had. I do remember asking for an espresso and getting a rather long shot (i.e. quite watered down). It was served with a twist of lemon on the off-chance that I would want to bastardize my espresso and make it a "Romano." Thankfully, I was able to just ignore the lemon peel as it sat primly on the edge of my saucer.

All in all, I think I'd rather spend a mere 20% more and enjoy superior food somewhere like the Wellington Gastropub. Oz Kafe is not bad at all but we didn't find it to be amazing.

2008 Feb 20
I've been procrastinating on posting a review of Oz for more than 2 weeks now but I figure I have to bite the bullet. I'm going to be the first nay-sayer here. It wasn't bad, but it didn't live up to our (perhaps overblown) expectations.

The atmosphere is extremely casual. I regretted changing out of my jeans and t-shirt to come here. I say this for the information of future patrons -- not because I see anything wrong with it.

The photo shows the Large Mezze platter ($22). We did not get any of the Dolmas that everyone else is raving about. The hummus was uninspiring and the pita was toasted to a crisp. Pita chips that crumble in your hand do not go with hummus. The feta was surprisingly good (I'm not usually a fan). The caramelized onions were yummo. Overall, we thought this platter was a bit overpriced for what it is.

At the bottom of the picture you can see my delicious Cosmopolitan. They do a very very good job of these here!

My appetizer choice was the Seoul Food bulgogi beef with kimchi. The beef came sizzling and was nicely browned and flavourful. The kimchi was a little disappointing but after all this is not a Korean restaurant.

Like so many places in our city, the menu is hit and miss but the drinks are awesome. I like good drinks but sometimes you have to eat something! ;-)

2008 Feb 1
We ate at Oz Kafe on Friday Jan 18th before going to a show at the Arts Centre.
We started with our usual which was the small size Mezze Platter. It's always a little different depending on what they have in the kitchen that night. This time we had olive tapenade, tatziki and hummus with warm pita on one plate and on the other was feta and cucumbers drizzled with balsamic, olives and grilled veggies (portobello, sweet potato and zucchini).
As usual all fresh, homemade and delicious.

For our main we shared the large Vietnamese lettuce wraps (forget the exact name).
Basically it's lettuce which you use to wrap marinated steak strips, soya paste and a bowl with sprouts and enoki mushrooms in a yummy sauce. You roll it all up in the lettuce leaves and make "fajitas". Very delicious. If I had one complaint it would be that the lettuce leaves were still really wet from being washed so it made the insides very runny. They really need to spin the lettuce before serving.

For dessert I had the molten chocolate cake and Mr KSW had the pecan/maple ice cream cookie sandwich. YUM!!

I had a martini (super full) and a glass of Pinot Grigio and Mr KSW had two beers.
The whole bill came to about $80 including taxes and tip. Amazing!! Love this place:)

2008 Jan 5
Went here last night for dinner. Very pleasantly surprised by the food. We started with the Oz Poutine II and a small Seoul Food. The poutine was actually mashed potatoes (or maybe mashed fries) with some bacon on top and really excellent gravy. The Seoul Food is grilled sliced steak on a sizzling plate with lettuce wraps, a bowl of bean sprouts and those skinny beige mushrooms, a bit of cabbage kimchi, and that red fermented soy bean paste. Although I got the small, it was a lot of meat. The bean paste was augmented with miso and was really flavorful. The meat wasn't as tender as at a good Korean place but was still good.

Our entrees: my wife got the sirloin steak with caesar salad and I got the hoisin glazed duck special. The breast of duck was served on sweet chilli parsnips and potatoes curried with coconut milk. Some Thai basil garnish and extra hoisin and sweet chili sauce on the plate. The parsnips were slightly sweet and perfect parsnippy texture. The potatoes were great. The duck was exquisite with a bit of crunchy skin on it along with the fat if you care to eat it (which I did!!).

My wife's steak came rare (although she asked for medium). It was very good - not exactly melt in your mouth but almost. Served with a slightly tangy sauce that I loved but she thought was a bit too much like ketchup. Her caesar salad was tasty and came with popped capers which were nice.

It's rare that we enjoy our entrees as much as the appetizers but both courses were excellent here.

Dessert...yum! We got the flourless chocolate torte (which takes 10-15 min to prepare) and the homemade ice cream sandwich. Chocolate torte was the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness with a molten center. The ice cream sandwich was deliciouslly sweet with praline cookies and vanilla bean ice cream (I don't know why you have to say "bean").

$100 including 2 glasses of wine and taxes.

