Banza Noodle and Tea House occupies the space once home to Sherbrook Street Delicatessen. I am a fan of anything noodle related, so I looked forward to visiting Banza, but it took me a few months to get there the first time.
My first time at Banza was a take-out meal. I was meeting with Mike Maunder and Terese Taylor from West End Streets, to discuss what has become my monthly restaurant review for that paper.
For some reason I can’t find any of the pictures that I took that day. I remember that Terese ordered a tofu dish, most notable for the very large chunk of tofu it contained. What Mike ordered, I can’t remember. I do remember that I ordered the Akuma Miso Ramen;
Spicy. Ramen noodles in spicy miso base pork and chicken broth topped with signature braised pork belly, scallions, black fungi, sweet corns, and soy-marinated egg.
This dish really lived up to the spicy label. The broth was rich, and the pork belly had that real good, melt in your mouth quality to it.
Dining in at Banza
Since that initial visit I have been back a couple of times to try their food.
When you step into the restaurant, the general layout doesn’t seem much changed from it’s days as Sherbrook Delicatessen. Two noticeable changes, however.
One, all the pictures of local Winnipeg people, landmarks, etc. are all gone. There is some art up on the wall, but visual art is less prominent.
Two, the tables are all designed to sit six each. It seemed there was a somewhat greater variety of table configurations when it was the deli. However, I am aging, so the seating may just be a figment of my faltering memory.
On my first visit, I ordered the Beef Bulgogi. As much as I enjoy noodles, I also enjoy rice dishes. As you can see, the egg on top, was well cooked and ready to let the yolk run as I cut into it.
The dish is well-seasoned, and with the romaine and bean sprouts it makes for a satisfying but not heavy meal.
To go with the food, I ordered a Passion Fruit-Lemon Tea. This is one of the simpler beverages om the menu. It contains real fruit, but on the whole, it is a light, not overly sweet and very refreshing tea.
This is the kind of beverage I would drop in to get on a really hot summer day.
As you can tell from the ingredients, this bears a strong resemblance to the Akuma Miso Ramen I ordered on my first visit. However, the soy and chili sauces give it a taste distinct from the soup. There’s a little bit of sweetness to go with the spice.
I tried a different beverage on this trip, The Mango Matcha Slushie. Again, it’s a beverage I really enjoyed. Flavour-wise the Mango predominates, which I like. The slushie is good and creamy, but, like the tea I tried on my earlier visit, also quite light and refreshing.
Service at Banza has been fast, friendly, and efficient every time I’ve been.
I don’t get down Sherbrook as much as I used to. That’s a combination of not visiting St. Margaret’s all that often, and Winnipeg Transit changing the route of the number 10 bus. However, when the weather is warmer, I expect I’ll get back to Banza once or twice every few months.