Friday, February 20, 2015

Ottawa - Whalesbone Oyster House, located on Bank St., is a local favourite for over 5 years. On my recent visit, this small seafood restaurant was packed. Surviving in the restaurant world for over 5 years in Montreal is rarity. I have to admit that competition is fierce, we are left wondering whether we have too many restaurants. Is it time to put a quota on the number of restaurants?

On the other hand, the vibe is different in Ottawa. It feels like a collaboration between restaurants, a community that helps define and evolve the Ottawa's food scene. 

Malpeque and Ruisseau Oysters - Whalesbone Ottawa
Malpeque (top) and Ruisseau (bottom) Oysters
I had my first true experience of raw oysters when I dined at Notkins in Montreal. It showcases a minimum of 10 oysters that are in season. The knowledgeable staffs were able to describe exactly the texture and the whole tasting experience on our taste buds.

While at Whalesbone Oyster House, there were 5 oysters to choose from. Recommended by my waiters, I started off with the Ruisseau oyster. The taste is subtle, buttery, mushroom-like flavour, not at all briny. This is followed by the Malpeque oyster from PEI - highly briny, lettuce-like flavor with a sweet finish.

Lambertini and Saint Simon Oysters - Seafood restaurant
Lambertini (left) and Saint Simon (right) Oysters
I next opted with Lambertinis from BC. The tiniest oysters that I have tasted so far - firm texture, briny start transition to a cucumber finish. Finally, the Saint Simon oyster looks like a teardrop shape, it's lightly briny with a sweet finish. 

Now that my oyster cravings are satisfied, now for something warm. I ordered the tuna tataki which is complemented with a generous amount of garnishes, almost like a side of salad. The sear on the tuna was disappointing. There is a thin line between a caramelized and burnt sear. This was definitely burnt as the taste was very bitter, but I managed to peel off the burnt part and still enjoy the fresh raw taste of the tuna. The garnishes were more pleasureable to eat - perfectly crisp haricot vert with a sweet, tasty and citrus dressing. It's almost like a whole meal.

Tuna Tataki with Orange Mostarda, Haricot Verts, Celery, Radishes, Tots
As for desserts, the banana cream pot pie is a must order, it provides punches of banana flavours melded with sweet caramel sauce and tart strawberries. One of the best banana-based desserts that  I have ever tasted.

Banana Cream Pot Pie
Banana Cream Pot Pie
Whalesbone Oyster House
430 Bank St.
Ottawa, ON
K2P 1Y8
(613) 231-8569
Whalesbone Oyster House on Urbanspoon


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