Eat the Strip

Ng's Cuisine

1499 Merivale Rd, Nepean, ON K2E 5P3

April 21, 2024 2:30 PM

By: Ameya Charnalia


It’s no secret, Ng’s Cuisine serves some of the best Chinese food in Ottawa.

Offering traditional Cantonese and Sichuan food, the bustling restaurant has been a staple for dimsum and large family dinners for around two decades.

We’d been craving har gow; our plans for the day were dashed—it was time to head to Ng’s, located less than three kilometres away from us, for a languorous dimsum brunch.

We were seated almost immediately at the plastic-covered tables. The vibe was old-school, with wall-to-wall murals of traditional village scenes and paintings. We sat underneath a chalkboard with ostensibly Cantonese dish names scribbled that morning. Despite getting there after peak dimsum hours, the restaurant was quite full of families sipping tea, chatting and chowing down on delicious dumplings.

We were promptly handed menus and served a pot of tea. I love that part of the ritual, which cascades across dimsum joints in North America. We ordered an assortment of dishes, including sampan congee, cuttle fish, deep fried squid tentacles and, the king of dim sum, har gow. Craving greens, we also ordered stir-fried Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce.

Before any of that, however, we received our egg tarts. Yes, we ordered two egg tarts for dessert and, famished, began our meal unapologetically with dessert. The tarts were fresh and buttery, a cross between English custard tarts and Portuguese Pastel de nata.

The egg tarts consist of an outer pastry crust filled with egg custard
The egg tarts consist of an outer pastry crust filled with egg custard

We learned that the restaurant was sold recently. Nikki, one of the new owners, told us the restaurant will by and large remain the same. She added that the new owners recently renovated the basement to allow for more diners. While the much-loved menu won’t be changing anytime soon, she said the new owners hope to do some touch-ups.

“We want to keep it the same,” she said. But we want to have a younger vibe.”

The first dish to arrive was the congee, served in a large bowl. Served with generous chunks of shrimp and crunchy peanuts, we loved the abundance of fresh ginger and the porridge-like consistency.

Sampan congee is a Guangdong congee dish that originated in Lychee Bay, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Sampan congee is a Guangdong congee dish that originated in Lychee Bay, Guangzhou, Guangdong

While each bite of har-gow fulfilled our cravings, the squid tentacles stole the show. They were crunchy, fresh and zesty. The tempura-like coating had a nice peppery aftertaste and we polished off the dish rapidly.

The cuttlefish was creamy, served with a squid-like consistency and one of our favourite parts of the meal
The cuttlefish was creamy, served with a squid-like consistency and one of our favourite parts of the meal

Our total came to just over $55. With plenty of congee to take home, we head out with happy bellies and plans to try an assortment of other dumplings on our next visit to the legendary Ng’s—and to see what vibe the new owners will bring.