Meiji Sushi and G. Martini Lounge: Japanese Comfort Food - A juicy salmon California roll, smothered in all the fixings

A juicy salmon California roll, smothered in all the fixings

By: PegCity GrubApril 4, 2013 // Japanese

Bento Box at Meiji Sushi/ Robin Summerfield
Bento Box at Meiji Sushi

Meiji Sushi and G. Martini Lounge
Address: 454 River Street
Phone Number: 204-284-3996
Neighbourhood: Osborne Village

Today, all-in-one bento box lunch specials are standard fare at Japanese restaurants.

But at Meiji Sushi in Osborne Village, nothing felt standard.

The two bento boxes we tried on a recent lunch-hour were comprehensive, filling and delicious. Best of all, each element tasted different: It wasn't just a teriyaki blur.

Chicken yakatori was tender and sweet with a slight kick of heat. Grilled salmon satisfied with a hint of smoke fresh from the grill, a brush of honeyed soy and sesame seeds on top. One quibble: assorted tempura, which came with the box, needed a few more seconds in the fryer for extra crispiness.

A highlight on this plate was the California roll, a pleasingly plump, one-bite comfort food.

My favourite may have been the typically modest salad. Instead of bland and flavourless iceberg lettuce and a non-descript vinaigrette, Meiji's serves spinach drizzled with tangy orange-sesame dressing. I failed at identifying the ingredients within. The amiable server wasn't much help either.

Meiji Sushi/Robin Summerfield
Meiji Sushi

Miso soup was appropriately salty and surprisingly meaty with chunks of tofu and strips of seaweed floating within. It hit the spot on a particularly chilly spring day in Winnipeg.

All in we got two, very filling and satisfying Japanese meals for under $15 each. Meiji's lunch and dinner menu delivers all the favourites. For something different, check out the 18 house special rolls. Creativity kicks in here.

Meiji Sushi and G. Martini Lounge have been open for 11 years. The martini lounge is a bit of a misnomer. It's a very well-stocked bar in the dining room. The martini menu shines here. It's loaded with classics and many contemporary and cheeky newcomers. The phrase 'girl drink drunk' comes to mind.

The dining room is dark and cavernous. Guests enter through the light-filled, indoor courtyard of a historic Winnipeg block. Beyond the gates, the light dims dramatically inside Meiji. Where other Winnipeg sushi joints are flooded with light and loud conversations, Meiji takes the opposite approach. The scene is subdued at lunch. (Dinner may bring another mood altogether.)

If it's approaching new and you're craving a full array of Japanese favourites, head underground to Meiji Sushi.

Meiji Sushi/ Robin Summerfield
Meiji Sushi