Where: Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar, 20 York Street, Ottawa, Ontario
What: Tacos and Small Plates
Comments: I had heard lots of different things about this restaurant, so when a friend suggested it as a dinner spot, I was excited. We arrived early and it happened to be Happy Hour (between 4:30pm and 6:30pm) - which meant all tacos were $2 off ($7 instead of $9) and there were a couple of drink specials. While the menu is quite extensive, I decided to stick with the tacos and let me say, SO glad I did! I was immediately skeptical when I saw the 'Bajan Crispy Fish Taco'...(Really? A Barbados style taco?? Perhaps it was a typo and they meant Baja fish taco?) but knew that I was going to try it anyway.
The tacos (2) arrived on mini (~4") flour tortillas and from the start, were extremely visually appealing. They consisted of a wonderfully soft, flour tortilla topped with a piece of salmon, with a lighter-than-air, crispy tempura-style batter, on top of a thin slice of avocado, purple cabbage and a deliciously light sauce. On top of the fish was some tomatillo salsa, sliced radish, pickled jalapeno peppers and fresh cilantro leaves. There was no way to be dainty, so I rolled it up and took a bite. To quote my brother, "...it was an explosion of flavour!". Bajan or not, these tacos were amazing. The fish was crispy outside, perfectly cooked inside. The combination of toppings created a party for the palate. It evoked in me an intense need to close my eyes while relishing the dish.
|Bajan Fish Tacos|
I also ordered the BBQ pork tacos. Wide slices of BBQ pork with a Chinese Five-Spice sauce and condiments as the fish. While delicious, the fish tacos were my favourite, so I made sure and placed a second order before I was too full to continue.
To break up the meat-fest, I ordered a bowl of bok-choi tips with fried garlic. The bok-choi were cooked perfectly. The tops - wilted like spinach, the bottoms still had some crunch. The broth was deliciously perfumed with fried garlic and had a buttery mouth feel that I am guessing was achieved through the addition of some white miso (I would have asked, but was too distracted by the broth to form the thought into an audible question).
Need ... to ... go ... back ... tacos and so much more await!
While I didn't try the donuts, they did look yummy while they were being enjoyed by my dining companion. I brought home the cinnamon and sugar ones for my husband.
|White chocolate with cranberries|