3 Top-Rated Pho Spots in Ottawa

Ottawa boasts a variety of pho restaurants but only a few of them stand out for their authentic and flavorful dishes. I ended up going to a number of them to share my experience and reveal the places to enjoy a bowl of pho in Ottawa!

Crazy Pho You Restaurant

Address: 696 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S 4G2
Business website: https://crazyphoyouottawa.ca/

Crazy Pho You Restaurant

Not only is it one of the more affordable pho places but one of the best places in Ottawa for Pho. Their broth is really flavorful and it won’t be necessary to add any additional spice to your meal! Also there is a decent amount of meat for your order.

While Crazy Pho You is a Vietnamese restaurant, you will find a variety of Chinese/Thai dishes available on their menu as well. The place is quite small and is suitable for small groups though I haven’t had any issues with seating whenever I have arrived.

  • Best spicy pho experience
  • Vietnamese restaurant
  • Extensive menu
  • Offers Chinese/Thai dishes as well
  • Suitable for small groups

Top Menu Items – Banh Mi, Beef Pho, Pad Thai

Pho Tuan

Address: 300 Booth St, Ottawa, ON K1R 6N6
Business website: https://photuan.com/

Bun Bo Hue at Pho Tuan

Pho Tuan has one of the most delicious broths I have had. Just go with any of their chef’s specials and you will be realize why I consider it as one of the best places for Pho in Ottawa! Their portions are huge and the broth was very flavorful.

They do have limited dining space so you might need to wait outside during their peak hours.

  • Vietnamese cuisine
  • Suitable for small groups
  • Delicious broth
  • Huge portions

Top Menu Items – Bun Bo Hue, Pho DAC Biet, Bun Chai Ha Noi

Saigon Boy Noodle House

Address: 648 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K1R 5K4

Rice Noodles at Saigon Boy Noodle House

Just another ordinary Vietnamese restaurant but their rice noodles are just amazing. One thing I noticed different from other pho places about this is that they had all the condiments at my table with my order and I didn’t have to ask for anything.

There was even a chili pepper something that I haven’t seen other pho restaurants provide me with. I was able to spice up my pho exactly how I wanted.

  • Vietnamese pho restaurant
  • Small pho place
  • Upscale casual dining
  • Suitable for family dinner
  • Best pho on somerset

Top Menu Items – Pho Dac Biet, Chicken And Pork with Rice, Beef Pho

Some other good pho restaurants in Ottawa to consider –

Pho Viet Taste (Address: 1395 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X1)
Good portion sizes and price appears to be on the reasonable side as well. It didn’t have the wow factor that I had with the other places but I felt this pho restaurant was good enough. Their most popular item is Rare Beef with Spicy Thai Soup and Rice Noodles.

Springroll House Restaurant (Address: 1093 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y4)
A nice and quite place to have pho. The meat portions at this Vietnamese restaurant were quite good though I think the broth was lacking a bit of flavor for me. I would be more likely to go to this place for lunch if I was working around the area. Also as their name suggests, I think this place is best known for their spring rolls so I would like to try those sometime.

Pho Van Van (Address: 127 Holland Ave, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0Y2)
Out of all the pho places I have been so far I think Pho Van Van has the best looking interiors that I have seen in the city. I think this might be a good spot for dates or family. However I don’t think their pho is the best and I think I found their chicken broth a bit too salty for my taste.

Pho Lady (Address: 280 Elgin St #5, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M2)
They have a slightly upscale casual dining experience than most other pho places that I have been to in Ottawa. While their Pho is decent, I think they are more known for their Sushi and Ramen, so if you are headed out to Pho Lady I would recommend that you try out their Tonkatsu Spicy Ramen.

New Pho Bo Ga La (Address: 763 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R1)
They do have a very extensive menu and also have bubble teas. This restaurant might be easily able to accommodate large groups compared to some of the other places that I have been to.

Parle By Viet Fresh (Address: 313 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5T4)
This restaurant initially marketed itself as the best pho in Ottawa however didn’t meet my expectations in that sense. They do have a relatively nicer interior compared to the usual pho places and you are very likely to take pictures with your friends once you enter this restaurant.

