Browsing: Restaurant Features

New Dim Sum Gardens


If I were to estimate which restaurant in my home town, I visit most regularly, it would be Dim Sum Gardens, now in a new location on the 2nd Floor of the Asian Grocery Store, 268 King St and Logan Ave. When I worked in the Exchange District of Winnipeg , it would be our Friday constant

Three friends have an “A” list of items that we have been enjoying together for a couple of decades. During this time, it becomes a challenge to find new expluratives to describe these favourite items. As a result, I am going to let a picture tell a thousand stories (well maybe not a 1,0000)…..


Shrimp dumplings, pure and simple. I love when the plump shrimp are balled together with plenty of ginger.


Deep fried “perogies”. They have sugar in the dumpling casing that creates that sweet/salty combo that I crave.


Sticky rice: a wedge of rice and savoury fillings like ground meat and mushrooms.  I like this version because they do NOT include that gristly sausage that is sometimes added.


Sticky rice is typically wrapped in a bamboo or lotus leaf. I can’t tell which this is.


These are pan-fried chive dumplings. I love the pink vinegar that they are served with. I often get the abundant chives stuck to my front teeth. It takes on of my Besties to politely tell me so.


Pork dumplings-some ingredient in the casing adds a uniqueness to the morsel.

Bonus: I stopped on the way out at the main floor grocery and picked up dim sum provisions for mandatory Sunday supper.

Dim Sum Garden on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Yum yum dim sum.” Me


(They also serve desserts like this but it is not on the “A” list).

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


J&H Greek Restaurant Update


Most of my local readers know that I write a regular restaurant column in the community newspapers here in Winnipeg. I love visiting the bevy of locally owned and operated delis, cafes and ethnic restaurants. Not only is the food exceptional but the owners are so welcoming and hospitable. One such owner tracked me down through the newspaper and called me this afternoon.

Aspiro, the second generation operator of J & H’s wanted to let me know that in spite of the fact that they had been closed for six months, they were once again open for business with slightly reduced hours of operation. He explained how his Dad and Mom (where the J and H originates) had journeyed home to Greece for their first time in 20 years. Their stay was unexpectedly extended and while there they actually considered retiring. Upon their arrival back in Winnipeg they realized that even though they were getting on in years, their little restaurant on Portage Ave. was an important part of their identity and they could not permanently close their labour of love. So Aspiro’s Mom and Dad decided that an appropriate compromise would be to reduce their 100 hours each week in the restaurant.

As a result, if you are considering the consumption of amazing Greek cooking any time soon (and I strongly suggest you do), their new hours are Monday to Thursday 8 am to 3 pm and Friday & Saturday 8 am to 8 pm. They will be open on special Sundays like Mother’s and Father’s Days.


We concluded our chat with my sharing that Boo and the Frenchman will be leaving shortly for Greece. He expressed his disappointment that his Mom and Dad weren’t still there as they could have hosted our family for a meal in Athens. Do you see what makes me love my job and meeting these local restauranteurs?

J & H Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts, but to cook well one must love and respect food.”-Craig Claiborne


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Bernstein’s Delicatessen


Sometimes the best things in life are right under your nose. Case in point: Bernstein’s Delicatessen has been at the end of my street for over twenty years and although I often walk through the little strip mall where it is located and see how full it is with happy diners, I rarely find the excuse to visit. But this day was different.

I truly had a difficult time making up my mind. I was interested in the Fried Chicken and Waffles but also did not want to miss out on their amazing hand-cut fries OR their potato latkes. Luckily, my lunch date was very accommodating, so I didn’t miss out on sampling anything.


“Chicken & Waffles” is clarified on Bernstein’s menu in parenthesis as being “Fingers & Pancakes”. Since I love sweet and salty combinations, it was the perfect choice. The chicken was tasty and the pancakes acted as a sponge to soak up the blueberry compote AND the chipotle maple syrup! Every forkful was a complex combination of tastes.


The big surprise came in the form of the Warm Corned Beef Sandwich. If you have never tasted house-made, hand sliced corned beef, you do not know what you are missing. Biting into the sandwich was an entirely different taste experience than the countless corned beef sandwiches I have eaten over the years. The texture of the meat was soft and tender and there was no unpleasant salty taste.  I struggle to find an accurate word; perhaps the one that I am searching for is: sublime.

Bonus upon bonus, I also got to pick at the perfect hand cut fries and the potato latkes with applesauce. Entering the attached store to pay my bill, I decided to pick up some homemade chicken noodle soup from the deli freezer, meaning that I was able to bask in Bernstein’s deliciousness on another day.

