IGI BBQ AND SUSHI BISTRO
Neighbourhood: Fort Garry
Address: 1875 Pembina Hwy
Pack appetite and head down Pembina to IGI BBQ and Sushi Bistro, the second eatery of Dee Chan and the owner of close by Cantonese favourite Sun Fortune, and the first for partner David Kong.
The sleek, contemporary dining room is composed of stainless steel support beams, red walls and a blond wood feature wall with curious, or perhaps wise, painted characters with coupled words, such as addiction-happiness and desire-satisfaction.
If your desire is to eat without restraint you will find all-you-can-eat satisfaction here.
A sizeable, charming staff glides swiftly between tables in the hundred plus seat dining room, educating guests on the ordering process and deftly replacing the hot grill tops inlayed between facing diners. The sheer quantity of choices-75 Japanese-style dishes on the dinner menu and 24 proteins, veggies and fungi for the Korean grill-can overwhelm and inspire a frenzied over-ordering.
Sushi paramours will find respectable renditions of standard rolls such as California, spider and tamago maki here alongside well-executed appetizer classics; crisp agedashi tofu, octopus sunomono salad and pungent kimchi-a nod to the Korean influence. Lusciously unctuous morsels of grilled saba fish clinging with crackling crisp skin are a not-to-be-missed delight. Sashimi is a great value for the voracious, generously sized morsels of octopus, red snapper and albacore tuna are unlimited with yellow tail and big eye tuna available Fridays through Sundays (three piece limit on weekend sashimi specials).
The iron Korean barbeque grills introduce hands-on fun of selecting, grilling and saucing your own sustenance. For an environment filled with flames the restaurant remains notably smoke-free, grills are fueled by gas fire and tabletop signage makes promises of no MSG.
Selections of raw foods, from tender green asparagus and golden pineapple rings to large skin-on shrimp and subtly marinated pork tongue are delivered in small, stackable trays to be grilled using tongs. Excellent results require a bit of overseeing, as translucently thin slices of sea salted bacon and sliced lamb cook in mere seconds per side. Play with texture and taste combinations, utilizing a condiment trio of sweet peanut satay sauce, finely grated garlic and robust, chili-laced Korean barbeque sauce. Grilling discovery: when placed cap down, button mushrooms swell and fill with enjoyable earthy juices.
Discovery of the thrill of the grill is only enhanced by good company, whereas you may need to arrive early to score a seat at this sizzling smorgasbord, it is worth the effort for its entertaining elements and ability to please a plethora of palates.
And for dessert-ice cream, just one scoop mind you but we reckon after an episode of all-you-can eating it’ll be all you’ll have room for. The creamy cool texture and roasted nuttiness of black sesame is in eternal good taste.