Do you know of a pho place that is not on this list? Let us know how was your experience and why you think it deserves to be on the top list.

4 Must-Try Bubble Tea Places in Ottawa

Are you a Bubble Tea enthusiast in Ottawa and looking for the best spots in the town for the perfect blend of flavors and textures?

Here’s a compilation of the best bubble tea spots in the city that I found –

SipTea

Address: 203 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W7
Business website: https://www.sipteaca.com/

Sip Tea on Bank Street

My order at Sip Tea was just perfect, I think it has been the best bubble tea I have had so far in the city. My Brown Sugar Bobo Milk Tea came with Tapioca, Green Tea and Cheese Mousse. So far, out of all the places, Sip Tea has come out as my favorite place for Bubble Tea! The reason being every time I have ordered from this place, the flavor is spot on and the quality has been consistent!

If you want the best bang for your buck, go for their Super Bucket Tea which has a litre of milk tea and you can even share it with your friends!

Sip Tea does have another location in Merivale but the one on Bank Street is the best!

  • Highly recommend their Brown Sugar Milk Tea
  • Large seating area
  • Best bubble tea in downtown Ottawa
  • Casual hangout location

Chatime

Address: 695 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P5
Business website: https://chatime.ca/

Chatime at Somerset

Chatime has been another one of my favorites bubble tea spots in Ottawa and I have found that the one in Chinatown seems to be consistent in terms of quality. I have tried out other Chatime locations in Ottawa as well however the quality of my bubble tea was slightly lower at those locations.

Chatime locations also have deals running from time to time and sometimes you might just get a free drink or 50% off regular price. So make sure to provide your number to take advantage of their periodic deals.

  • Takeout oriented
  • Limited seating
  • Multiple locations
  • Best bubble tea in Chinatown

Juice Dudez

Address: 91 Richmond Rd A, Ottawa, ON K1Z 0A7
Business website: https://juicedudez.ca/

Juice Dudez Dessert Shop

While they don’t have the largest variety of Bubble Teas, they definitely have one of the better ones in Ottawa. This Shop not only offers Boba Tea but also are popular for their fruit smoothies, juices and desserts. Also it appears to be a cool hangout spot for youngsters and remote workers. This shop is open till midnight and even sells a few farm products.

  • Open till late
  • Chill spot for late night hangout
  • Seating available but can be busy

Pomelo Hat

Address: 1196 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3Y1
Business website: https://www.pomelohat.com/

Pomelo Hat

While this bubble tea shop was the smallest I have been to, I found their bubble tea to be quite good. They do have vegan options available as well. Besides bubble tea, the place is also known for its smoothie bowls, poke bowls and fresh bakery products.

  • Tiny bubble tea location
  • Takeout oriented
  • Limited seating

Other good bubble tea places worth visiting –

  • Hi T (Address: 1076 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y3)
    While their bubble tea is just good enough, they have a really nice seating area and free to play board games as well. This place might be really nice for a group hangout! They also offer a do it yourself bubble tea experience which is something I have seen for the first time.
  • Hangout (Address: 839 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R6)
    This location has a large seating area, and features a ton of board games to choose from. Besides bubble tea they also have slushies, fruit smoothies, sodas, cupcakes, cheesecakes, ice-creams and ramens. This would be a good spot if you want to play some games with your friends and have some snacks/drinks. There is a per person charge for the board games.
  • Tiger Sugar (Address: 238 Besserer St Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1N 6B1)
    Tiger Sugar markets itself as a premium bubble tea experience and I think it does deliver somewhat on it. My drink looked nice but I think the flavor was a bit below expectation especially when you pay a high price for your drinks.
  • Coco Bubble Tea (Address: 290 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X6, Canada)
    It’s a nice and clean location, I have usually headed down there when I am with a big group of people. This is one of the large bubble tea locations and is very conveniently located. They do have some other locations as well around Ottawa. Also they do have monthly specials so you might end up saving a few bucks on your order.