This place is understated but with exceptional food.

2007 Dec 31
Went to Oz Cafe after reading great reviews both here and on restaurantthing.com If you have a hard time finding it's down the stairs~ it's hard to see the address of restaurant. It's beside pancho villa and Leutanant's pump. We didn't have a reservation and called from around the corner and they said they had one table left. The person on phone very friendly. When we arrived the table was was too inconvenient in everyone's way cramped in a corner, but they said they would move us as soon as one opened, which wasn't too far off, and they were very quick about it. The atmosphere is very dark ~ great for a date! with some larger tables for groups. The menu is printed on one page, both sides. From what I recall a lot of choices for appetizers, maybe that is the main croud they get in there, and I believe three options for a dinner on the menu and two specials told to us by the server. The Osyters on the appetizers say they are from another place (Whalesbone Oyster House).
We chose the small meze platter, it had feta slices (large amount), I think the menu said Kalamara olives, but came as a paste, which is fine cause we love olive paste...the menu might have said it but I don't think so. It came with grilled eggplant, which I usually hate, and it actually tasted really really good. The mushroom that came with it was cold (not sure if that was on purpose) and didn't taste too great. The breads for dipping were not the greatest. Some sort of hummous I believe it was not great. Hubby says he'd order it again in the future.

The Main dish I chose was a stir fry type thing with beef (you could choose chicken or something else) and the other person chose the steelhead trout (I think that's what they called it). The stir fry dish was very odd looking but tasty, It seemed to be a very dark almost purple color consisted of mushrooms/onions/I think wild rice/ red cabbage? / and some other stuff and the beef was sort of place on each side. It was a large serving, and the beef was very good. The second plate with the fish was very good, the skin was tasty too. The fish was just very slightly undercooked, I think they do that on purpose? The side dish for the fish was overpowered with sesame oil? which has a terrible taste in my opinion especially when over used. Other than that, the fish was a bit small but tasty. Hubby would order it again.

Two dessert options, one didn't sound too appetizing something about sweet corn bread cake or something with rosemary sauce... I chose the ice cream sandwhich with mint ice cream. The cookie part of the ice cream sandwhich was way too hard, not a great choice for an ice cream sandwhich, you couldn't hack at it with a knife you could only take small bites. The mint ice cream was good with fresh mint and perhaps a mint flavoring as well. They need to change the recipe for the cookie part, almost inedible.

All in all it was $100 with the Meze platter, the two dinners, the two glasses of wine, and two beers and the dessert.

The server was very friendly.

We would go back again, just probably order more appetizer type things.

2007 Dec 13
I had my birthday dinner here last Saturday night. I had really wanted to go to Benitz Bistro but alas they were booked solid. I knew that Oz wouldn't disappoint so I called my mom from work and had her make a reservation. This was Saturday afternoon and despite having a heavily booked night (about half the dining room had reserved signs on the table when we arrived) they fit us in, suggesting that we make our rez for 6:30 instead of 7:00 so that we could enjoy our meal without feeling rushed.

We had the large Meze platter...I have to admit to scooping a lot of the feta off of the plate. It was a generous portion...we split it among four of us. Everything was delicious. I also had a hankering for the seared tuna and we actually got that as an app as well. This was SO good, but not big enough to share...if you choose it order your own, and guard it jealously from the rest of your party!

Baby sis and I both had the Duck special. Very, very good. I'm not a duck person, usually lamb, trout or salmon are the usual suspects when I'm ordering but it sounded too good to pass up.
Middle sis had the beef stir-fry...this was a large amount of food to tackle after that Meze platter. She said it was delicious, but I don't eat beef so I can only pass on her word.
Mom had the steak, and it was apparently a little too good, she kept urging me to taste it despite the fact that I haven't eaten beef in about 7 years.
Service was excellent, and we passed on dessert, preferring wine and appetizers but I will have to come in some time just for dessert because the rest of the food is so good. This is saying a lot because I usually pass on dessert unless I'm expecting great things.

2007 Dec 6
Had dinner here last Friday (Nov 30) for my birthday.

The restaurant was PACKED with lots of people waiting (reminded me of the Manx) so I was glad we had a reservation.

We started with six oysters (3 malais and 3 colville, from NB and PEI but can't remember which came from where). These were served with a variety of yummy sauces from the Whalebone Oyster House.

To drink, BF had a pint of the Wellington beer (can't rememer its proper name) and I had a tickled pink martini (if you can call such a drink a martini) which was strawberry and raspberry vodka, strawberry liquor, southern comfort, cranberry juice and lime - plus lots of fresh and juicy berries floating in it - YUM!

