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Review of Sidedoor | Capital Dining
May, 2012 update: Matt Carmichael has left Sidedoor, Social and Restaurant Eighteen to branch out on his own. Stay tuned! The trouble with Asian food in this city is a dreary lack of distinctive flair. Sushi is sushi is sushi. Siu mai is standard and pho is pho. So many Indian restaurants seem to photocopy each other's menus and slap their own label at the top. As for authentic or inventive Mexican, Ottawa is not exactly a hot tamale. We long for some daring, some imagination, someone to toss out the script. Enter Sidedoor, in the space where Foundation used to be. Refreshingly unlike anything else in Ottawa, Sidedoor is about small, Mexican and Asian-inspired, produce-driven sharing plates. Takes on tacos, Indian and Thai curries, Chinese dumplings, and inventive twists on Japanese favourites, all delivered by an unlikely source. One doesn't tend to think "curry" when one thinks "Carmichael." But that'll change. Executive chef of Restaurant E18hteen and Social, Matthew Carmichael now