Bubble Tea Places that I do not recommend –

  • PapaSpicy (Address: 366 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5W2)
    This location had the worst bubble tea I had in Ottawa. It just seemed sugar and water. I don’t think it was worth paying for this one at all and it needs serious improvement.
  • Tealive Somerset Chinatown (Address: 675 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P3)
    I felt the ingredients in my drink were cheap. Before TeaLive, there used to be a Chatime store here which I think had really good bubble tea. However the quality has gone really downhill.
  • Meow Tea (Address: 279 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M1)
    Meow Tea needs a better quality control over their bubble tea. I felt that sometimes it was too sweet and sometimes not sweet at all.

Please feel free to share your experience on which bubble tea spots you have visited and enjoyed so far in the Ottawa region.

Experience Chinese Cuisine At Soup Fairy Malatang!

Even though I love Hotpot, I usually avoid going to hotpot restaurants in Ottawa as they are quite expensive. But recently I came across a similar concept restaurant called Soup Fairy Malatang in the Byward Market whose prices appeared to be relatively affordable so I decided to give it a try.

How to experience Malatang?

  • All of their ingredients are displayed on the shelf.
  • You get a bowl to decide what ingredients you want.
  • You decide what type of soup base you want it to be cooked with.
  • Create your own custom dipping sauce!
  • The chef is going to cook your meal for you with the ingredients you picked!
  • Enjoy your meal

What ingredients should I pick?

Ingredients shelf

Since the restaurant charges you by the weight of the ingredients, I would recommend that you go mainly for meat/seafood and less veggies. Pick some meat items that you enjoy and some items that you have never tried before. Go with a bit of noodles as well.

You are charged per 100 grams of ingredients, and you can always ask the person working their to weight your bowl. For most people 200-300g of ingredients should be more than sufficient.

What Sauce Combination Should I Go For?

Here are some dipping sauce combinations that you can go for –

  • Peanut Butter and Sesame, Black Vinegar, Green Onions, Garlic sauce
  • Coriander, Peanut Butter and Sesame, Chili Oil, Green Onions
  • Black Vinegar, Peanut Butter with Sesame, Garlic Sauce, Chili Oil
  • Garlic Sauce, Peanut Butter and Sesame, Green Onions, Chili Oil

If you like less spicy, go for less chili oil for your dipping sauce.

Sauces

How Should I Eat My Meal?

The preferred way to have Malatang is to take the ingredients out of the soup and dip them in the dipping sauce before eating. However, you can always pour the dipping sauce in your meal and enjoy it that way as well.

5 Best Korean Restaurants In Ottawa For A Tasty Adventure!

There are plenty of Korean restaurants in Ottawa but which one should you go for? I ended up trying a bunch of Korean restaurants in the region and have listed what I think are the best and must-visit Korean restaurants in the city!

Kitchen Maroo

Address: 281 Kent St, Ottawa, ON K2P 2A3
Business website: https://www.kitchenmaroo.com/

Seafood Noodles at Kitchen Maroo

This was my first restaurant in Ottawa that I was just absolutely wowed by, Kitchen Maroo is a Korean Fusion restaurant and they do an amazingly good job bringing the Korean heat in their food. I had their Seafood Noodles with Mussels; Shrimp which were hot and spicy; and absolutely delicious. For the quality and portions that you get for your food, the price is very reasonable.

  • Casual dining experience
  • Good portions for pricing
  • Korean fusion cuisine

Table SODAM

Address: 1200 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3Y1
Business website: http://www.table85.com/

Table SODAM

Table SODAM does a really great job with their presentation; quality and taste. Ideal for dates or special family occasions. Their portion sizes are generous with lots of meat and side dishes were great as well. Note that this restaurant is quite small so you might need to wait sometimes but is worth it!

  • Upscale Casual dining restaurant
  • Good for dates / small gathering
  • Small restaurant

Daldongnae Korean BBQ

Address: 610 Somerset St W 1st floor, Ottawa, ON K1R 5K4
Business website: https://www.daldongnaebbq.com/

Daldongnae offers the perfect Table BBQ experience enjoy sizzling, succulent meats grilled to perfection right at your table. I went with their lunch special and was served with a not only just a combination of marinated squid and pork, but my order also come with multiple side dishes including seaweed, cucumber, acorn jelly, bean sprouts, pumpkin salad, soup and more. I like the variety of flavors from the dishes and it seemed like a decent quantity of food for my order.

