Tuesday, September 15, 2015

NeXT [Ottawa / Fusion / Lunch]

Our first stop on our Ottawa mini trip was at NeXT which was rated as one of the hottest top 10 new restaurant in Canada for 2013, located in Stittsville (Suburban area of Ottawa). The menu was inspired by Chef Michael Blackie's (@michaelblackie) best food memories with strong Asian and European cuisines influence..

The 4 of us decided to go ahead with the Blind Sharing Lunch Menu at $25 pp which include 6 Chef's choice courses, 5 savory and a duo sweet choice. It sounds like a good deal given that we were told that it'll be the same serving size as the regular lunch menu which was at $9 per dish.
(please note that all below picture are 4 people portion sizes except for the soup)

It's a really large space and you can see that it can easily be transformed into an event space.

Toasty Olive Oil Baguette
~ white truffle labneh, crispy fried capers, torn basil
Love the crispy bread with the light refreshing labneh (yogurt w/ flavoring like sugar or spices) and incredible fragrant white truffle oil.

Crispy Kale + Hickory Smoked Feta Cheese
~ pickled okra, dirty remi, dehydrated kalamata olive
This was my favorite dish of the day, who can say no to fried kale chips and love the pickled okra as well which didn't have much of the sliminess that you usually get from okra.

Tom kha gai soup
~ chicken, straw mushroom, spiced coconut, kaffir lime broth
Being of the the Chef's signature dish, this was a rather plain looking dish plus the coconut milk and kaffir lime was mainly all you could taste. I was also surprise to see fried chicken in it.

Roasted Mushrooms + Pork Crackling on Toast
~ fried spicy cashews, pommery mustard mayo
This was way too salty to eat given that I do like stronger flavor and love mushrooms. And for a tasting menu, I feel like two bread/toast dishes was not a great way to showcase the chef's talent.

Blackie's Original Crispy Chicken
~ hoisin, kecap manis, lemon squirt, cilantro, jasmine rice
Another signature dish and this was delicious, love the sauce and the harder/denser yet crispy batter on the chicken. My only complain was not enough rice; the sauce & chicken vs rice ratio was a bit off with too much sauce and too little rice.

A dessert platter to share :

Tempura "crispy-sticky toffee" pudding
~ salty peanut butter caramel, maple pecan ripple
Love the creme and sauce more than the cake itself which was more like a french toast texture that a sticky toffee pudding.

Madagascar vanilla Crème Brûlée
~ double blow torched, fresh blueberries
Love the perfect thickness sugar crust but the creme itself was not a bit watery.

Baked Alaska
Haven't seen this on a restaurant menu for a while and this was delicious with the house made berry sorbet.

Deep Fried Cheesecake
This somehow tasted salty and not sweet at all.

Too much fried food, 4 out of the 5 savory dish was fried and 2 out of the 4 desserts was fried as well. It leaves you with a really rough palette and sore throat.
Since each of the dishes serves the 4 of us, I can't imagine the portion size for one person.
The food wasn't bad per say but I think they should definitely work on the combination of dishes for their tasting.

Related Ottawa post:
NeXT [Fusion / Lunch]
Atelier [12-course Tasting Menu]
The Albion Room [Canadian / Brunch]
Town [Canadian Italian]

NeXT Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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