Sushi in the Exchange District

August 25, 2006

Despite being located in the middle of the continent, Winnipeg is home to some fabulous sushi restaurants. Edohei, Wasabi (both locations), Asahi and Yujiro are all fabulous (and one is dangerously close to my home).

But the office where I toil away at my day job is located in a sushi dead zone. There are lots of other options (including one of Winnipeg’s only wine bars). But there isn’t anywhere nearby where I can scarf down some raw fish.

Edohei is about a fifteen minute hike away in good weather, and Asahi is close enough by bus. But there’s nowhere that I can walk to for a few pieces of salmon and a bakudan roll. So when I saw that BluFish, a new sushi restaurant had opened up on Bannatye (a mere three blocks from my door), I was curious.

Blufish - and my building is visible in the picture too

But proximity is one thing. Taste (and quality) is another. So I ventured in there last week in the hopes of finding a new lunch spot to call home. And I came away both full and impressed.

The space is small, but tastefully decorated (although the orange walls could have been a shade darker). Service was very friendly and professional, but not so speedy. It was very busy in there, so I’ll see what the speed is like next time.

And the food? Dee-freakin’-licious. My dining companion and I split a number of dishes. The nigri sushi was huge and fresh (the salmon required two bites).

There were a number of interesting rolls on the menu, including the Bannatyne (spicy tuna with fresh salmon sashimi and avocado on top) and the BluFish (crab meat, tamago, ebi, hokkigai, vegetable, avocado, tobiko on outside). If it weren’t for the fact that I am dangerously allergic to crab, I could have happily gorged on nothing but BluFish rolls.

We also tried the excellent spicy tuna tataki rolls (Japanese and Vietnamese herbs wrapped in fresh strips of lightly torched tuna sashimi) and their shiitake mushroom rolls – which contained nicely diced shiitakes instead of huge chunks. Everything was fresh and very well prepared – especially the rice (which didn’t fall apart at all).

The wine list was very small, but well chosen. Since I was heading back to work, I had to content myself with green tea. My dining companion was under no such constraints and enjoyed a very tasty Chardonnay for a reasonable price.

And not only is the location convenient to work, it’s also within easy walking distance of MTC, the Warehouse and the Concert Hall. I share seasons tickets to the Warehouse, so I know where I’ll be going before my next play!

I don’t normally do restaurant reviews on this site, but I couldn’t resist putting in a good word for this restaurant. They will do fine at lunch, but there isn’t a lot of evening foot traffic in that area if there are no plays or concerts on. So if you’re looking for a new sushi bar to frequent, you would do well to stop in at BluFish.



  1. The new blog looks good!

  2. Always good to hear about another sushi place. Masa isn’t near you (it’s on Pembina in the same strip mall as Pembina Fine Wines) but it’s one of the best (if not the best) in the city and well worth trying out.

  3. Blufish is an excellent sushi restaurant. The servers are always friendly and knowledgable. The food is excellent. My friend and I go there about once a week and we’ve never had a bad meal.

  4. BluFish is AMAZING!!! Dare I say the best sushi in the Winnipeg… that’s a bold statement I know… but I’ve tried tons of of places and the quality and portions at BlueFish are fantastic!! I suggest getting the red tuna sashimi or the Bakudan roll made with the red tuna. It’s worth the extra cost.

  5. I have tried their red tuna Bakudan – it was so good. Haven’t gone for the sashimi yet, but I think I might have to now that you’ve mentioned it!

  6. I would order ANY of the sashimi plates at BluFish, but the red tuna was great!!! We also ordered Salmon which was fantastic as well. And as good as the rolls were, the sashimi is what blew me away.

  7. Took the staff to bluefish today for lunch. Simply AMAZING!

    Thanks for the great service guys.


  8. Nice atmosphere and good sushi. A bit more expensive than I expected. But I guess you got what you pay for.

  9. I will not step foot into this restaurant again. I don’t expect others to conquer, but I have to let you make your own decision just the same. I witnessed a staff that was poorly trained and recklessly indifferent when it came to making a common sense decision regarding a 2 year old child playing at a stairwell. I asked our server and the next table’s server to let the parents of this child know that it was playing in a dangerous place. I was told abruptly that “it is not my kid”. I wonder what other horribly, irrational, and egocentric decisions the cooking staff, and the owner/manager are making regarding food prep and food quality when they permit socially inept servers to represent them. I hope the little boy is ok – I did my best while I was there as I firmly believe it take a village to raise a child. I thought Canadians with an internationally enviable socialized medical care system would (like me) take that sentiment closer to their own backyard.

  10. I’m really reluctant to let this blog become a forum for complaints. If you have a legitimate beef with the restaurant (and it sounds like you may), might I suggest either taking it up with them directly or posting a warning to that effect on Chowhound or another such forum.

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