Visiting Stratford Ontario to see the Stratford Festival is a summer event I look forward to. I recently went to Stratford to see Shakespeare’s MacBeth and As You Like It. With the Stratford Festival being at the core of the city’s attraction, Stratford boasts a vibrant shopping and restaurant scene, which is an extension of its world-class theatre. The difficulty lies, however, in deciding which Stratford restaurant to enjoy while you are there.
If you enjoy Indian food, I highly recommend Raja Fine Indian Cuisine on George Street. The decor is worldly while the Northern Indian curries are memorable. On this visit to Stratford, however, we decided to try The Annex Room on Albert Street.
The Annex Room at 38 Albert Street is slightly below street level. On top of the restaurant are renovated hotel suites. The room has an old-style feel to it in a good way. I’m certain many of the stars of the Stratford Festival have dined at The Annex Room over the past few years.
Our server quickly came to greet us and gave us menus. Looking around, we noticed the restaurant was somewhat busy considering it was only 6 p.m. Many parties were probably enjoying a pre-show dinner.
My dining partner ordered a glass of Sussreserve Riesling from Angel’s Gate ($8.25/6 oz.), a Niagara Region winery. She found the wine to be crisp and citrusy and to her liking.
After we placed our orders, our friendly server brought us some fresh bread with roasted garlic.
I’ve never seen garlic served like this before and was eager to try it on the bread. The individual cloves were easy to spread on the bread and there was a bottle of olive oil on the table in case you wanted to drizzle a bit on the bread. While I enjoyed this appetizer, I would have preferred a bread that was less dense and crispier to provide a crunchy contrast to the softened garlic.
My dining partner ordered the Teriyaki Chow Mein with stir-fried ramen noodles, soy, ginger, garlic and stir-fried vegetables, $16.95. For an additional $6, she opted to add shrimp to her dish. (Chicken can also be added for an extra $6.) The dish can be ordered mild, medium or spicy.
The dish was delicious, according to my dining partner. There was a great balance of vegetables, noodles and shrimp. The only issue was there was too much sauce sitting at the bottom of the plate, which made eating rather messy.
I ordered the Stuffed Chicken Breast with goats cheese, sun-dried tomato, cremini mushrooms, garlic chive mashed potatoes and seasoned vegetables, $26.95. The chicken breast was enormous although I would have liked it to be a bit more tender. The garlic chive mashed potatoes and goat cheese were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The vegetables were lightly grilled with just enough crunch.
While we enjoyed our entrees, we agreed that the portions were very large, which neither of us could finish.