Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Dim Sum at Noodle Express


We were headed to Dim Sum Garden on Rupert Ave. (the “we” being the 3 Sisters & our Mom) to have a belated birthday supper together.  Unfortunately, there was a note on the door saying that they were closed for renovations.  I had arrived first and because it is a bit of a chore to get my Mom places by car, I quickly scanned around for an alternate spot to dine.  Right across the street is a place that I knew to be formerly called Noodle Express.  Currently, there is a banner blocking the sign that indicates that they serve a Dim Sum Happy Hour where the prices are two for one!

The decor is no great shakes but it is clean and bustling with other diners awaiting their orders.  Carts are not wheeled through the dining room.  Instead you must order from their menu and if you are not familiar with the name of dim sum items, this can be a challenge.  We were in the clear because Sister #3 not only has a stellar memory regarding food items but she actually travelled to Beijing last summer.

I did not get pictures of all the items because: 1) I was too hungry 2) I was talking too much and 3) the steam from the basket was fogging up my camera lens. But I didn’t manage to capture these for you.

Their pork dumplings were very good and in my case that means that they are prepared with a minimum of fat.  Our kids called these dumplings “little brains” when they were growing up.

These were the shark-fin dumplings and we also sampled the shrimp and the shrimp & scallop-all excellent.

We were hoping that these pork dumplings would have come pan fried not deep-fried but no matter, they were fabulous!  We also sampled the barbecue pork buns which were equally delicious.

Our preference is for Dim Sum’s Garden’s sticky rice; Noodle Express’s was just okay.  The highlight was the Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)  that we saw being consumed at another table and ordered for ourselves.  The kitchen was at the end of their supply and could only produce a half order but it too, was amazing-perfectly stir fried with plenty of garlic and a butter tasting broth.

The mailing address for Noodle Express is 107-180 King St. but the entrance is on the Rupert street-side right across from Dim Sum Garden.  It may prove confusing to find but make the effort.  Our delicious dim sum feast for 4 came to $27 with Chinese tea.  What a bargain!

Noodle Express on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.”-Brendan Behan

Love-that is all.

New Mom Meal Tips by Guest Blogger Jen


Today I am proud to introduce a second blogger in the family.  Daughter #3, otherwise known as J2 is sharing her skills and reflections on pre and post- natal care.  Jen is a trained midwife (in the US), a certified pre & post-natal fitness instructor and a certified doula with a wide variety of unique doula services-inlcuding the preparation of nutritional post-natal meals for your family!  Her blog address is Baby Lady of the Prairies.  I hope that she will guest post for me on a regular basis.  Be sure to bookmark her site.

“After you’ve had a baby life can become a bit of a blur. Everyday tasks like cleaning and preparing meals can become almost impossible. Here are some tips for new moms to make life a little easier and give you the optimum time to enjoy your new little one and TRY to get some sleep.

1. Get Help! Ask a friend or family member to organize a group of people to bring over a meal each day for 2-3 weeks after the baby is born. (It won’t feel as awkward if you get someone else to organize it) Friends, family, church members or neighborhood communities are great places to start.

2. Freeze meals. During your last couple of months of pregnancy prepare and freeze meals like casseroles, stews, lasagnas and soups. One-dish meals with lots of vegetables are even better so you don’t even have to prepare any side dishes! Be sure to cool the recipe before wrapping it for the freezer. Label the food properly with the date, recipe name, and thawing and heating instructions.

3. Breastfeed! Believe it or not, breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help you lose the extra weight that you gained during pregnancy. It also cuts down on formula and bottle prep time leaving more time for you and your baby. Remember, even though it’s tempting to want to shed that baby weight as fast as possible, this is not the time to be cutting calories. Your body needs about 500 more calories than it did pre-pregnancy when you are breastfeeding. It also needs plenty of hydration. A good rule is to make sure that you drink a glass of water every time you sit down to feed.

4. Get a pospartum doula to help you with meal preparation. This is especially helpful if your partner has to go back to work right away or you don’t have family members close by who are available to help out. Postpartum doulas help with meal prep, light housework, sibling supervision, breastfeeding advice and general new baby information. This can play a huge role in keeping you sane and healthy in the weeks following childbirth.”

 Kath’s quote: “So where did these cravings come from? I concluded it’s the baby ordering in. Prenatal takeout. Even without ever being in a restaurant, fetuses develop remarkably discerning palates, and they are not shy about demanding what they want. If they get a hankering, they just pick up the umbilical cord and call. ‘You know what would taste good right now? A cheeseburger, large fries, and a vanilla shake. And if you could, hurry it up, because I’m supposed to grow a lung in a half hour.’”-Paul Reiser

Love-that is all.

Le Bebe Rouge


I have a wonderfully, diverse career.  There are times when I spend solitary time writing, other times when I am highly engaged in the media world, learning about new products and strategies and planning and executing them with the assistance of many media partners.  And then there are the times, which I enjoy the most, and that is when I get to teach.   My favourite students are adults, particularly adults who are learning a brand new social media skill or going back into a career world.

On one such day, I was asked to lead a team-building training session for a group of 55+ers.  At the end of this half day, I came away knowing about the hardships and joys and sorrows of being a part of a group of this kind.  And as I often conclude, I came away more educated than when I went to do the educating.

