Amber Garden
       
Page Viewed: 24821 times

Amber Garden

Neighborhood: West EndPrice Range: Average
7.9
Based on 28 reviews


1702 Carling Ave
Ottawa/Gatineau

Tel: 613-728-0000

Categories:
European


Good European food (borsch, perogies, etc.). "Savor the cooking of Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other nations".





    
 

Reviews

User Review Rating
ottfoodguy
2009-Mar-24
12:52:10


Contribution Status:

Great (100.00)

Comments (1) ... 
     

User Review Rating
S&R
2008-Mar-14
11:14:14


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.10)

Visited on 2008-Mar-13
See for yourself!
There were three of us heading out for dinner last night. I was a little nervous after reading a previous negative review here. My husband and I had visited Amber Garden in the past when the restaurant was on Richmond Rd. and we had fond memories of it.

After arriving, we discovered that the menu retained the European delights which we had remembered. We started with the soup of the day and it was delicious. Then we each had
a different entree all of which we thoroughly enjoyed. The food portions were generous, hot and very tasty. The service we received was polite and enthusiastic from both the husband and wife.

I would certainly recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting to try European cuisine with a twist of homemade comfort.
-- S&R
Recommended
Show this persons past visits... (2) Comments (1) ... 
     

User Review Rating
doggiebagger
2008-Feb-27
23:00:29


Contribution Status:

Occasional (8.10)

The food tastes like it comes from a tin can: bad stuff
We used to visit the Amber Gardern occasionally and were never dissappointed. I say "used to" because something has changed at this place and it's not good news. The food now, at least on our latest visit, is truly dissapointing.

On a cold February night, I wife ordered the Chicken Kiev and I had the Chicken Paprikash. The Kiev was tasteless and had the consistency of a frozen TV dinner. The gravy was pure salt - obviously made from a mix. The alleged Chicken Paprikash wasn't a Chicken Paprikash at all - it was a canned chicken stew of some kind. Except for the salt and MSG taste, it was otherwise tasteless. The spetzle that accompanied both meals was also tasteless and was unnaturally yellow in colour; probably bought in a bag at a nearby deli. The veggies were bland, cold and probably originated in a frozen bag.

The only saving grace were the soups (borsch and cream of carrot), which were ok. Should have stopped our meals there.

When it was located on Richmond Road, the Amber Garden was a nice place with a good atmosphere of casual elegance. The food used to be good too (and explains the favourable reviews both here and on the restaurant's own website). Now, at the Carling Avenue location, it looks like a tired 1970s diner: outdated decor and lighting, worn out carpeting and generally a complete lack of atmosphere of any kind. But all of that could be forgiven if the quality of the food would be excellent (the dumpy but hugely popular Schwartz's deli in Montreal comes to mind).

What could explain such a dramatic fall? Have the Amber Garden's owners stopped caring?
-- doggiebagger
Won't
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Katzass
2007-Nov-15
14:45:56


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Visited on 2007-Oct-27
We need more eastern european restaurants in Ottawa
I went to this restaurant because I had read a good review in the Citizen. Right from the beginning we were met by (I'm assuming) the owner who took the time to introduce us to the menu. He also suggested as an apperitif some traditional ultra cold vodka that was absolutley smooooth and unlike usual vodka, had a subtle taste of grain. WOW.

One of the reasons I chose this place was because I am tired of the usual italian, chinese, thai, steak, burger, roadhouse etc... fare that is most commonly available. Eastern Euro cuisine is some of the most heart warming of comfort foods and this place really brings it home. The Borcht is bang on. The sampler plate of sausage, pieroghi, schnitzel, etc is a great way to get introduced to this cultural gem. The place was packed and although we are in our mid 40's we were probably the youngest people there. THe meal was topped off with some average strudel and some fabulous black cherry vodka.

Overall, the service was very good and friendly and the food was fabulous. I will be back.
-- Katzass
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
newott
2007-Sep-17
12:01:39


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.10)

much better than expected
This was not a planned visit -- just decided to use an Entertainment book coupon for a close restaurant and found Amber Garden. The food was great old european fare, definitely homemade and incredibly filling. It has that old family-run atmosphere, and (presumably) the owner's wife took great care to walk us through the hand-painted map of old europe and explained many historic details when I asked a simple question about it. Overall, just a really nice experience and we will go back. Reasonably priced, as well.
-- newott
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
dave.brush
2007-Aug-13
00:44:11


Contribution Status:

Occasional (5.00)

Tasty European cuisine
To clear up some confusion, this restaurant is in fact still open, it simply changed locations some time ago.

They have an interesting menu here, and I highly recommend the pierogies. The food is very filling, and the quality matches the prices. The host and hostess are very nice people and seem to love their job and are extremely passionate about their food.

