Review: Wasabi Wonderful

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Oysters and Instagram. Food bloggers rule #1, pictures first, eat second.

Wasabi on Broadway
588 Broadway
204-779-8183
Neighbourhood: West Broadway
Website: wasabigroup.com
Facebook: facebook.com/wasabiwinnipeg

Twitter: twitter.com/WasabiWpg

Full disclosure: Wasabi on Broadway has always been my favourite sushi spots in Winnipeg. Nothing has changed.

If anything else, Wasabi’s crack team at the sushi bar and inside the kitchen have further deepened my love.

In mid-October at Wasabi, I joined a group of city food writers as we shared a feast.

I am a regular at Wasabi and, as a regular, I fell into that trap of ordering my favourites on every visit. After this most recent visit, my list of favourites has expanded dramatically.

We indulged in, best guess, 10 Wasabi signature rolls, noodle salad, plates of new-style sashimi, scallops, oysters (raw and baked), heaps of green tea and black sesame ice cream. To name all rolls here would be silly, and darn near impossible.

Sure, the Mahalo roll will always be on my favourite list but now I can add OMG, Zen and the Green Hornet rolls.

If you haven’t been to Wasabi yet, or you are a visitor to Winnipeg, know this: Just because we’re landlocked, doesn’t mean our sushi isn’t fantastic.

It is.

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Dark and delicious black sesame ice cream.

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OMG roll

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Green Hornet roll

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Yuzi scallops

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Broadway sashimi

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New style sashimi

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Sunomono Salad

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Zen roll

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.

Reason #1 to eat at Deer + Almond: Chicken Fried Chicken

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Deer + Almond
85 Princess Street
204-504-8562
Neighbourhood: Exchange District 
Website: deerandalmond.com
Facebook: facebook.com/deerandalmond

Twitter: twitter.com/deerandalmond

Chicken fried chicken. That’s the first reason you should take a seat at Deer + Almond for lunch.

This Exchange District spot has been on everybody’s favourite list, practically since the day it opened in 2011. Chef and co-owner Mandel Hitzer is a kook in the best possible way. He’s a bon vivant with big ideas who is willing to take chances. (His restaurant on ice—RAW: Almond is proof of that.)

In the kitchen, that zany spark translates into wild and wonderful food that falls in its own category: fusion comfort food with a side of global zing. Mandel’s madness has method. And that combination of heart and head make it easy to find reasons to love Deer + Almond.

Back to reason #1: Chicken fried chicken. On a recent visit, this bite jumped from the menu. Who doesn’t love fried chicken, after all. But Deer + Almond’s version gets extra marks for its crunchy, Asian-influenced carrot and cabbage slaw, thick-cut slices of capicola and cilantro-spiked sour cream.

Reason # 2:  The roast turkey sandwich. This grilled panini version comes with rosehip aioli, grilled apples and dijon. It sets a new standard for turkey on any plate.

Reason # 3: Spaghetti squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds. This was no ordinary soup of the day. Great layers of flavour and the added bite and texture of seeds made this a memorable bowl. Every chef should be able to make stand-out soups.

Reason #4: The sausage links hanging in the window. Decor is urban with a hit of rustic, and charming yet cheeky. Two walls of windows flood the room with light. Distressed wood tables, a street facing bar top for diners and a floor to ceiling chalkboard mural are just a few design highlights.

Reason #5: The menu surprises and delights. And that’s because Mandel doesn’t rest. And he certainly doesn’t rest on his laurels. He makes great plates but ‘good enough’ isn’t in his makeup.

Now, go find your reasons to love Deer + Almond.

Lunch is served at Deer + Almond. (All photos by Robin Summerfield)

Lunch is served at Deer + Almond. (All photos by Robin Summerfield)

Chicken fried chicken at Deer + Almond.

Chicken fried chicken at Deer + Almond.

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options. Check out our Facebook page for the latest scoop on food trends.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.

New & Noteable: Winnipeg’s newest restaurants

People who love to eat are always the best people. Marion Street Eatery. (photo by robin summerfield)

Welcome to the Marion Street Eatery where their mantra—people who love to eat are always the best people—is declared on a chalkboard in the dining room. (Photos by Robin Summerfield)

It has been a busy year on Winnipeg’s restaurant scene. While big-name chains like Earls and Milestones have new locations in the works, it’s the smaller, independently owned restaurants that are changing the city’s food groove.

In the last 18 months or so, at least 20 new food purveyors have opened shop.

The city’s evolving food scene includes new bake-shops, coffee shops, counter-service sandwich spots, a games café, juice bar, a small plates eatery, a meatball and porchetta diner, and the list goes on.

We’ve seen the addition of a remarkable new restaurant—Era Bistro—inside a remarkable new landmark, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Nearby, at the Inn at the Forks, well-loved chef Alex Svenne has taken the helm at Smith, a carnivore’s delight set in dining room cum rustic chic cabin that oozes Canadiana.

Across the Board, a games café in the Exchange District, stocks about 600 board games for kids and adults of all ages. A menu of creative sandwiches, salads and pizzas rounds out notable new eatery.

New bakeshops include The Store Next Door, by the folks at Chew, and Sleepy Owl Bread in the West End.

Chef Sean McKay opened The Mitchell Block while chef Scott Bagshaw of Deseo branched out, opening his second spot Enoteca.

Marion Street Eatery, a St. Boniface breakfast and lunch spot is spot on with its menu of inspired eggs, special salads and great creations found between two pieces of bread.

The Good Will and Little Pizza Heaven have combined forces in the former location of Pop Soda’s to bring Winnipeggers a great new live music and event venue right downtown. The Handsome Daughter has taken up a similar mantel in Wolseley on Sherbrook Street, an emerging food street in the city.

Up the road, chef Talia Syrie and her business partner Steve Ackerman have relaunched The Tallest Poppy, a homey comfort food stop complete with waffles and chicken.

Osborne Village welcomed The Cornerstone, coffee shop Stain Coffee Company and juice bar Green Carrot Juice Company.

Maw’s Garage and Beer Hall, St. James Tap and Table, King & Bannatyne, Dwarf no Cachette, Red Sea Bar and Restaurant, and a new Barley Brothers location at Investors Field all came on the scene too.

Keep your eyes open for Vera Pizza, which will open on Osborne Street South. Meanwhile, three, well-respected chef/owners are all also opening new restaurants in 2015.

Behold the mighty five-spice chicken wing, The Cornerstone. (Photo by Robin Summerfield.)

Behold the mighty five-spice chicken wing, The Cornerstone.

Across the Board owners Clinton Skibitzky (left) and Olaf Pyttlik. (Photos by Robin Summerfield)

Across the Board owners Clinton Skibitzky (left) and Olaf Pyttlik.

Kyle Lew and Kristen Chemeriki-Lew, owners of The Store Next Door. (Photos by Robin Summerfield)

Kyle Lew and Kristen Chemeriki-Lew, owners of The Store Next Door.

Mmmmmm.... shaved roast wagyu beef burger at The Mitchell Block. (Photos by Robin Summerfield)

Mmmmmm…. shaved roast wagyu beef burger at The Mitchell Block.

Executive chef Barry Saunders (right) overseeing the troops inside Era's open kitchen.

Executive chef Barry Saunders (right) overseeing the troops inside Era’s open kitchen.

Smith

The table is set at Smith.

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.