Saturday, October 25, 2008

neighbourhood gems

i really love living in a downtown neighbourhood
especially when it comes down to food
and being close to both chinatown and little italy make it a wealth of local restaurants at my doorstep.
in chinatown, it has taken a while to cull through the glut of restaurants to pick out faves but here they are -

(all of these restaurants are on somerset between bronson and preston streets

best chinese - jo moon ting (at rochester
really authentic hong kong style food - and a pure gem to find in ottawa
i am not a fan of congee, but their other soups are just delicious
this is THE place to get the best crispy beef
also, their thick noodle dishes are almost all universally good
almost all asian clientele, and no forks or knives anywhere in sight

ben ben restaurant (kind of like a more upscale jo moon ting - at cambridge
ben ben has these show-stopping sizzling plates - and they are just yum!
also, one of my fave dishes in the neighbourhood is made here - squid in black bean sauce

chu shing (also at cambridge
this is like the big family restaurants you see in hong kong
it's not fancy - well in parts it's even kitschy
but this is an affordable dim sum place with a largely asian clientele
and its a good way to try out new dishes
really like their shrimp shu mai here

new pho bo ga la (2 min walk from my doorstep
this is a great pho restaurant
if you are ever there our family favourite is s7
and they make really good vietnamese shakes - steve loves the avocado one, and i like the coconut one -mmmmmmm

vietnamese palace (slightly upscale - just after booth
unlike most asian restaurants, this one has a small patio. it also has an updated, lovely interior - partly because of the big fire at somerset and booth that destroyed housing and several restaurants on the block
it's lovely
the service is great
and at only a buck or two more a dish - this "splurge" is less expensive than most inexpensive restaurants in the city

northern han (between preston and rochester
now this restaurant reminds me of beijing!
classic dumplings, and bare decor
but really delicious
and you can buy dumplings frozen and ready to steam, boil or fry at home

seasons pizza (was at booth - soon to be at rochester
this was another casualty of the big fire, but during a walk steve and i saw a sign at rochester that seasons was coming back! i love this pizza joint - i am not a big pizza fan, but this place was always generous with toppings which made it nearly a meal on its own! steve spoke with the owner and it should be open this week! yay!

sushi 88 - this is a splurge, but it's the only decent sushi place within a 20min walk. it's always fresh and beautifully presented, even for takeout!

so that is, in essence, a round up of my fave restaurants within a 3-4 minute walk from home.

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