Friday, February 6, 2015

Ottawa - Das Lokal seems to be the top dining destination among locals in Ottawa, this statement may be true in the first few months of 2014, but it isn't the case anymore.

My roommate was raving how good the food was at Das Lokal. But for no apparent reason, the quality of the food and service has simply gone downhill. Our evening did not start well when the waiter asked us if we had reservation, then going to check in their system if they can squeeze us in a half-filled restaurant at 7:30pm. No new guest showed up after 8pm.

Duck Leg Confit - Das Lokal restaurant
Duck Leg Confit, Bread Dumplings, Red Cabbage, Confit Carrots, Cherry and Pork Jam, Duck Jus
Let's begin the review with this question: how much are you willing to pay for the charcuterie board in the image below? It consists of 3 proteins - espresso-infused duck,  cured artic char and chicken liver pâté - and some pickled vegetables. All good, but the size is minuscule. We only had 4 thinly sliced duck breast and 3 pieces of the artic char. So, the real question is: Is it worth $19? Definitely not. It felt like eating a $12 meal. 

Charcuterie - Das Lokal restaurant
Das Lokal Board - Cured Arctic Char, Espresso-infused Duck Breast, Chicken Liver Pâté, Pickled Celery, Parsnip Chips 

Now onto our main. The braised short rib was a disappointment. Even though the meat falls off the bone, it was not succulent nor moist, it was almost bland. At least the beef jus brought some life to the dish and the garnishes have some good crunch and freshness. 

The duck leg confit was probably the only dish that was perfectly executed and worth the money. The duck has a lightly crisp skin with juicy pieces of meat, the soft bread dumpling is a good choice of starch, and a cherry and pork jam gives a nice sweetness and acidity to the overall dish. 

Braised Beef Short Ribs - Das Lokal restaurant
Braised Beef Short Rib, Wild Mushrooms, Kale Slaw, Potato-Feta Mash and Beef Jus
When comes to crème brûlée, we all love to hear this magical sound of cracking the sugar crust with a spoon. Sadly, this magical moment is non-existent in Das Lokal's vanilla crème brûlée - very thin sugar crust and the custard is warm. The chocolate cookie does not pair well with crème brûlée, there are several technical flaws in this dessert. 

Vanilla Crème Brûlée - Das Lokal restaurant
Vanilla Crème brûlée with Pistachio Powder
This may be one of the top dining spots in the Byward Market when Das Lokal opened its doors, but locals might be disappointed that the quality and passion once sparked this place have faded with time. 

Das Lokal
190 Dalhousie St.
Ottawa, ON
K1N 7C7
Das Lokal on Urbanspoon


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