Bento Sushi Express – Portage Place


From time to time I like to try out different Food Court restaurants in local malls. Most of the time, these places aren’t all that spectacular but once in a while you run across one that is quite good. Such a place is Sushi June in CityPlace. Having enjoyed Sushi June, I thought I would give the Bento Sushi Express location in Portage Place a try.

Bento Sushi Express Bento Box

The Bento Sushi Express Bento Box. A bit of a mixed bag.

My first visit was around closing time for the food court, and I wasn’t sure that they would have all their menu items available. So, I picked up one of their packaged rolls, figuring if nothing else I would get a second one if the menu items weren’t available. Happily, when I ordered the Beef Udon soup, there was no problem getting it made for me.

The soup was quite good. I was pleased with the richness of the broth and there is also a good portion of tender beef, and lots of noodles as well. Continue reading

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Tasty Soup at Portage Place


The other day, I was wandering through Portage Place and decided that I might stop in at the Food Court for a bite to eat. I was planning on doing a bit of a circle through, but when I got to the east end, I noticed that the Teriyaki Experience kiosk was gone, and had been replaced by a new Asian restaurant called L & Y Tasty Soup.

Tasty Soup Sign

The L & Y Tasty Soup Sign.

There was a bit of a hand-made approach to some of the signage and I asked my counter server whether or not L & Y Tasty Soup is part of a chain. She told me it is not. It is a unique local restaurant. This made me quite happy, as I like supporting local restaurants, and you don’t often find them in malls.

Tasty Soup Meals

My first I decided I would go with the Chicken Curry. I was going to add the Salad Rolls, but as it was towards the end of the day Saturday they were sold out. So I opted for a spring roll instead. The spring roll was all right, but nothing remarkable. The Chicken Curry was quite mild, but the curry sauce was flavourable and smooth and mixed well with the rice, making it easy to pick up with the chopsticks. The chicken was quite tender and there were lots of pieces. Continue reading

Coffee Depot-Downtown Skywalk


Back in January I wrote a post on Café Asante. In it I explained how a fall had caused me to spend more time walking indoors. While it has it’s critics, I really appreciated the downtown walkway system. Especially during the real cold months. With the weather warming up I’m sure I’ll be spending more time outdoors when I walk. Still, it’s nice to know the walkway is there. That could also describe Coffee Depot, a little hole-in-the-wall café located in the walkway.

Coffee Depot Sign

The sign advertising Coffee Depot’s specialty the Fava Mudammas

The Beautiful Game at Coffee Depot:

I first discovered Coffee Depot during Euro 2012. I’m not a massive footie fan, but am generally aware of what is going on in the sport. The TV in the place isn’t the biggest screen, but I knew the game would always be on. On top of that I knew the owner wouldn’t object if I sat there and watch almost the entire game while nursing one cup of coffee. Continue reading

Thai Express – Portage Place


A few months ago, I asked a question in the Manitoba Food Bloggers Facebook group. What is your favourite food court restaurant. I got a variety of answers. Oddly, I can’t remember what my own answer to the question was. All I know is that it has changed. Back then it likely would have been Koya Japan. Now it is undoubtedly Thai Express. Specifically the Thai Express in Portage Place.

Thai Express Napkin

Corny and cheeky napkins were on offer this summer.

I like Thai food, so it should come as no surprise that I would give a Thai restaurant in a Food Court a try. I’ve been there several times in the past, but the last two visits are the one’s that have cemented Thai Express’s place as my food court favourite. Last night I was on my way through downtown and wanted to stop for dinner before heading on to the event I was attending. I didn’t realize the Jets were playing, and so the first place I stopped in was fuller than I hoped. I figured this might be the case at most place and decided to check out the Portage Place food court. Continue reading

STUDIO 393


 As a denizen of downtown Winnipeg I often find myself traversing the lengths of Portage Place mall. Those who know the history of this mall, and I won’t go into it here, know that it will not go down as the most successful mall in Winnipeg’s history. As a result, the storefronts often change or are being used for displays for other businesses in the mall.

 The last few times I had been through, I noticed that on the second floor, northside, one of the empty spaces had been opened up, and there was a collections of plastic banquet tables, with a few people around, mainly youths. While there weren’t a lot of people there, I notice that there were always some doing something. So today, on my wander home, I decided to stop in and see what was going on.

 When I first stepped in, I thought it was one of those design you own t-shirt types of store, except that the people that were doing the designing were creating everything. When I approached the young woman at the counter I discovered that it was something quite different. Studio 393, which takes its name from the street address of Portage Place, is a summer arts outreach program made possible through The Winnipeg Foundation. There promo material reads as follows:

 Studio 393 is an exciting pilot project! An art studio located on the second floor of Portage Place Mall in Downtown Winnipeg, teens will be able to access quality arts instruction and community resources at this exciting new store front space! Studio 393 will be operating Summer 2011, offering amazing workshop opportunities to youth 13 and older in Jewelry Design, Silkscreening, Hip Hop Dance, Fashion Design, and Visual Arts. Summer 2011 Workshops will be provided by Martha Street and Graffiti Art Programming.

 Join us for our Grand Opening, Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at Studio 393.

 As for becoming a member:

 In becoming a member at Studio 393 you will receive weekly emails regarding upcoming programming and the opportunity to register early for workshops that interest you!

 All Workshops offered at STUDIO 393 are free or charge and designed for teens aged 13 and older.

Registration form are available at the counter in the Portage Place space, and there is more information available from GraffitiArt Programming Inc. 109 Higgins Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0B5, Phone 204-667-9960.

 If you know any teens in the downtown area, this is something you might want to let them know about. If you don’t know any teens, tell your friends, because they might. If you know no teens and have no friends, come down to the site at Portage Place on July 6th, for the Grand Opening.