Palatal - Yakiniku Restaurant

FTLComm - Winnipeg, Mb - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

You remember your parents telling you, or you as a parent telling your child "don't play with your food." It seems that we all love to fool around with food one way or another and the joy we get from sharing a meal with each other is perhaps more important to us than the meal itself.

For the second time we went to the Southern part of Winnipeg in the area near the University of Manitoba to visit a rather unusual restaurant. It is a buffet arrangement at which you can work your way through

what would pass for appetizers then perhaps a salad. Then its on to the main course.

But before we get to that we have to consider the environment. The entrance to the establishment has an excellent collection of porcelain with a decor that seems to tell you loud and clear that this is the orient. The hostess was dressed in a kimono and the waiters and waitresses were in full costume.

Now the main course, there are two ways of preparing your meal. You can have the staff stoke up the burners at your table and do-it-yourself or you can load up your plate with the vegetables, beef, pork and chicken, imbibe them with the sauce of your choice and one of the two chef's cook your meal to the specifications that you ask for.

So little fat is used that the meal is extraordinarily

nutritious and since you decided what it was you can take full credit for its flavour and creative combination of ingredients.

It took the salad, appetizers and two main dishes to banish hunger for many hours and in the mean time the social experience and good humour of the patrons and staff made the evening a delight. It actually took us more than two hours but the restaurant was swamped with holidaying customers we spent a lot of time in line.

The lady at the selection table above was able to give me a joke on demand: "What did the mouse who took Viagra say?" . . . . "Here kitty Kitty."

Unlike many oriental eating places afterward there was not a hint or after taste of cooking oil just the satisfaction of a good meal and great company.