Food Musings

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

Fusion Grill, River Heights, Winnipeg


Fusion Grill is not exactly in my own backyard but pretty close-a block and a half walk away.  The cafe’s close proximity actually makes me guilty about not dining there more often as owner Scot McTaggart is an old friend of ours from a time when we all worked together at a popular restaurant.

Scot’s culinary philosophy has always been a passion for “local”, years before the trend was in vogue.  Scot once shared with me that his wish has always been a simple one: “to sell carrots from my own backyard.” He recalled raiding a garden for carrots and scraping off the dirt with his hands.  He remembered the sweetness and the crunch and added “even the dirt tasted good.”

Gutsy Scot was the first of Winnipeg’s restaurateurs to deliver Manitoba regional cuisine like bison, pickerel cheeks, Arctic Char, Northern Pike caviar, grass-fed beef and Bothwell cheese.  The all-Canadian wine list was also a bold move when he first opened, but feels vindicated now with the focus on both food and wine from closer to home.  He believes that Canadian wines are the perfect pairing to Chef Lorna Murdoch’s cuisine.

Like many cities, Winnipeg is disproportionately lacking in female chefs. Chef Lorna is one of our shining stars. When you meet her in real life you might be surprised by her diminutive stature. She is petite, but her imaginative food combinations and taste profiles are not. They are enormous!

We started our evening with white truffle perogies, loving both in equal portions. The duck sausage was a savoury layer; the walnut cream sauce hit this starter out of the park! Also sampled were the Caesar salad and the soup of tomorrow-both terrific.

The guys decided upon the elk tenderloin that was available that evening. My husband shared the myriad of roasted local vegetables with me. Chicken stuffed with mushrooms and mascarpone cheese was perfect on its own, sensational with squash gnocchi.


I often choose vegetable-centric entrees, not because I do not enjoy meat but because I am a veggie nut. I could have enjoyed the handmade tagliatelle noodles (a cousin to fettuccine) with a simple bit of garlic and a good olive oil. I was in heaven when the pasta was intertwined with ribbons of artichoke, pickled squash and wilted greens. Wow, just wow!

Fusion Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Classical cooking and molecular gastronomy should remain separate. You can mix two styles and get fusion; any more, and you just get confusion.”-Alain Ducasse


Love, that is all.

Chew Restaurant


I believe that Winnipeg is a wonderful place to raise a family an was not surprised when I heard the story of Chew Restaurant owners Kristen Chemerika an Kyle Lew and their desire to select an alternate lifestyle for their family than the one that Toronto provides.  I was also not astonished by the quality of their offerings once I read of their culinary pedigrees.  Chew is an excellent addition to Winnipeg’s vibrant culinary scene.

Upon entering the inauspicious storefront, contained in a little retail strip at 532 Waterloo St. (at Corydon), I was immediately struck by the warm but simple décor.  Our servers were equally warm and accommodated us for a quick dinner even though they were chock full with reservations.


Immediately, a basket of just plucked from the oven bread was placed in front of us with a ramekin of marrow butter alongside. The bread was yeasty and delicious on its own, perfection when smeared with the butter.


Two enormous seared sea scallops subsequently arrived with a saffron infused cauliflower puree and crispy beet chips for crunch.  The scallop was crusty on the outside and just barely cooked in the middle, which is just the way I like them.  Sister #3 would have appreciated them more had they been left in the searing pan for slightly longer.


Moving from tastes of the sea, to deep an earthy flavours from the land, next up were roasted mushrooms.  The wild mushrooms were made rich and creamy when the poached egg yolk that was perched on top seeped through the bounty from the forest.


Total unnecessary, but a delight just the same, were the truffle fries that we indulged in as well.  The hint of precious truffle oil elevated the already memorable fries to a whole new level.  When we return and I am somewhat braver, I may try the other fries on the compact menu, made from slivers of pig’s ear.


Sister #3 returned for lunch the very next day and shared three items with her lunch companion.  Here’s what she had to say: “Our salad was amazing.  Fresh purple beets along with pickeled yellow beets. The fig vinaigrette off-set the sweetness of the beets and stood up to the saltiness of the halloumi cheese.


Our sandwich was guanciale, baby greens, marinated tomato and herb aioli but our waitress described it well as an Italian version of a BLT.  The tomatoes looked like hierlooms to me and were bright with flavor and very juicy. Guanciale is an italian bacon which was delicate but delicious.


I was glad that we ordered a side of pecan smoked bacon as it added even more yummy bacon flavor to our lunch.  I had thought there might be a sweetness to the bacon but there wasn’t.  It was thick cut and obviously cooked a long time over pecan flames, making it crispy and full of flavour.  K said it reminded her of farm bacon. ”


Chew places a banana muffin alongside your bill instead of the typical after dinner mints.  I think that the little treat is so thoughtful, kind of like receiving a goodie bag when you were little and left a birthday party.

Chew on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “But I will place this carefully fed pig Within the crackling oven; and, I pray, What nicer dish can e’er be given to man.” –Aeschylus, ancient Greek poet


Love-that is all.