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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Albion Rooms

Ottawa- The Albion Rooms is a restaurant linked to the Novotel Ottawa hotel. We all had encountered some bad experience with hotel restaurant serving upscale food that is not worth what you pay for. Here, it proves otherwise.

We started with the scotch egg - runny egg yolk, smoky chorizo and properly deep-fried egg, given a nice outer crust. The paprika aioli provides an extra dimension of flavour that melds well  with the scotch egg. The thrice-cooked fries, a technique which consists of boiling and double deep-frying to make the fries super crispy, while the inside is soft and tender. These are topped with some grated parmesan. The latter ingredient does not seem to add much to the taste, since the moment the fries are dipped in the mayo sauce, the taste of parmesan fades away. It would best if the fries were spiced instead.

My friend and I were sharing two mains - lamb tagine meatloaf and Cornish hen. Instead going through the trouble of splitting in half the food onto our plate by ourselves, the chef was nice enough to put two mains in one plate in a beautifully plated manner. Having both dishes in one plate seems a very good combination. The lamb tagine in the form of a meatloaf has a Mediterranean flavor that is quite noticeable, served along with cold herby Israli couscous. The Cornish hen was juicy and fork-tender, along with a light and sweet orange-rosemary jus and some well-roasted heirloom carrots.

If you have room for desserts, you have to opt for the Ricky's tart - piping hot almond frangipane and roasted plum tart topped with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream. The crust was soft and crumbly, cut through with a spoon with ease. This dessert has the yin and the yang. The cold vanilla cream tunes down the hot tart. The sweetness of the frangipane cuts through the tartness of the roasted plum. And the texture has a balance of smooth and soft elements. The perfect balance makes it irresistibly to eat. I can say that this is the best dessert I have eaten so far in Ottawa. 

Scotch Egg, Chorizo, and Smoked Paprika Aioli
Thrice Cooked Fries with Smoked Salt and Parmesan
Lamb Tagine Meatloaf with Israli couscous
Brined and Roasted Cornish Hen, Orange-Rosemary Jus, Herb Roasted Carrots and Duck Fat Potatoes 
Ricky's Tart - Almond Frangipane, Roasted Plum and Vanilla Ice Cream
The Albion Rooms
33 Nicholas St.
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9K4
613-760-4771
http://thealbionrooms.com/
The Albion Rooms on Urbanspoon