Tag Archives: noodles

Symbolism in Chinese food: an introduction

January 26th is Chinese New Year, ushering in the year of the ox. This is a time for lots of eating, with lots of symbolism around the food.

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Ottawa: more pho

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll have read about my love for Pho Bo Ga LA’s beef broth. Their salad rolls were pretty good, too. But there were other places in Ottawa’s Chinatown that I visited, for very specific things.

Just across the street from Pho Bo Ga LA, Meexim is a Vietnamese restaurant that’s run by Cantonese people. This means that their pho broth isn’t nearly as good, and that their menu features more rice and non-soup noodle dishes.

I ate one thing, and one thing only, at Meexim: their noodle soup with pork. The noodles are decent, the broth is passable – but the pork is out of this world. On first taste, you get sweetness, which mellows to the zing of ginger and the savouriness of soy. 

I’m having phantom taste bud pains right now. And phantom stomach pains. My God, I would kill for some of that pork right now. 

Meexim Restaurant
781 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON

Ottawa: city of pho

I used to live in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. It’s a pretty standard government city: lots of civil servants, lots of pretty buildings, and not much to do. Having said that, I loved living in Ottawa. I lived within a 20-45 minute walk of anything worth doing, but it was big enough that I could still get most things that I wanted.

However, I didn’t find a single decent Chinese restaurant in Ottawa. And, for a Chinese-Canadian from Vancouver, this is a tragedy of huge proportion.

What Ottawa lacked in Chinese food, it makes up for in Vietnamese food. Somerset Street runs through Chinatown (all five blocks of it, that is) and the whole street is peppered with places called Pho Bo, Pho Bo 2, New Pho Bo, Pho Bo Ga, New Pho Bo Ga, and my favourite, Pho Bo Ga LA.

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