IGI BBQ Grill and Sushi Bistro is a somewhat hidden gem on 1875 Pembina Highway, near the A&W that is close to Bishop Grandin Blvd. I’ve felt the lure to come here for a while now by the promise of an all-you-can-eat sushi and Korean barbeque menu that I’ve read about. They also serve single entrees, but I suggest going with the all-you-can-eat deal to get the best bang for your buck. This place was definitely a winner and I highly recommend checking it out!
When walking in the place one notices the modern design. The large dining room is composed of stainless steel beams, red walls and one pale brown wood wall with painted characters that are paired with word pairs such as addiction-happiness and desire-satisfaction. These reflect your emotions coming into the place and then how you feel when you leave. I came in with a sushi addiction and left happy. I had the desire for all-you can eat barbeque and ended up satisfied. These things were all true.
There is also an all-you-can-eat regulations sign when walking into IGI. They make sure food is not wasted by charging a dollar per piece of sushi or shashimi that is ordered and three dollars for any other dish that is not eaten. I think this is a good policy and prevents people from getting too crazed on the notion that pretty much anything can be ordered with the all-you-can-eat deal.
There is no takeout for obvious reasons and a maximum stay of two hours. I found I stayed maybe an hour and fifteen minutes and had plenty of time to try a number of different things. The menu offers 75 Japanese style menu options including sushi, tempura, sashimi, salads, soups and a la carte’.
The service was good! The waiter prompty showed us to our table and gave us the in’s and out’s of the all-you-can-eat dining experience at IGI. He showed us how to work the barbeque grill, which was built-in and centered in the middle of our table.
For the barbeque grill there are 24 vegetable and meat options. We went with asparagus, sea salt bacon, and salmon. These came out in small white trays uncooked with prongs to handle them with. The portion of each piece of meat and sparagus seemed perfect for stacking beside each other on the grill. We were also given three condiments with the BBQ portion: finely chopped garlic, spicy Korean barbeque sauce and a peanut satay sauce. We put in the garlic with the asparagus and it tasted amazing when we finally decided that it was cooked to perfection. The bacon was thick and juicy and the salmon was delicious as well.
Barbequing food at your table is a fun way to eat and brings something different to the dining experience. I’ve been to one other place in Winnipeg for do-it-yourself Korean barbeque (which is actually located very close to IGI) and I must say that IGI was by far better in many ways.
I ordered the tempura eggplant and tempura shrimp which has a very nice, light flaky tempura batter on them which was not coated on too thick which was nice. The eggplant was melt-in-you-mouth delicious. The large shrimps used were very nice and juicy as well. The tempura came with the soy based tempura sauce which went well with both the shrimp and the eggplant.
As far as sashimi goes tuna is definitely my favourite. IGI offered not one, but two types of tuna so I tried but the albacore tuna and big eye tuna and asked for three pieces each. They come served with shredded daikon and wasabi in case people want to kick it up a notch. The albacore was a pale, milder tuna and is how one would generally expect raw tuna to taste like. The big eye tuna is one of the options that’s only available on weekends and limits orders to a maximum of three pieces each. It was definitely fleshier and had a more complex taste to it. I would recommend both of them if you are a tuna fan because it is nice to compare them. Both were very fresh tasting and prepared in an elegant fashion.
The baked mussels were so good. I kind of wish I would have ordered more than two while I was there. I’m not sure exactly how they bake them but they had a buttery, creamy taste to them that was out of this world.
I am a sushi nut and it was hard only limiting myself to two rolls. I wanted the room to try other things on the menu and I know how deceptively filling those little pieces of seaweed wrapped fish can be. The two sushi rolls I tried were the spider roll and the mango tango roll. Both were excellent. The spider roll with its deep fried soft shell crab, avocado, horseradish sprigs, fish eggs and mayo was very good. The avocado paired nicely with the fried crab and mayo. I tried the mango tango roll for something different. It was shrimp tempura, mango, cucumber mayo and mango sauce. This was a surprisingly nice sweet/salty combination and I would definitely try it again.
I knew I had to save some room for the ice cream which came in a lot of unusual, but tasty looking options. Flavours included green tea, mango, black sesame, ginger and taro. I wanted to try all of these, but decided to use some self control and have a scoop of the only the black sesame and ginger ice cream. The ginger was good, with pieces of crystallized ginger candy in the ice cream, it was sweet with the spicy kick of ginger. My favourite, however, has got to be the black sesame. The cloudy looking grey colour of the ice cream may seem off-putting, but the subtle nutty mixed with vanilla flavour is drool worthy.
The all-you-can-eat meal deal goes for 25.95 on weekdays and 28.95 from Friday to Sunday. There are a couple more options offered from Friday to Sunday, such as rarer sashimi which is probably worth it to go for. I feel like the all-you-can eat price is definitely worth it, considering how much you can get, and the great quality of the food itself. Sashimi alone is usually fairly expensive so it is worth going just for that! At the end of the meal. I left feeling satisfied and very full. I ate everything I ordered and showed that meal deal who was boss.