Ottawa Eats: Pure Kitchen

Let me tell you about one of the BEST restaurants I've ever been to in Ottawa. This choice will be quite surprising as I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian and strongly prefer eating meat over eating veggies. While Pure Kitchen is vegetarian with many vegan options, the food is so amazingly delicious that meat lovers all over Ottawa should be more excited about it. They have two locations in Ottawa; one in Centretown on Elgin and the other in Westboro on Richmond.

The first time I ever went to the location on Elgin, I got one of their healthier options, the Fantastic bowl with added dumplings, and it definitely lives up to its name.

This Asian inspired bowl was packed with rice noodles, grilled tofu, kale, red cabbage, red peppers and lots of peanuts! Combined with the yummy Pad Thai style sauce that it came in, it made for a very satisfying meal. For those of you that are worried that a plant-based meal can’t possibly fill you up, I can assure you that I was definitely full after devouring the entire bowl.

In case you’re not a bowl/salad person, they have plenty of carb-heavy meals. My friend in the first photo had gotten the Royale with Cheese burger which consists of a mushroom walnut patty with pickles, lettuce, and onion along with your choice of salad, fries, or soup. My friend reviewed the burger very highly and I can tell you myself that the fries are great after stealing a few off of her plate.

For my next meal at Pure Kitchen, I opted to make a meal after two side dishes. The dumplings that I had from the first time I went were so delicious that I HAD to order those again. I also decided to try the cauliflower wings based on server's recommendation. 

First of all, the sauce for the dumplings is fantastic in itself. It was sweet, salty, tangy and everything I could ever want from a dipping sauce. Combined with the filling in the dumplings, this dish is to die for. I was originally surprised with how much I enjoyed the filling because it was made of mushrooms and tofu and I’m not the biggest fan of either. However, the way these dumplings taste made me forget all about that. That’s how good they are!

The cauliflower wings were also spectacular. The fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and spicy Korean sauce was prepared excellently. It was crunchy even with the sauce on it making it the perfect texture. I even told my mom to try to re-create this at home and it was very difficult to keep them from getting mushy. I have no idea how they do it. Obviously these don’t taste the same as barbecue chicken wings but I don’t think they’re meant to be a meat substitute. As a veggie dish, this definitely stands out and is great for picky eaters. I would recommend this as a must-try appetizer for sure.

The third time that I went to Pure Kitchen was with my sister who happened to be in town for a week and I really wanted to take her to all my favourite restaurants. This time I went for the Summer Fun Time burger that had a sweet potato and black bean patty with coconut bacon, tomato and sunflower sprouts. Being the French fry fiend that I am, I opted for those instead of salad. 

This was probably the most filling meal I have ever had at Pure Kitchen. Between the bread, the sweet potato of the burger and the French fries, I had probably eaten enough carbs for the day. My sister opted for a healthier bowl but I can’t remember what it was called. It was one that I know I have never seen before. Despite our very different meals, we decided to share the Revive Pure Hydrator on their cold-pressed organic juice menu. This was a particularly interesting and aesthetically pleasing drink. One of its ingredients was activated charcoal which gave the drink a unique black colour. However, it did not taste charcoal-y at all and it had a normal smooth consistency. I was pleasantly surprised that all I could taste was ginger, orange, pineapple and lemon.

In addition to their great vegetarian meals, they also offer a wide selection of juices, elixirs and smoothies which I have yet to try. I plan on going back soon to taste more of their menu, though I should probably save up a little first. The only downside of this place is that they are a bit pricier, which is to be expected for a nicer sit-down restaurant and that serves high quality and made-from-scratch food.

This is a really wonderful restaurant to try if you are vegan, vegetarian or simply want to dip your toes into a more plant-based lifestyle. It's also a great choice if you participate in Meatless Mondays or want to cut down on your animal product consumption overall. From my experience, I give Pure Kitchen a 10/10 and I promise you’ll want to do the same after just one bite.

Be sure to check out their website to see their complete menu, as well as how aesthetically pleasing the restaurants are!


Sources: Cover