There is a new restaurant in the Byward market getting quite a bit of buzz these days – Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar. From the amazing chef of Eighteen, this asian fusion restaurant is located in the former ‘Foundation’ restaurant at 20 York Street. There is good reason for all the buzz…

Price – Pretty standard for an upper end restaurant in a central location. Dinner for two with a drink came to around $75 plus tip. Very reasonable. It is small plates, so depending on your appetite and which item you choose, the price can vary greatly. For example, the uringii mushroom spring rolls are $5 each, where as a plate of the lobster in green curry is going to run you $28. But I assure you the quality is there for the price you pay.

Ambiance – I have always loved this space. Industrial and contemporary. I think I like it even more now. The lighting has been improved so that you can actually see your food and friends. I’m not sure why some restaurants believe you want to eat in a cave with very dim lighting. There is plenty of space (all of it being utilized on the Saturday night we arrived), so you do not feel too crowded even when the restaurant is full. It had a bit of a bustling feeling. You feel like you are right in the mix of something cool and happening. Though there is quite a few other patrons, and the noise that comes with them, you never need to shout over the table. Nor do you feel like you need to be very quiet and proper – it’s a good place to go with good friends to share a laugh with some great food. As a plus, I found the chairs super comfy and could have stayed put all night.

Menu Options – I love small plate menus. Especially when everything looks so amazing – it lets you try more of the food. There are great vegetarian/vegan options, but this isn’t a place for everyone. As it is asian fusion, you are going to like it if you enjoy asian flavours. There is no getting around it. Though, if you have only had crappy chinese food take out and consider that ‘trying’ asian flavours I’d recommend giving it another go.

Food – Fan-tabulous. I loved every bite and was planning what I’m going to have on my next visit back before I even reached the door. They have an amazing set of asian flavoured tacos that will knock your socks off. Every bite was amazing, from the main to the sides to the house made doughnuts we finished with. Taste wise I don’t think I could have been any happier than I was with this meal. Portions were perfect for small plate dining. Though I loved everything, I would have to say the highlight was the tacos. I will be adding the fish tacos to my menu for my last meal… should the opportunity for me to request my last meal ever arise.

Overall – a great new addition to the Byward Market restaurant scene and definitely worth checking out 5 out of 5 stars.