Reviews and Such Restaurants

Magic Sushi – McPhillips Street

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a sushi restaurant. Sushi Gen and Mooshiro were among my earliest reviews. Magic Sushi, on McPhillips, is one place that I’ve heard a lot about, but never visited. In fact, I didn’t realize until my first visit that it featured an all you can eat buffet.

Magic Sushi condiments
Wasabi and ginger


Mondays – Saturdays: 11 am – 10 pm

Sundays: Closed

Magic Sushi Buffet

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I’ve heard from many people over the years that Magic Sushi & Wok is quite a busy restaurant. I made sure to grab a bus fairly early so that I could arrive before the supper rush. That’s a good decision. Even before 6 pm the restaurant is quite full. I end up with a space close to the counter at the back of the room.

The restaurant is divided up into two communal tables down the middle and several more around the edges. This arrangement allows for large groups while at the same time fitting in the ones and twos. Shortly after being seated I was brought a pitcher of ice water. It’s not designed this way, but something about the decorations on the wall, etc. made me think of MASH. I expect Hawkeye Pierce to walk through the door any minute.

Miso soup
A rich, nourishing bowl of Miso Soup

The buffet costs around $14.00. So, I found myself with a decision to make. Do I try and stuff as much buffet into me as possible, or do I try and include a couple of the non-buffet items into my meal. I decided the latter. Along with the buffet items, I added a small Udon soup and later some spicy sashimi.

Magic Sushi Udon Soup
The Udon Noodle Soup was packed with noodles and I really enjoyed the flavour.

One thing I like about the all-you-can eat Sushi buffets, is that I can order several items. Once I finish them, I can generally order other items and be pretty sure they will be available.

Buffet Bites

The first item in the gallery above is the Sashimi. While the presentation of the buffet items was reasonably good, I must say that I was caught off guard by the way the Sashimi looked. The plating is very well done on the artistic front. Thankfully the flavour matched the artistry. The fish is fresh and firm in it ‘s texture. On top of that the spicy sauce is actually spicy.

One thing I really enjoy eating is the Edamame. I join sucking the salt off of the pods before squeezing the beans out of the pods and into my mouth. Both of the salads are quite good. The rolls are also quite good. I appreciate the fact that while there is a fair bit of sauce it’s not overly thick. The shrimp in the dynamite roll is really good, and fresh.

My visit to Magic Sushi to try out the buffet made me think about a question that was posted in the Manitoba Food Bloggers Facebook group a while back. The question was to the effect of why is it that some restaurants seem to under price and under sell themselves. I think Magic Sushi under prices it’s buffet. At about $14.00 the price is cheap, but the quality suggests that this buffet should charge more than it does.

Nigiri Meal:

Yesterday, I decided to go back to Magic Sushi to give their Nigiri platter a try. I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent posts about all the rain we are experiencing in Winnipeg. Well, October is here and we are no longer dealing with rain. Instead we are having our first blizzard of the year. This time I looked up the bus schedule to make sure I got as close to the restaurant as possible. This time the restaurant is not quite as full, but by the time I left it is starting to fill up.

more miso from Magic Sushi
Another bowl of miso.

Given the blizzardy conditions I was looking forward to another bowl of miso soup. It turns out that it is usually only available as part of the buffet. It took a bit of back and forth before I was able to order a bowl without having to pay for a whole buffet on top of my NIgiri platter and Gyoza to get the bowl of soup. In the end they simply added a bowl to my bill.

The Nigiri platter comes in 10 and 20 piece sizes. I ordered the 20 piece. The menu offers several varieties of the Nigiri. I ordered 4 pieces of four different fish varieties along with two pieces of the Shiitake Mushroom and two of the Shrimp. I also placed an order for the Gyoza.

Magic Sushi Gyoza
The gyoza from Magic Sushi might be my favourite dish there.

Delightful Gyoza

The gyoza come out before the Nigiri. These are some of the best gyoza I’ve had. They seem to hit the perfect balance between crispy and chewy with the pastry and the filling is moist and rich in flavour.

Magic Sushi Nigiri Platter
My Nigiri Platter. Yes, I did try a couple of the items before I remembered to take the picture.

The platter contains two versions of salmon, tuna, and imiitation crab. As well there are the two pieces of shrimp and the two shiitake mushrooms. My eagerness to enjoy the dish, meant that I tried a couple of pieces before I remembered tat I wanted to take a photograph of them. Like the sashimi that I ate on my previous vision the fish in the Nigiri platter is all firm and fresh.

The service here is good and attentive. I really notice this with the buffet ordering. Often, after you place your first order, you have trouble getting your server’s attention to order additional items. Not at Magic Sushi, while there is a short wait, my server came by and took my second order within a couple of minutes of me writing it down. One thing to note is that there aren’t a lot of beverage choices. On my first visit I chose canned pop. On my second I stuck with water as my beverage. Magic Sushi & Wok is not licensed

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.