Bernstein's Deli on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The corned beef is exquisitely done, and as tender as a young lady’s heart, all owing to my skilful cookery; for I consulted Mrs. Hale (Sarah Hale’s cookbook) at every step, and precisely followed her directions. To say the truth, I look upon it as such a masterpiece in its way, that it seems irreverential to eat it. Things on which so much thought and labor are bestowed should surely be immortal…..”- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1844), fending for himself while his wife was away.

berry heart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Spring has Sprung at Earl’s Kitchen + Bar


Invitations to Earl’s Kitchen + Bar for their regular Menu Tastings are coveted in foodie and blogger circles. Earl’s Chef Collective has assembled a team of award-winning artists so we knew that we were in for an amazing food evening. Cate, Matt, Woody and their local Earl’s team are the perfect hosts; providing tasting notes, photo files and ensuring that your glass is never empty. As a foodie on assignment, this allows you to bask in the ambience and really savour the offerings.

tuna tostadas (1)

First up were Tuna Tostadas-smooth and crunchy, fiery and cool, all delivered in a few bites. A platter of these along with Earl’s well-crafted cocktails will jam their already popular patios this summer.


My favourite of “Cocktail Craftsman” Cameron Bogue was the grapefruit based Paloma.

Bees Knees

Bee’s Knees and Amaretto Sours were also delivered to an enthusiastic assembly.


Our own Chopped Salad which we stuff into Sabih (a common street-food in Israel).

Having travelled to Jerusalem and eaten many Chopped (also dubbed Israeli or Arab Salad), I was thrilled that Fattoush Salad had found its way to a local menu.

fattoush with chicken image 2

When Arabs add left over pita to a grilled vegetable salad, (and Earl’s Chef Brian Skinner adds pita chip croutons), it is transformed into Fattoush. In the holy city, each cook, each family, each community has their own variation. Earl’s version definitely ranks as high as the ones that we have made at home and I recall from the amazing journey that I once took.

moroccan salmon 2

Chermoula is a marinade for fish and is the foundation of many Moraccan fish dishes. In this case, Earl’s Chef Hamid Salimian started with Ocean Wise Salmon and fused it with smoked paprika oil, pearl onions and spring peas.

Although not pictured here, the Spring Creek Ranch beef sampling was the highlight of an already delicious evening. We discussed around our end of the table, that we could taste how much the cattle were loved by the Spring Creek Ranchers. Perfectly cut, perfectly aged and perfectly prepared, the medium rare cuts were rich and tender and almost nutty in taste. A number of us treated ourselves to a nibble of the fat cap and oh my, it tasted as if we had come upon a sweet and exotic oil.


Having only recently tried Bibimbap (pictured above) for the first time, at an authentic Korean restaurant in our neighbourhood, I waited all through the menu sampling to do so again.

korean bibimbap image 1

Earl’s Chef Dave Wong poached the egg in his version, as we North American’s are needlessly squeamish about raw food. The essence of the dish, is the contrast between the crunchy rice that has been made so by the special heated bowl that it is served in, the crunchy vegetables and the silky egg that cooks further when stirred around with the hot rice.

Berry Shortcake

A new Earl’s burger was also sampled but by this time, we were crying “Uncle” and the parade of expert food items from Earl’s kitchen was drawing to a close, but not before, the essence of spring came along- A Berry Shortcake.

Korean, Middle Eastern fare and exceptional burgers and steaks can be found at many excellent local restaurants in Winnipeg.  A visit to Earl’s Kitchen + Bar ensures that a group with eclectic tastes can find them all under one roof or under an expansive umbrella, if you will. Herald the spring with a trip to Earl’s and enjoy exceptional crafted tastes from around the world at substantially less cost than a ticket overseas.

Earls Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot

rustic heart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.





Decadent Lunch at The Keg Steakhouse +Bar


In the same manner that some of you (including my D) may have a sweet tooth, I have a rich savoury tooth. I crave foods like creamy cheese, seafood and grilled meats. This makes my regular sojourns to The Keg for lunch,  bit of a challenge. Not that they do not have items that foot the bill on their lunch menu. Au contrare, they have too many for me to a timely decision!





On this particular day my lunch mates made savoury choices too: one selecting an appetizer for his lunch of bacon-wrapped scallops and the other, a half of a prime rib sandwich with a cup of the soup of the day. They were settled in to enjoy their satisfying lunches, while I tucked into mine.



What could be more decadent than Lobster Mac and cheese? The casserole arrived still bubbling from the oven. I moved the succulent lobster pieces aside to save them for my last bites while I took mini tastes (to make the treat last that much longer) of the perfectly prepared pasta, bechamel sauce and sharp cheddar cheese. The lobster held its own against the other rich ingredients and I was perfectly satisfied. Well, almost. I had been thinking that a little drizzle of truffle oil that reminded of a chef’s special I had tasted at The Keg some months before, would have been the perfect savoury taste. See? I am obsessed!

Lunch this day, reflected my day to day philosophy. Life’s short, eat a rich casserole first.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.” -author unknown


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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