Different cafés and restaurants are emerging everywhere in the country with foods that are very diverse yet still very relatable. Foods that are so good it’s as if you are experiencing firsthand a part of their culture with every bit of the plate and most of these restaurants only need just a small recognition to say that they have done a great job.
Well, this year, a Filipino-owned cafe and restaurant has been selected as one of the best restaurants in Ottawa by Peter Hum, a noted food critic in Canada. In an article posted on the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, food critic Peter Hum described Tamis Café as among the “more humble but worthy mom-and-pop joints” in Ottawa saying that Tamis Café brings the “sweet and savoury tastes of Manila” to the Glebe.
The cafe is situated in Ottawa’s historic and popular neighbourhood of Glebe and is owned by the Sare family — Lito and his wife Liza, and their daughters Jessica and Giselle — who immigrated to Canada back in 2001.
Tamis Café also incorporates food from around the world to attract Canadians and introduce them to a distinct take on Filipino food.
And while traditional Filipino food is rich, Tamis Café is holding back on oil, salt, sugar and preservatives to take on a more natural approach to cooking our dishes especially when their youngest daughter, Giselle, was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer back in 2015 when she was only 19 yrs old. Now, Giselle is cancer free and they opened Tamis Café to fulfill her dreams of having their own cafe and also pursue their passion in culinary arts.
The cafe mixes their own blend of organic tea and coffee and have also popularized some unique concoctions like the ube (purple yam) latte. All of their pastries, cakes and other desserts are also baked in-house which just highlights that authentic Filipino home-style cooking. Some of their well known classic Filipino staples include okoy (shrimp fritters), kare-kare (peanut and ox stew), bistek (beef steak), pandan (screwpine), leche flan (crème caramel), brazo de Mercedes, ube infused desserts and of course, the world famous pandesal which have been featured in various diplomatic and governmental functions and receptions of the Philippine Embassy and the Canadian Parliament. For the winter season, they have started to introduce bulalo (beef soup) and lomi (thick noodle soup) to battle the cold Canadian winters.
To conclude, Peter Hum praised the restaurant for its “simple, home-style savoury dishes that have been consistently well-made, tasty, generously portioned and bargain-priced” often mentioning the empanada, which are made from scratch. Now, Tamis Café is starting to cement their own brand into the Canadian food scene thanks to the deliciousness of Filipino food.