  • Upscale casual dining
  • Large restaurant
  • Karaoke room
  • Table BBQ experience
  • Unlimited side dishes

Alirang Korean Restaurant

Address: 134 Nelson St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7R5
Business website: http://www.alirangkorean.com/

Bulgogi at Alirang restaurant

My order of Bulgogi at Alirang was just perfect. The food came sizzling hot and was sizzling for a few minutes afterwards. The beef was well seasoned without being spicy and was absolutely delicious. I didn’t realize they had parking but there is ample of street parking around the area. They do have another location in Nepean as well.

  • Korean cuisine
  • Large tables available
  • Reservation recommended
  • Casual dining experience

Korean House Restaurant

Address: 785 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R3
Business website: https://koreanhouse.ca/

Beef Bibimbap at Korean House Ottawa

Reservation is recommended as the Korean House Restaurant gets quite busy. Whenever I have walked into this restaurant, I have seen it at full capacity. Ordered my dishes and even though it was full, the dishes came in without waiting too long. I liked that they had some sides coming in while I was waiting at the table like miso soup, kimchi and more. The food is delicious and portions are decent.

  • Korean restaurant
  • Reservation recommended
  • Offers Table BBQ experience

Other Good Korean restaurants in Ottawa worth visiting –

Kochu (Address: 266 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1R 7R5)
This small restaurant serves not only Korean cuisine but also Korean inspired sushi rolls. Even though the place is quite small, the interior looks nice and they even serve drinks. Ideal for dates or small group hangouts. I did enjoy my order of Korean Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken from this place.

Maht (Address: 726 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P8)
Tried out their Spicy Korean Fried Chicken which was very good but was missing the wow factor. Even their small plate contained around 12 pieces of chicken which would be enough for 2 people. One thing I really liked about this place is that each order comes with a free side of kimchi and some other good korean stuff to try out while you wait for your order.

In’s Kitchen (Address: 1-65 Templeton St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7P7)
I really liked their presentation but I think the taste was good but not the best. Since it’s located close to UOttawa, it can be a good hangout spot to have lunch at. Parking can be a little tricky as well so you might need to drive around looking for street parking.

Food Mood (Address: 178B Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5X6)
Located close to the Byward market area, this restaurant is takeout oriented and has limited seating. Their braised pork belly is just so delicious and I would highly recommend that you try it out. They also serve Korean sushi if you are looking to try something different.

3 Great Dishes To Try At Datsun In Ottawa!

Datsun Restaurant Ottawa

Datsun is an Asian Fusion restaurant located on Elgin Street, just beside another restaurant called El Camino that serves great tacos. The restaurant has a really nice ambience so if you are looking for date night, having a party with your friends this might be a good spot to start at.

Some notes following my visit to Datsun –

  • Come a bit early as you might have to wait a bit for your group. There are a number of pubs located nearby where you could go, have a drink and come back when your table is ready. I recommend Manx Pub which has reasonably priced drinks.
  • I felt that the portion sizes for most of their mains were small so I recommend that you get an appetizer as well along with your order.
  • Usually people prefer to get multiple plates and share the dishes with one-another at this restaurant. This way you can try out different things.
  • Some of the items are mildly-spiced so it would be a good idea to let the server know how much spice you prefer before you order anything.

Here are some of their best menu items that I recommend!

Dan Dan Noodles with Minced Pork

Dan Dan Noodles (with Minced Pork)

Datsun’s Dan Dan Noodles come with minced pork, scallions, and red chili. I must warn you that these noodles are mildly spicy. While my plate was aesthetically pleasing and the meal was delicious, I felt the portions were small and there was only a little bit of meat. I have had Dan Dan Noodles at the 98lala Noodles restaurant in Ottawa, and I found their portions to be comparatively massive.

Datsun Ramen

Datsun Ramen w/ Tonkatsu Broth

Datsun’s Ramen is one of the most popular menu items at Datsun. The dish is served in Tonkatsu Broth and contains pork belly, garlic oil, egg and noodles. Even though the broth is not spicy at all, it was quite flavorful and had a salty/savory taste. I found the meal quite enjoyable.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Spicy Chicken Wings

You might think that these wings would be quite spicy but I felt that they were a mix of sweet and spicy sauce. The flavoring comes close to what I would call spicy BBQ wings. The wings are quite good, and they felt to me sweeter than spicy so you should reconsider if you were not planning to get them because they are called “Spicy Chicken Wings”. If you are looking for hot and spicy wings, my recommendation would be to try Chez Lucien instead.

