Decent food in…Ottawa?


Wow. I apologize for the severe lack of posts.

I’ve recently found myself lost between worlds while relocating from Japan to Canada; then from Vancouver to Ottawa. That, and I’m drowning in graduate studies. But I’m back and I come bearing a backlog of recipes to share!

Sadly, upon relocating to Ottawa, I’ve discovered that decent eateries for a reasonable price are nigh non-existent here. Kind of like unicorns. That said, I might have better luck discovering a unicorn in Ottawa. There’s also a complete lack of edible Japanese food here. Seriously…I really do believe that unicorns exist now.

Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places. This isn’t to say that there is no good food to be had any where, but several of the local restaurant owners in the Glebe have confided to me that good eats are indeed hard to come by. And then there’s tipping. I loath tipping. Always have, but Japan really opened my eyes to the negative baggage that accompanies tipping.

Tipping in Japan is an insult to both the staff and the restaurant owner. It says ‘I hold the power over you and your boss doesn’t compensate you enough.’ Huh…I think it says that here too, come to think of it, and I don’t think that’s a recipe for a healthy food industry. So you won’t catch me dining out too much any more.

Perhaps that’s a good thing! The dearth of good eateries coupled with the requirement that I tip for semi-decent food served up with attitude is driving me back into the kitchen. The kitchen is where I unwind, create, drink copious amounts of wine and swear a lot. It’s really good to be back in there.

So, in the coming months, I’ll be tackling some of my favourite Japanese dishes as well as revisiting some trusty, non-Japanese standbys. I’m especially keen to hack Japanese curry (from scratch – roux cubes are not an ingredient), recreate ume shiso stuffed tonkatsu (breaded pork chops) from my favourite tonkatsu restaurant in Komono, and explore tonkotsu ramen (including Hakata-style noodles and tantan noodles from scratch). We also just whipped up a turkey with a sage-butter baste and a reduction for gravy (with all the fixings from scratch) that I’d love to share in time for Christmas! But first things first, I need to recreate aka ramen ASAP!


2 responses to “Decent food in…Ottawa?

  1. Oh my gosh. I feels ya. Living in Minneapolis, Karl and I have TONS of good restaurants all over the place, but it’s the tipping that gets me now. We have to plan on spending 20% more then the average of what we spent in Japan. Sigh…

    Also, I miss ramen. I keep meaning to try to make the noodles from scratch.

    • I know…it’s so frustrating!

      Yeah, I tried to learn more than just udon from scratch, but the cooking teacher at my high school literally turned up her nose when I asked if she could teach me the art of ramen, hahaha. The flour mix might be tricky, but I’m looking forward to trying!

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