Brunch, Canada, Special occasion

Fraser Cafe: A Family-Style Dinner Like No Other

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all restaurants in Ottawa are closed for dining-in. I will try to highlight local restaurants which are still open and offering take-out and delivery options in the meantime. For information on other restaurants which are still open for take-out and delivery, check out Local Eats Ottawa.

This week, we ordered the Family Style Dinner Take Away from Fraser Cafe. We used to frequent Fraser Cafe for brunch and really enjoy their delicious breakfast sandwiches as well as interesting take on dishes like the Japanese okonomiyaki. We’ve also visited their adjacent dining room Table 40 for corporate events and really enjoyed our experience. Since the closure of dining-in due to the current pandemic, Fraser Cafe has been offering Family Style Dinners for 4, for the price of $140 before tax. They offer local delivery to certain postal codes, or contactless curbside delivery. These meals are very popular and often sell out quickly. Check their Facebook page for updates when they are release new menus or when they have last-minute extra meals for sale. 

Ordering

They offer this dinner Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. On the evening that we ordered, the ginger yuzu salmon selection was all sold out already but we were excited that they had added extra miso soy pork loin meals so we ordered it right away. They had online ordering on their website which was super easy to use. You have the option for pick-up or delivery. We selected the pick-up option tonight and choose a pick-up time. You can also order a limited selection of wine (1 red, 1 wine and 1 sparkling). They also have tip jars that you can add to your order if you would like to express your gratitude, especially during these challenging times for local businesses. #supportlocal

The Pick-Up

The pick-up was very painless and the staff adhered to physical distancing guidelines throughout the whole process. There is a loading zone in front of the restaurant that you can stop at. Then you can call them so they can bring out your dinner in a paper bag and place it on the table outside the restaurant. The staff then steps back and then you can grab the dinner. The staff was very courteous. This was an excellent pick-up process. 

The Food

We knew the menu was meant to feed 4 people so we split the food in half before reheating. Even with that, we realized that we had an amazing 7-course feast in front of us. We were so excited to dig in but not quite yet. We really appreciated the time the chef took to include the easy-to-follow re-heating instructions for the food. Our meal consisted of items which needed to be baked and warmed up/stir-fried over the stove. The total cooking time was around 20 minutes to keep this in mind when choosing the pick-up time so you won’t get hangry waiting for the food. 

For starters, we had the cream of tomato soup, quinoa, arugula and walnut salad with honey mustard dressing and a red fife loaf. It was all very good and I particularly enjoyed the salad. I’m usually not a fan of salads but do love arugula and I really enjoyed the different textures with the soft quinoa and crunchy walnut. Of course the honey mustard dressing is the part that really brought the whole dish to life. 

For our main, we were impressed with the generous portion sizes of the roast pork loins. They were fully covered with soy and miso sauce. The aroma of the dish was amazing! We placed this on a casserole to heat up and next to it, we spooned some of the portobello mushroom and kale gratin to go with it in to the oven. If you were planning to eat the full 4-person portion, you can place the metal containers directly into the oven for an even more hassle-free experience. We didn’t want to overcook the pork and ruin the texture. Luckily, it came out very tender and tasty. The gratin was probably one of our favourite dishes of the meal. It was so cheesy and the mushroom added so much umami to the dish.

While we were waiting for the mains, we stir-fried the rice with the chilli fried tofu. We already only reheated less than half the rice but this by itself could be a full meal. No complaints though because it was absolutely delicious! I could really have this by itself and be satisfied.

Family Style Take Away Dinner from Fraser Cafe (1/2 portion shown here without the dessert course)

For dessert, there was the apple strudel with maple anglaise. Confession: we were too full from our main meal that we had to take a break for a few hours and came back to this. We were glad we did because it was so lovely. The apples were so fresh, the pastry was well done and the maple anglaise was so tasty. It was a nice desert without feeling too sweet or heavy!

Apple strudel with maple anglaise

Overall

I loved this meal. It was probably my favourite take-out meal since physical distancing started. The menu was carefully selected to allow for re-heating without sacrificing the quality of the ingredients. I would definitely want to order this again. The other great thing about this is that there is an ever-changing menu so I’m very excited to try another menu sometime in the near future!

Bon appétit!

Fraser Cafe
7 Springfield Road
Ottawa, Ontario
613-749-1444
https://frasercafe.ca/

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