Menu item that I won’t recommend –

Spicy Coconut Milk Laksa with white rice – The portion size of this one was huge but I don’t think I enjoyed Datsun’s Coconut Milk Laksa at all. To me something just felt off about about it when I had it though I couldn’t point it out.

Address: 380 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1N1

Business website: https://eatdatsun.com/

5 Places For Latin Dancing Lessons In Ottawa!

Ritmo Bailey Salsa Night

Ottawa has a number of dance studios and bars where you can learn Latin Dancing. Not only do you get to learn and exercise while dancing but also it’s a great way to meet new people in the city!

Here are some places in Ottawa that offer Dance lessons –

Ritmo Bailey

Address: 12 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, ON K1N 9C3
Business website: https://www.ritmobaileottawa.com/

Ritmo Bailey Dance School

Located conveniently in the Byward Market area, Ritmo Bailey is a good spot for dance lessons. While the place itself doesn’t serve any drinks, I like the fact that there are a number of bars and restaurants located nearby.

  • Variety of Latin dance lessons throughout the weekly.
  • Attracts a mixed demographic.
  • No alcohol or food served. (The water dispenser is there!)
  • Has Latin dance socials on weekends as well.

University of Ottawa Salsa Club

Address: University Centre 85 University Private, Ottawa, ON, K1N 9A7
Business website: https://uosalsa.wixsite.com/uosalsa

University of Ottawa Salsa Club

University’s Salsa Club is one of the biggest dance groups in Ottawa and has events regularly on a weekly basis. The event is open to everyone and there is a small fee for attending the lessons and the socials.

  • UOSalsa club provides same-day lessons for both salsa and bachata.
  • There are lessons for beginners as well as experts.
  • The lessons can get quite busy however the socials are less crowded.
  • Attracts primarily younger demographics.
  • LGBT friendly crowd.
  • Lessons are very affordable
  • Events usually happen on a Tuesday.

Mill Street Brewery

Address: 555 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1R 1C5
Business website: https://millstreetbrewery.com/

Mill Street Brew Pub

Mill Street Brewery has weekly salsa nights which include lessons followed by social. The Brewery is one of the few places where not only you can get food and drinks but they also have a decent amount of dance floor for the lessons.

  • Targeted more towards beginner-intermediate level folks.
  • Different instructors every week.
  • Attracts a mixed demographic.
  • Lessons usually take place on a Monday.

Amigos

Address: 858 Merivale Rd, Ottawa, ON K1Z 5Z4

Amigos Sports Bar

While popularly known as a Dive Bar, Amigos has a large dance floor where they do weekly Latin Dancing lessons. The place does a beginner dance workshop before their socials and is relatively more affordable than other places that offer dance lessons.

  • 10 minutes away from downtown Ottawa.
  • Lessons are usually on a Tuesday.
  • Attracts a mixed demographic.
  • Has pool tables, musical jukebox and slot machines.
  • Drinks can be purchased but no food.
  • Affordable lessons

Studio X

Address: 250 City Centre Ave Bay 122, Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7
Business website: https://www.studioxottawa.com/

Salsa at Studio X

Studio X is another Dance studio that offers a variety of Latin dancing lessons. While I found the dance lessons to be great, they are relatively more expensive than other places that I have been to.

  • Offers lessons on different types of Latin dancing.
  • Attracts more intermediate level folks.
  • Lessons can be quite pricey if you are paying at the door.
  • No alcohol or food is served at the venue.

Here are some tips before you head for your Latin dancing lessons! –

  • Make sure you are going to lessons at your level of comfort! If you are new to Latin Dancing, it is recommended that you go for beginner lessons to have a good foundation and only later try practicing advanced moves.
  • In Latin Dancing, people usually dance in pairs which involves a lead and a follower, with the lead usually expected to know the moves. It’s a bit easier to be a follower than to be a lead.
  • Do carry cash with you as some places might only be accepting cash as payment and charge you additional fees for paying with a credit card.
  • Check if the event is still happening! Sometimes the venue changes the dates or the type of lessons before the event takes place so check their Facebook or Instagram if they are still doing the lessons.

