Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen – Obsession & Doughnuts
A long anticipated meal at Ottawa’s Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar, from wine list to shared plates and a mix-match of tastes and textures, a big win in my book but the Doughnut Sharing Platter is, in a word; life changing. OK, that’s two words, stop counting.
Dinner out with new friend and fellow Ottawa writer/wine gal, Natalie MacLean. Recently I’ve been tweeting, video chatting and general merry-making with Natalie and her wild bunch of wine enthusiasts, so we thought we’d nosh a bit and do that girl chat thing. It was business/social so I went with the intention NOT to review the Sidedoor Kitchen & Bar for Food Gypsy. Nope. Left the Nikon at home, took the pen and note pad out of the handbag and swore I would simply relax and enjoy diner out with a friend; no eat tweets, no food posing, no overt use of adjectives.
It was my first time to The Sidedoor – a slick concrete room with clean lines, long tables and utilitarian chandeliers made from inverted wine bottles. My first fork-to-mouth moment with their menu, largely focused on shared plates and with a fusion edge, leaning heavily Asian.
I made it through the taco appetizer (both Chinkiang Pulled Pork & Lobster on a fresh in-house tortilla), the Peking Style Chicken, Tuna Sashimi, Green Curry Lobster and the Braised Pork Belly relatively well. Just a few little ticks and twitches as plate after perfectly prepared plate was set before us. Even my “emergency” point & shoot camera remained tucked safely in my cowhide purse only emerging for a brief shot of lipstick marked wine glasses and empty plates – a testament to the kitchen and it’s skill. I thought for a brief moment that maybe I didn’t need the help of a twelve step recovery program for the food-photo obsessed.
Then we ordered the Doughnut Sharing Platter, which considering my obsession for simple food, well done, may have been a mistake. As they approached the table I could smell the yeasty batter, the hot oil and the cinnamon and sugar and I reached for the camera once more. A simple idea well executed; a selection of mini-doughnuts, served hot; gooey dark chocolate, white chocolate & dried cranberry bits, sugar & cinnamon and in the center, key lime filled and topped with meringue.
Just a couple of nice Canadian gals sharing a few doughnuts, nothing cliche about that!
Perfectly proportioned, fun to share, the Sidedoor Kitchen fresh doughnut sampler reeled me back to childhood and summer days spent frying doughnuts with my Mother. Mixing and proofing in the morning, cutting and frying in the afternoon, eating them so scorchingly hot you burned your mouth (but didn’t care), then napping in the shade, belly full. Pure culinary joy.
“Hi, my name is Corinna and I have a food-photo problem…”
Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar
20 York street, Byward Market,