The rural community where the session took place was Ste. Pierre, just south of Niverville on Hwy. 59.  I had always wanted to visit as Sister #3 had friends residing there and had often told me about a little restaurant called Le Bebe Rouge.

So on my way home, after a satisfying day, I stopped in to pick up an early supper.  I chose their signature burger as prompted by Sister #3 and then could not resist the urge to try the poutine.  I was in a rural French community after all, likely similar to the one where poutine originated in the first place.  Now I must confess, I have actually entered into a 12 step treatment program to control my addiction to poutine.  I was successful in limiting myself to one delicious taste and then I sealed the container up again so that I would not be tempted by more.  I did not even allow myself to take a photo of them.  They did not go to waste though, D enjoyed them the next day for lunch.

The burger in the mean time was perfect- a beautifully cooked all beef patty, with appropriate squirts of mustard, relish and ketchup, melted cheese and crispy lettuce.  I am guessing that the bun had been laid a top of the grill because it was sweet, soft and moist.  The burger all comes together like a mystery, my never being able to identify the one clue of its success.

So if you ever find yourself in Ste Pierre or if you ever just need an excuse for a lovely drive south of the city,  Le Bebe Rouge is the first gas station on your left just at the north edge of town.

Kath’s quote:  “It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly carved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a fishing fly? Or the arrangements and textures on a butterfly’s wing? ”-Ray Kroc

Love-that is all.

Rudy’s Eat and Drink


My lunch meeting at Rudy’s Eat and Drink was one of those classic adventures where I scoured the dining room room for his familiar face before being sat down in the lounge and then spent the rest of the time looking at my watch and thinking that perhaps I had the day or the meeting time wrong.  In the mean time, he was in the dining room doing exactly the same thing.  He had just sat back down after doing another lap looking for me, when we finally intercepted.

While I was alone, I was entertained and content.  Not only could I get caught up on my Blackberry messages but the bar is equipped with TV screens that displays their Twitter feed and I was challenged by seeing my own message appear on their screen.  So too, the male servers at Rudy’s are particularly gorgeous and I know handsome when I see it (my husband of almost 28 years being quite the catch)!

But, as usual, I digress.  To the food…

My friend had Rudy’s Reuben and was well pleased.  Stacked high with pastrami, it also contains sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.  The latter is very similar to Thousand Island dressing and some say that they are interchangeable.  My guess is that on a Reuben, they would be hard to distinguish, but that is just my hunch.  My eye was drawn by the house bacon that I spotted on the salad.  Bacon in a Caesar is a treat that we like to make at home.

While I had spent time on my own, one of the servers came over and asked if I had dined at Rudy’s before.  When I told him no, he proceeded to tell me the quality story of Rudy’s kitchen and their “from scratch” cooking style including the fact that they cure all of their own meats on premise.  He was very sincere about their philosophy and it was recited in such a genuine way that I was duly impressed.  This, having worked behind the scenes in the restaurant business, is the sign of excellent training.

When it was my turn, I made a combative choice of the Dueling Tuna.  Said to be a battle between carpaccio and tartar, my natural demeanor must have taken over, because they tasted quite harmonious to me.  I do recall having to have some fruit before my dinner time because I was not fully satiated after my light lunch.  Next time I may chose something a bit more substantial.

Rudy's Eat and Drink on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “’Hey, Earthman? You hungry kid?’ said Zaphod’s voice. ‘Er, well, yes, a little peckish, I suppose,’ said Arthur. ‘Okay, baby, hold tight,’ said Zaphod. ‘We’ll take in a quick bit at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.’”-Douglas Adams

Love-that is all.

Unburger Revisited


Over a year has come and gone since the opening of Unburger and D had still not had a chance to visit there.  But the fabulous little place was “top of mind” since Uptown’s- Best of Winnipeg list had come out and indicated that it was voted “best new restaurant” on the vibrant Winnipeg scene.  (Food Musings was declared “best Winnipeg blog”-quite an honour).  A casual dinner with a business friend from out of town became the right occasion and D finally ventured in.

D just had to have the Drunken Aussie, tempted by the taste combination of beets, double smoked bacon and Bothwell cheese.

But look more closely for the real taste sensation-an omega three, perfectly cooked,  sunny side up egg, perched on top.  This makes for glorious, rich and goey eating.

Our American friend loved her Chicken Burger (but I was holding the table by the window and was not in ear shot to hear which one she ordered).

I was well pleased with my choice of a Bella Burger- a portabella mushroom burger with a special treat of balsamic onions.

At Unburger even the sides are good or shall I say the sides are especially good.  I was really hoping that D or our friend would have ordered either of the potato fries but was not disappointed by the “Edamommy” in curry salt and was over the moon for the 8 Grain Energy Salad that D and I both chose.  It was chock full of 2 kids of quinoa and roasted almonds-yummers!

Kyle came over to say hi but quickly had to get back to expediting the hot orders from the busy kitchen to his hungry guests.  It sure is wonderful to see young talent like the Unburger guys obviously doing so well.  The food and the restaurant itself is fresh and clean and simply adorned.

The evening was gorgeous and so we had a walk through the village and ended the evening with a glass of wine at the new/old Basil’ s patio-a perfect summer evening in Winnipeg.

Unburger on Urbanspoon

Kaths quote: “Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.” –Russian proverb

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