THE KING’S HEAD PUB
Neighbourhood: Exchange District
Address: 120 King St
Phone: 204-957-7710, website
As far as post-clock out atmosphere goes, it doesn’t get much better than the lively yet laid back four level tavern that presides over Old Market Square like the grand dame of Winnipeg’s social scene.
Since opening its doors in 1988, The King’s Head has become iconic for its ethically diverse menu, dozens of beverages on tap, and live entertainment lineup like no other.
For those who head to the pub to unwind, happily the only source of stress here comes from deciding which of the more than 30 on-tap beers to try. On Saturday nights, dinner usually becomes a show, when the top floor turns into one of the city’s most popular live music venues.
On the wide-ranging menu, British, Irish, and Indian cuisine is met with a few Canadian touches.
Curries are a staple on any pub menu. Vegetable korma, a cream-based curry with yogurt, cashews, and raisins, is aromatic and packed with spice, served with basmati rice and warm naan bread. For an authentic tavern experience, dig into Scotch eggs, a paeon to traditional pub fare. The Yorkshire specialty consists of hard-boiled eggs wrapped in spiced pork, breaded, and fried to a crisp. Served here with mango chutney, this dish hits all the high notes: sweet, salty, umami-rich, and tangy.
Gazing at the pub’s compendium of poutine varieties, the message is clear: The King’s Head takes its chip stance seriously. Butter chicken poutine has become a modern classic in recent years, the Canadian-by-way-of-Delhi dish an unlikely and yet oh-so-good blend of sweet and spicy curry with crispy fries and gooey cheese.
The burger and sandwich section has a lot to offer, with King’s Head staples like the “Big Khanuja” burger, but the prime rib sandwich is a must try for Anglophiles looking to be transported via tastebuds to merry old England. Shaved house roasted prime rib is topped with horseradish mayo and caramelized onions. Melted Monterey Jack adds a twist, with a kick of jalapeno.
Thrill seekers who thrive on a little extra heat should opt for the Cajun chicken penne. Marinated grilled chicken breast is sliced and served on a bed of penne, coated in a spicy cream sauce, and topped with fresh grated parmesan.
Dessert is a housemade apple crisp set to rival dear old Gran’s, made with tart Granny Smith apples, a healthy dose of cinnamon, and a drizzle of sweet caramel sauce. Its effect is much like that of the pub itself: creating an atmosphere that feels like home, but better.