January 23, 2019

Winnipeg
-13° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Fast flavours

No-frills Asian spot in Exchange parkade a winning ticket in lunchtime lottery

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Chosabi sushi burrito.</p></p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Chosabi sushi burrito.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/3/2016 (1035 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

From 1895 to 2009, the Ryan Block stood at the southwest corner of King Street and Bannatyne Avenue, serving in its latter years as a handsome red-brick anchor for Old Market Square.

Like too many other downtown Winnipeg buildings, this heritage structure sat vacant for so long, its owner argued for the right to flatten it. In a rare display of resolve, city council agreed to allow the demolition to proceed only if the brick facade was reconstructed. A pile of public money helped seal the deal.

That’s the original story behind the Bedford Parkade, which opened in 2010 with 19 underground parking stalls, 140 above grade and a row of King Street storefronts that wound up looking lonely and forlorn for the better part of five years.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/3/2016 (1035 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

From 1895 to 2009, the Ryan Block stood at the southwest corner of King Street and Bannatyne Avenue, serving in its latter years as a handsome red-brick anchor for Old Market Square.

 

Like too many other downtown Winnipeg buildings, this heritage structure sat vacant for so long, its owner argued for the right to flatten it. In a rare display of resolve, city council agreed to allow the demolition to proceed only if the brick facade was reconstructed. A pile of public money helped seal the deal.

That’s the original story behind the Bedford Parkade, which opened in 2010 with 19 underground parking stalls, 140 above grade and a row of King Street storefronts that wound up looking lonely and forlorn for the better part of five years.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The parkade on King Street features Chosabi Asian Eatery and Bronuts on the main floor.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The parkade on King Street features Chosabi Asian Eatery and Bronuts on the main floor.

Happily, this mixed-use frankenparkade is now an Exchange District destination unto itself, thanks to a trio of casual restos aimed at the college students and creative types who study and work in the city’s most attractive neighbourhood.

The first tenant to move in was King + Bannatyne, a sandwich counter that makes superior brisket and porchetta, in late 2014. It was followed by Bronuts, a donut shop that’s improved steadily since it started slinging pastry in the spring of 2015.

The third and final piece of the parkade puzzle, Chosabi Asian Eatery, now occupies the largest of storefronts facing King Street. It’s a pan-Asian fast-casual addition to the small but significant portfolio of Winnipeg restaurants created by Cho Venevongsa, a sushi chef-turned-restaurateur who also runs Wasabi On Broadway in West Broadway and Wasabi Sabi in South River Heights.

Unlike the two Wasabis, priced at the higher end of the restaurant market, Chosabi is decidedly mid-range. It’s a spare concrete space with an industrial vibe, counter service and a short, smart menu of oversized sushi rolls, sandwiches and rice bowls.

While Venevongsa is an old hand at Japanese cuisine, Chosabi also dabbles in Vietnamese, Philippine, Thai and Polynesian flavours. The standout dish is the Hawaiian poké bowl, which bears little resemblance to genuine poké, a marinated raw-fish salad. Rather, it’s a mound of sushi rice topped with shoyu-seasoned raw tuna and salmon, a few edamame beans, wakame seaweed salad, won-ton crisps drizzled with wasabi aioli, avocado chunks and slices of cucumber and red onions. It’s a fresh and fulfilling meal-in-a-bowl, even if the vessel itself is too small to allow all the ingredients to be mixed together easily — and the onion slices are way too thick.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>The Poké Bowl makes a fresh, filling lunch.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Poké Bowl makes a fresh, filling lunch.

The other satisfying rice bowl is the Pacman special, which is actually Filipino breakfast, unfortunately named after a homophobic boxer-politician. Soy-seasoned rice is topped with chunks of sweet tocino sausage, a fried egg, green beans, carrot slices and a few fronds of kale. The veggies are bland, but a squirt of sriracha provides enough balance to make the meal work. Even better would be garlic-seasoned vinegar, the standard breakfast condiment in Philippine diners.

That said, Chosabi is not interested in purism. If it did, the menu would not be dominated by "sushi burritos," which are are futomaki-sized torpedoes of nori-wrapped sushi rice, stuffed with with fillings such as a tuna-salmon-surimi-avocado combo, deep-fried (unsustainable) shrimp with sweet mango sauce, shiitake mushrooms with veggies or deep-fried chicken strips with a sweet-chili sauce.

The textural combinations are fantastic, even if the oversized rolls — sliced in half on the bias, like standard deli-sandwich wraps — make for messy eating. And let’s be honest: It’s way easier to scarf down one big roll over a frantic lunch-hour than it is to daintily dip your way through a series of slender maki slices. Just don’t think of them as burritos, especially if you’ve ever spent any time in San Francisco.

Along with rice bowls and the sacrilegious faux-burritos, a selection of banh mi rounds out the main menu options. I didn’t bother with the traditional cold-cut variety, knowing an $8 sandwich would annoy me when the real Vietnamese deal is $3.25 in the West End. The sweet and spicy marinated tofu banh mi, however, could win over even carnivores, as long you don’t mind a mushy filling.

Chosabi also has open coolers stocked with grab-and-go sashimi, goma-ae salad and smoothie ingredients that can be blended on site. There’s Fort Garry dark and Sapporo on tap, a range of yuppie sodas in a cooler and an espresso machine behind the counter.

This spot is busy during weekday lunch hours, but the churn is very fast at six tables, a windowfront counter and that staple of hipster-restaurant design, the long communal table. Chosabi is destined to be the go-to spot for a quick bite of something healthier than fast-food. And if you can’t find parking on the street, just head upstairs.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

More Images

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us