We both had the special of the day. BF had Bison steak on a bed of truffled sweet potatoes with mushrooms and onions. The Bison was outstanding and they actually sold out of it shortly afterwards and were serving duck instead.

I had the coast to coast seafood sample which was: a bowl of salt cod and potato puree soup with cirtus zest on top and a fabulous sweet roll dusted with poppy seeds, a BC spot prawn (tasted like a cross between a large shrimp and a lobster), smoked tuna on a salad of fresh greens and vinaigrette and grilled lake perch. This was the first time I had ever had perch and it was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection.

We ordered coffee - which I believe they brewed fresh - but unfortunately the dessert arrived a few minutes after we had finished. The kitchen made a very, very rich yet delicious flourless chocolate motlen cake/souffle type concoction with a little candle on the side of the plate. It was a nice touch (which we were not charged for).

Service was sporadic because they were very busy; this was my only point of contention for the evening. Otherwise, the food is fabulous and I look forward to going there again.

2007 Oct 28
Dinner here last Friday night.
I arrived at about 6:30 and was dismayed to see a bunch of reserved signs on several of the empty tables. When I asked if the restaurant was full, I was shown to an empty four-top I hadn't noticed. I was impressed that a smallish restaurant would squander a four-top on a solo diner on a busy night.
A glass of water and a menu appeared at the table immediately. I chose the pork special, which was a grilled pork chop with mashed turnips and potatoes as well as fried turnip and grilled apples. I also ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio to enjoy while I waited.
The food arrived fairly promptly, and was excellent. The pork was perfectly cooked, juicy and so tasty. If I'd been at home I would have picked up the bone in my hands to chew on! The mashed turnip and potatoes had a flavour I couldn't definitely identify (blue cheese maybe?) that worked really well. My ancestors are mostly Irish, so I have nothing but love for the root vegetables. I ate them first. The fried turnips were good, and the grilled apples was thick but nicely cooked, not raw or mushy. Service was flawless, attentive without the fake enthusiasm some restaurants push. She kept tabs on my table and made sure I was taken care of but without hovering. When she brought my meal I asked for a second glass of the Pinot Grigio and asked if she could make up my bill when she was ready. I had somewhere to be for 8:00 and when I left I checked the time and realized it was only about 7:15. I can't believe I got such an enjoyable meal in such a short time without ever feeling rushed.
To recap:
Welcoming atmosphere, great food and service.

2007 Sep 22
Oh wow! This place was fantastic. I went with the BF and a vegetarian friend, and we were all very happy.

Ambiance: there are three seating areas. Dark and secluded, a more open area with a view of the Elgin foot-traffic, and the patio.

The server was attentive but not annoying, and our experience matches the quality of service mentioned by other people here.

We too had the Meze platter and we nearly fought over who got to lick the plates clean. BF had the salmon. The presentation was absolutely fabulous, and the selection of veggies complimented the fish. My friend and I both had the market veggie platter (served with disposal chop sticks). A great variety of veggies, bursting with fresh flavours.

We stayed for dessert: the chocolate torte and carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting. I'm not a big chocolate fan (!!!), but the boys said the flourless torte was yummy. The two-tiered carrot cake was delish: not oily like it is sometimes served in other locales, with lots of nuts and a generous slathering of not-too-sweet frosting.

I was very impressed by the large vegetarian and vegan offerings, the quality of the food, and the great service. This place is certainly a gem on Elgin Street, and I will definitely be returning!

2007 Jul 23
We had dinner at OZ for a friend's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed at how great it was. I've seen it there when going to the Leiutenant's Pump or Pancho Villa but assumed that it was just another restaurant that was going to be gone soon enough.

I shared the large Mezze plate with a friend. Incredibly fresh tasting. I commented on how the dolmas tasted just like my Turkish friend's mother makes, and the server over heard me. Apparently, the owner's Turkish mother (or grandmother) makes them once a week. Yum! Not oily like some dolmas.

I'll definitely be going back. Perhaps to sit on their patio.

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2010 Mar 22
I love going to OZ because I know that there are going to be several tasty, creative vegetarian/vegan options on the menu, and they're willing to make minor changes so that some others become veg. Last night, the veg offerings were the BC salad, edamame, the mushroom Seoul Food and the vegetable bento box. Yum!

2009 Apr 18
The salted soybean appetizers are absolutely amazing. They are the starter to any meal we eat there. Very reasonably priced as well.