98lala Noodles Is The Best Chinese Noodles Restaurant in Ottawa!

A while ago while I was browsing through Instagram, I came across a video about dan dan noodles which led me to search for dan dan noodle spots near me. That’s how I came to know about 98lala Noodles which is located close to the Byward Market area.

And since that visit, it has become one of my favorite go to spots! Not only are the noodles just amazing but also I have found the items on their menu to be of great value compared to other restaurants. Appetizers are priced around $5 while their mains (noodles) are priced between $13-17.

Dan Dan Noodles

Experience Dan Dan Noodles at 98lala Noodles!

Despite having a large number of Chinese restaurants in Ottawa, you will find Dan Dan Noodles only at a few spots, 98Lala Noodles is one of them.

You can go either with round or flat noodles and in case you don’t like spicy food, you can let the server know that you want a less spicy broth. I decided to go with the highest spice level on my recent visit and found it still very delicious! I would recommend that you go with their spiciest version as well!

One thing that makes 98LaLa Noodles so special is that the broth that they actually serve is cooked for about a day and utilizes large amounts of beef and chicken. The flavors are then enhanced with a variety of spices that just make their broth absolutely delicious!

About 98lala Noodles

  • Chinese cuisine
  • Casual Dining Experience
  • Affordable prices
  • Large quantities
  • Variety of noodles
  • Street parking

Service at 98lala Noodles

Service at the place is fast enough even if you are in large groups. It didn’t take us too long to get our dishes and appetizers for a party of six. Unlike some other restaurants in downtown which want you to leave as soon as you are finished with your meal, I didn’t notice any kind of issues with this restaurant.

Hot and Sour Noodles

Address: 179 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 1J8

Business website: https://lala-noodle.com/

7 Food Menu Items At 98LaLa Noodles Reviewed!

98LaLa Noodles is one of those restaurants which might not have the most impressive indoors, but their food is definitely awesome!

All of the hand-pulled noodles options at 98Lala Noodles are Lanzhou style and contain no soy sauce. Instead they have a lighter taste from the beef broth that is flavored with salt and herbs. The broth also contains chinese radish, chili oil and parsley.

Couple of notes before you order –

  • You can decide the level of spice for the noodles.
  • For most people, medium spice would be more than enough.
  • Their small size is quite big. Go Large only if you have a big appetite.
  • You have the option to decide the type of noodles.
  • You can have extras (eggs/meat/shrimps) added to your noodles.
  • Some of the appetizers are served cold so check with the server.

Here is a short review of some of the menu items I have tried so far –

Noodles with Ribs

If you are feeling really hungry go with the Noodles with Ribs. This item is served in Large size only and I felt it was more than enough for two people! The broth is spicy and tastes really good while the ribs meat is so soft it just melts in your mouth!

Noodles with Ribs

Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles

The Sichuan Dan Dan noodles were ordered with thin flat noodles and had medium spice. You do have the option of adding additional chili oil if you want a bit of an extra kick. If you are looking to have Dan Dan noodles in Ottawa then this chinese restaurant would be your go-to spot!

Dan Dan Noodles

Beef Stew Noodles

The order for Beef Stew Noodles came with the thick round noodles option. The beef was really soft and the broth was delicious as well!

Beef Stew Noodles

Noodles with Minced Pork Paste

I ordered a regular for the Minced Pork Noodles and didn’t really find them to be spicy unlike other noodles. I think these ones were my least favorite out of all the menu items I have tried so far at 98lala Noodles.

Noodles with Minced Pork Paste

Lamb Skewers (spicy)

98LaLa Noodles has a lot of appetizers to choose from and from all of them, I think their Lamb Skewers have been my favorite. The meat has a blend of hot and spicy seasoning and is supposed to feel like what you would expect from street food in China. They do have other seasoned BBQ options meat/seafood/vegetarian options as well if you are not into lamb or meat in general.

