If you workout at the Oval, have kids in Oval programs, or are in town for an Oval-hosted event, there’s a good chance you’ll get hungry while there. Even though the complex isn’t exactly in the heart of the Richmond dining scene, I’m here to tell you that you still have options, one of which is right inside the Oval itself. I combined my workout with work, and ate at the nearby Seaview Café and The O Café in the same day.
I had my first meal at nearby Seaview Café. They’re only open for lunch and its location is rather odd – on the second storey of a building on River Road – but it must work for them with all the industrial workers nearby.
The menu is classic HK, and I was grateful I could order something healthy – vegetables in black pepper sauce with rice – because I’m 345 days into this thing, and my stomach is more demanding than it used to be. When it wants something light, it has to have something light, and for the survival of my digestive system I try to always obey. So, vegetables in black pepper sauce it was, and it was tasty.
As the name suggests, they don’t kid around with the black pepper in this dish, and it has an earthy, spicy kick. It was filling, and cost less than $10.
I then moved on over to the Oval, worked out, did some writing, and had my second meal at the O Café, which opened within the last year and replaced the much more modest kiosk on the second.
The new, stylishly-designed cafe serves a huge variety of drinks, 49th Parallel coffee, baked goods, snacks, paninis, hot entrees, and pizza.
I often go there after a workout just to get a tea and do some work, and every time I’ve a good, long stare at the sandwiches.
They’re incredible-looking, and I finally decided I MUST HAVE ONE. With seven different flavours available it was a tough decision, but I went with the arrosto di manzo, which had thinly-sliced roast beef, caramelized onion, gorgonzola, horseradish aioli, and arugula.
THIS WAS A GOOD SANDWICH. I don’t just toss praise around when it comes to sammies, but this thing was the roast beef bomb. It was packed full of ingredients, and the flavours worked perfectly together.
The roast beef was thinly-sliced and tender, with gorgonzola that was all melty and deliciously bleu-tasting, creamy aioli, and peppery arugula. My one complaint is that the bread was a little tough around the edges, but all in all, this roast beef panini gets 9 horseradish roots out of 10.
Here are the other flavours, all of which I’d love to try:
I also had a small beet, grapefruit, and goat cheese salad, which was healthy, rich with red and golden beets, and fresh. I am incredibly impressed with the quality of the O Café, which is far beyond what I expected of a sports centre eatery. My meal, which was very filling, cost $11.90.
Other relatively-close-to-the-Oval-options include Izumiya Market, Ceili’s Pub, Zephyr Café, and a Tim Horton’s in case you’re really jonesin’ for some timbits.
With thoughts of wickedly-good sandwiches floating in my head I shall wish you a happy Friday. AND, if you’re looking for something to do tonight, don’t forget that BOTH night markets are now open!
Vegetarian options available
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available