My only issue with the restaurant is how small the dining area is. They gladly accomodated our large group of 7 people by bringing a few tables together, but we were uncomfortably close to the other patrons and I'm sure they felt the same way about their proximity to us.

Besides that, the food & service was flawless, and my friends and I greatly enjoyed ourselves both times we went.
-- dave.brush
Comments (1) ... 
     

User Review Rating
adam_m
2007-Mar-21
19:42:29


Contribution Status:

Regular (27.00)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi

Pierogi are a kind of dumpling also known as perogi, perogy, piroghi, pirogi, or pyrohy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borscht

Borscht (also borsch or borshch - see etymology below)
-- adam_m
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Pete (pete.coach)
2007-Mar-21
11:20:48


Contribution Status:

Good (52.66)

GUI, don't know if you realize this or not but this restaurant was closed in Sept or so of 2006 and, the comment you are referring to was made in 2002.
-- Pete (pete.coach)
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Gui
2006-Nov-26
19:59:41


Contribution Status:

Frequent (11.00)

Andrew R, you probably don't know what Perogies and Borcht are, since you can't even spell them correctly..

Anyway, excellent food and service, we come here every once in a while and have never been disappointed.
-- Gui
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
dk
2006-Nov-24
22:43:59


Contribution Status:

Frequent (12.00)

my sig other and i were occassional visitors to Amber Garden at its Wellington location, and never had a bad night there. Tonight we tried the (new, merged w/ Dalmacia) Carling location, and hope we hit it on an off night. While not bad, AG didn't live up to our expectations from previous visits.

The food was ok, but not as interesting or as varied as i remember. What we ended up with was done well, but the new (combined) menu seems to offer fewer and less interesting options. Particularly so if you're vegetarian (i am, sig other isn't) -- the old location seemed more accommodating in that respect (or maybe the actual, physical menu just made it seem so?). Definately, the wine menu options were fewer (we had a choice of one house red, pretty good actually ... but still).

I suspect they're still figuring out how to hit their stride merging two restaurants. Given the good experience i've had at the other locale, i will try again; it somewhat pains me to give it the low rankings ... i'll have to edit again after the next try.
-- dk
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
cheque pleez
2006-Nov-24
18:01:05


Contribution Status:

Great (117.46)

Funny you should post that Amber Garden is closed...I went there last night, taking my mom for her birthday (it's her favourite restaurant). Needless to say, we were both crestfallen to see that it had closed.
Apparently, though, all is not lost.
I checked the web and indeed, Amber Garden is almalgamating with Dalmacia.
The new address is 1702 Carling Ave.
They moved back in September.
So the Amber Garden hasn't bitten the dust....although I will certainly miss the original location.
-- cheque pleez
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
passion4food
2006-Oct-26
15:05:37


Contribution Status:

Great (140.25)

Kaja!! You're crazy. Stop soliciting this restaurant under so many reviews!!!
-- passion4food
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
byung6
2006-Aug-14
12:27:37


Contribution Status:

Frequent (18.00)

My wife and I have been to the Amber Garden several times and have invited friends to this friendly establishment. The food is very, very good, in particular the perogies, the Polish salad, cabbage rolls, duck, and rabbit. The schnitzel is probably the only average item on the menu. At times, the chefs could go heavy on the pepper, so beware of this. Great selection of Eastern European beers, vodkas, and wines. An excellent place to go for a night out.
-- byung6
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Mo4iu
2005-Sep-07
14:39:24


Contribution Status:

Frequent (23.00)

We have visited the Amber Garden several times and have always had an excellent dining experience. During our visits, we were very happy with both the food we ordered and the service we received. The owners are a marvelously friendly couple. The restaurant is a haven for those who dislike the noisy, unpleasant places that seem to be so prevalent and who prefer a pleasant meal in quiet surroundings with a little charming chamber music playing in the background. We would consider the prices to be a little on the high side but the quality of the selections are very good and the dining experience is excellent.
-- Mo4iu
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
cheshirecat
2005-Aug-17
14:29:16


Contribution Status:

Occasional (8.00)

The food and the service here are AMAZING. Every time I have been, my party has been served by one owners (there is a husband and wife) who makes us feel so welcome and looked after. I've had the duck here (large serving) and the borscht, both of which are great. The atmosphere is a little dated but the whole place feels very authentic and I'd go back anytime. Has a great selection of vodkas to try!
-- cheshirecat
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
mag
2005-Jul-30
19:23:33


Contribution Status:

Occasional (5.00)

I was kind of dissapointed, the food was alright i guess, however, i found that service was poor and the price was ridiculous, i wouldnt recommend it. sorry.
-- mag
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Jebbe99
2005-Jun-19
20:16:27