BBQ Lamb Skewers

Beef Skewers (spicy)

I found the Lamb Skewers to be a bit more enjoyable compared to the Beef skewers. The seasoning for both meats appeared to be the same however I think the texture of meat made a bit of a difference. Before this I have only tried out the skewers from Costco and these ones are a lot better than the ones you get in store.

Beef Skewers at 98Lala Noodles

Pepper Chicken (medium hot)

Unlike other appetizers, the Pepper Chicken dish is served cold and has quite a unique taste. I would recommend you to try out this appetizer.

Pepper chicken

Visit 98lala Noodles!

98lala noodles is located close to the Byward Market area. Prices for their mains appear to be quite reasonable compared to other restaurants in the area. There is limited street parking available which is free after normal working hours.

Address: 179 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 1J8

Business website: https://lala-noodle.com/

My Search For Cheap Car Insurance In Gatineau Quebec

My auto insurance policy is up for renewal next month and my current insurance provider has increased my premium by a bit despite me having no claims. So I started looking for which provider would provide me with the lowest car insurance rate.

All the quotes were requested with the following inclusions –

  • Property damage protection of $1,000,000
  • Accident Protection – deductible of $500
  • All damage protection with a deductible of $250
  • Accidental Benefits Insurance
  • Unexpected expense coverage (rental)

Here are all the auto insurance quotes I got –

Belairdirect – $68.75 per month + Taxes

Belairdirect Insurance

Belairdirect is my current provider of auto insurance and interestingly they gave me a lower quote online than what has been offered to me for my renewal. It appears to be common practice among insurance providers to provide an online discount when you get a new insurance quote, however the discount doesn’t get applied on renewal.

Intact Personal Insurance – $149.67 + Taxes

Intact Insurance

Intact’s car insurance quote turned out to be quite pricey! There appears to be a huge difference between the quote offered by Belairdirect and Intact despite Belairdirect being owned by Intact! I was quite surprised with what Intact was offering me.
Also when I had a chat with the agent over the phone, they were not willing to consider my Driving Experience outside Quebec which was strange.

TD Insurance – $85.67 per month + Taxes

TD Insurance

While TD is not the cheapest insurance, one of the benefits of having insurance through them is that they don’t require you to have a Quebec license to provide you with auto insurance. Note that certain auto insurance companies will refuse to provide you with auto insurance if you have an out-of-province license.

SSQ Insurance – $97.58 per month + Taxes
($70 per month tax included with additional documentation)

SSQ Insurance

When I applied for car insurance through the online form, it only gives you the option to provide Quebec Driving Experience. I had a chat with their agent and was informed that they can consider Canadian (Out of Quebec) as well as United States Driving Experience as well provided I give them proof that I had no claims/clean driving record. This was going to be a hassle for me since I no longer reside in the US and you have to physically go to the DMV to get the driving records. However, you can get a significant discount so if you have the ability to get records from your state/province do it! If I had all the documentation, then SSQ was willing to offer me an insurance rate of $70 per month!

Beneva – $102.75 per month + Taxes

Beneva

While Beneva considered my full driving experience (Canadian as well as abroad), It still had a higher auto insurance quote than other providers. I was thinking that this one would have been the cheapest but that did not appear to be the case.

CAA-Quebec – $88.33 per month + Taxes ($2,000,000 civil liability)

CAA Quebec

CAA Quebec turns out to be a non-profit provider of auto insurance. When I got the online quote, the civil liability coverage was $2,000,000 and there wasn’t an option to change it unless I talked to an agent. I was also informed during the process that I could have gotten an additional 10 percent off if I had CAA membership (The membership is at $8 per month).

Co-operators – $82.93 per month + Taxes

Co Operators

I have a feeling that if I have a conversation with the agents at Co-Operators I would be able to get a lower quote based on my Foreign Driving Experience. The online form only asks you questions based on Canadian Driving Experience.

Aviva Canada – $100.92 per month + Taxes

Aviva’s auto insurance took into consideration my US driving experience. However, I did not see any option to include my UK driving experience. I think they might consider it since they are owned by a British company.

Other providers
I tried getting a quote from Desjardins, RBC, AON and some other auto insurance providers however it appears that they are only able to provide quotes after having a chat with an agent.

Cheapest insurance
It appears that for me Belairdirect would be the cheapest auto insurance. I did try to reach out to different insurance brokers as well however did not get a better price than what I have been offered.

Some things to note –

  • I got the quote based on my profile 30s (married), based in Gatineau QC
  • Car valued at approximately $17,000
  • Mileage between 10,000-15,000 km
  • I bundled my quote with tenants insurance whenever possible.

Beginner’s Guide To Skiing At Sommet Edelweiss Ski Resort

Sommet Edelweiss Ski Resort

Sommet Edelweiss is a ski resort located not too from the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Depending on where you live in the Ottawa metro, it could be anywhere between a 30-45 minute drive.

In this guide, I have tried to provide all the necessary information that you might need to begin skiing at Sommet Edelweiss.

What To Wear For Skiing?

People wearing winter clothing and with their ski gear at Edelweiss

The conditions at the Summit are not only just cold but windy as well, so I recommend that before you head there, you are wearing proper winter clothing. Here is what you should be wearing –

  • A balaclava or neck warmer
  • Thermal tops and pants – Warm innerwear
  • Cold weather socks
  • Ski pants – These are waterproof/windproof lined pants
  • Windproof/Waterproof Winter Jacket
  • Windproof/Winterproof gloves
  • Sunscreen for your face
HotHands hand warmers in gloves

Some gloves have pockets for handwarmers to be placed. This can help keep your gloves warm during cold weather for a few hours while you are skiing.

A head warmer like a beanie won’t be needed if you are wearing a helmet.

Do I Need To Have My Own Ski Gear?

It is possible to rent ski gear from the ski resort. Unless you are planning to take skiing as a hobby, I do not recommend that you buy your ski gear. For a one-time event, it is a lot cheaper to just rent ski gear from the resort.

Your ski gear should consist of –

  • Pair of skis
  • Ski boots
  • Helmet – It is recommended that you wear one for safety
  • Ski Poles (Optional)

Unless you are going for the fast moving slopes, you won’t need to have ski goggles. Though they can also help you if it’s going to be sunny.

Photo: people wearing their ski gear

Before handing your skis, the staff working at Edelweiss are going to adjust the skis based on your weight and height. Make sure that the height/weight information that they have about you on file is correct. If you own your ski gear then the staff can do the tune-ups for a fee.

Make sure that your ski boots are fastened properly. If the boots are too loose then there is a chance that your feet might come out while skiing and there is a higher risk of injuring yourself as well.

Lockers at Edelweiss resort

There are lockers available at Edelweiss Ski Resort and if you plan to use them I recommend that you bring dollar coins with you to lock your stuff. I didn’t have any coins with me so I just put my stuff without locking it up and noticed a lot of other people were doing the same.

Is It Worth Going For Ski Lessons?

Yes, if you have never skied before or are new to skiing, then it is recommended that you sign up for ski lessons. I personally found the ski lessons very useful. I have done skiing before without an instructor and found it quite hard and scary, however when I did it with the instructor, it was much easier and I wasn’t terrified like before.

Instructor teaching how to go downhill

Here is what beginner ski lessons will teach you –

  • Going uphill with your skis
  • Coming down safely
  • How to get up with your skis
  • How to change direction
  • How to slow down and turn
  • How to stop

Even if you are in a group, the instructors are able to give you individual attention.

Do I Have To Make Reservations?

It is recommended that you book your rental/classes in advance. This can be done by calling the resort a few days before your visit. During peak season, there can be really long lines at guest services.

If you do not book your lessons, you might be able to join other classes on arrival or if there are instructors available for your group.

Busy day at Summit Edelweiss

Is There Any Restaurant At Sommet Edelweiss?

Yes, they do have hot food and drinks available. I found the food relatively affordable compared to other restaurants in the region which can be quite pricey.

The cafeteria has the following items: hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, fries, poutine. Menu items might change depending on timing and season.

Restaurant Edelweiss

Additional Information

  • Pricing: 2 hour lessons with rental will cost about $100 per adult.
  • You can also take snowboarding lessons
  • Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your rental/lessons begin
  • It might be a good idea to moisturize your hands/face beforehand.
  • Parking is free at the resort
  • The official website for advanced bookings is Sommets.

Address: 538 Ch Edelweiss, Wakefield, QC J0X 3G0