Contribution Status:

Good (89.10)

Order the Amber platter for a good sampling of eastern European food although I wonder why it is listed under "Appetizers". It is a full meal in itself consisting of cabbage roll (contains rice as the owner is from Cracow - personally, I prefer them all meat and without rice, as for example from the Warsaw region), perogies (cheese and potato, no meat), chicken paprikash, bigos(?), potatoes, Kielbasa, served with sour cream. My partner had the veal schnitzel and we started with eggplant caviar (the word "caviar" seems to be misleading as it contained no fish) and salmon canapes. We had a French wine to accompany this very good meal. The atmosphere was pleasant, especially since my partner and the owner, both being of Polish origins engaged in a very lively conversation during dessert. She played Polish music and entertained us with stories about her background and the restaurant (amber route). We were the last people to leave the restaurant that night.
-- Jebbe99
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Saurian
2004-Nov-08
23:39:23


Contribution Status:

Good (84.65)

This is high quality excellent Eastern European food. I agree with 'anonymous' in that the host and hostess are absolute sweethearts. This place can be pricey however, so I don't go as often as I would like.
-- Saurian
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
24karat
2004-Oct-15
10:30:28


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Super friendly service at this place. Is it possible to be too nice?! Perogies were great, as was the rabbit. Not a huge fan of the not-so-"spicy goulash" though.

I would recommend giving this place a try if you want to check out something different.
-- 24karat
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Rob Lauzon
2004-Feb-02
16:49:05


Contribution Status:

Frequent (11.20)

We found this place absolutely wonderful. All of the food...from soup to salad to main course...was excellent. Very good quality, and very well prepared. Service was friendly and the atmosphere was quite comfortable. The spicy beef goulash with the potatoe pancake was wonderful. We will definitely return.
-- Rob Lauzon
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Bronco
2004-Jan-23
16:08:56


Contribution Status:

Regular (36.00)

The service is exceptional and so is the atmosphere...the food is good and prices are reasonable.

I recomend it for nice eauropean.
-- Bronco
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
herbie
2002-Nov-14
21:12:25


Contribution Status:

Regular (33.00)

Excellent service. The staff is very friendly and helpful with menu item. We had the appetizer for two which was a bit on the pricey side. The pierogies were very good and so was the kielbassa. Weiner schnitzel was greasy. I tried chicken prapriska and cabbage rolls in Budapest and they were much better in Eastern Europe. I was disappointed with the zur (polish sour soup). This appetizer was small in proportion to the high price of it ($32.95 for two people). The side salad was expensive as well as it was nothing extraordinary either. Overall good food but would not pay that much for flour, butter and cabbage.
-- herbie
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Lexxus
2002-Sep-21
03:41:21


Contribution Status:

Frequent (17.00)

Don't know what some are complaining about....this is a VERY NICE restaurant! Being an East European, I know the food, and this is home made food, very well prepared and served in a stylish, appetizing arrangement. I had the Weiner Schnitzel with spatle, while the spatzle was from a dried recipe, it was nonetheless well done, the schnitzel was tender and the vegetables crisp. The sample platter could use more dressing up, but the food was marvelous!! Not overdon, and not reheated stuff...it tasted like it just came out of the oven. The Host and Hostess are marvellous people, very friendly, sociable, they obviously take pride in their establishment. Their warmth and hospitality is well noted. On the only downside, the appetizers were pricey, and the deserts were quite expensive too. But this is definitely no Denny's or other garbage, this is real cooking in beautiful dining room.
-- Lexxus
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
leeann
2002-Aug-18
20:31:13


Contribution Status:

Occasional (7.00)

We love this restaurant! Prices are reasonable and the service is super. The food is excellent and authentic, based on my experiences in Russia, Poland, and Czech. But please add Beef Stroganoff to the menu.
-- leeann
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Andrew R.
2002-Jan-31
09:54:00


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

If price is still OK, but food is definitely not. Believe me I know what "Borsch" and "Pierogies" are, and that is not what they serve! If you tried real Slavonic food before - they'll not meet your expectations. If you never tried it before - you'll get wrong impression. Unfortunately there is no other place in Ottawa to offer Slavonic cuisine. :-(
-- Andrew R.
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
spy
2000-May-25
21:53:17


Contribution Status:

Superb (494.09)

I went here last summer and had a weiner schnitzel. My friends had combination plates. The food was good and the service was very friendly.
-- spy
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
stevex
1999-Oct-12
11:30:31


Contribution Status:

Good (51.00)

Good weekday lunch buffet (not your average stuff), but a bit expensive as a dinner place for what you get. Very good food - European food to me has that home-cooked feel to it (no I'm not from Europe).
-- stevex
Comments (0) ...