Diner’s Digest lets you see health inspectors’ reviews of local restaurants

Marion Warhaft has been dishing out local restaurant reviews for decades, his/her reviews being  so widely read that the owners of brand-new restaurants are thought to live in fear of a bad review. (Warhaft’s identity and even existence is the subject of rumour around town. The Winnipeg Free Press claims that Marion Warhaft is a real person, but rumour has it that Marion is a fictitious persona assumed by Free Press staffers.)

However, even Marion Warhaft doesn’t have access to the kitchens of the city’s restaurants, where all sorts of surprises may lurk. Health inspectors working for the City of Winnipeg’s Community Services Department, however, do have access to the nooks and crannies that few customers ever see. Their reviews might not make it into the newspapers, but they are published on the City of Winnipeg’s web site, and are certainly worth checking up on from time to time.

Some of their latest “reviews” can be seen below. Note that many of these restaurants have likely improved their game as a result of these inspections. Thus, past problems — or the lack thereof — do not necessarily reflect current conditions at any restaurant.

  • Koya Japan (St. Vital Centre, 1225 St. Mary’s Rd.): Hot foods must stay hot, cold foods must stay cold — so goes an old rule of thumb in the restaurant industry. Koya seemed to have a bit of a problem with this, as they were briefly closed on Dec. 14 for “improper food holding temperatures”.


  • Second Cup (740 Corydon Ave.): This often-packed (too packed, in my opinion) Corydon Village cafe doesn’t seem to have suffered much from the opening of a Starbucks directly across the street. The inspector found evidence, however, that it was drawing some of the less desirable types of clientele: rodents. This, plus a dishwasher that wasn’t sanitizing dishes properly, caused a one-day closure in early November.


  • Carlos and Murphy’s (129 Osborne St.): This popular Osborne Village watering hole was closed for a day last May because of a “mouse infestation in [the] food service area”.


  • Idol Asian Cuisine (1910 Pembina Hwy.): The health inspector didn’t exactly idolize the owners of this establishment for operating without a valid Food Service Establishment Permit during a visit last April


  • City Heart East Indian Cuisine (2280 Pembina Hwy.): It was clean-up time for this south end eatery last April after the health inspector arrived and found “filthy conditions throughout the establishment”.

Other places that have been given a slap on the wrist in the past year:

  • Kam Ho Chinese Restaurant (757 St. Mary’s Rd.): Dishwasher not sanitizing
  • Niakwa Pizza (612-A Academy Rd.): Rodent infestation; lack of sanitizing procedure
  • Brooklands Inn Cafe (8 Keewatin St.): Dishwasher not sanitizing
  • Hi Corner Cafe (330 Kennedy St.): Failure to sanitize food contact surfaces
  • Flying Pizza (660 Osborne St.): Lack of hot water; failure to sanitize dishes and utensils
  • 101 Cafe (1260 Taylor Ave.): Dishwasher not sanitizing
  • New West Hotel Restaurant (786 Main St.): Dishwasher not sanitizing
  • Plaza Restaurant (412 Union Ave.): Dishwasher dispensing inadequate amounts of chlorine to sanitize dishes
  • Chester Fried Chicken, Inkster Park Tempo Gas Bar (1484 Inkster Blvd.): No utensil washing facilities; no water available
  • Koya Japan (Polo Park, 1485 Portage Ave.): “Temperature abuse” and failure to sanitize
  • Aramark Canada (Mobile Food Unit): No proper termostat kept available; failure to keep cold foods cold; no soap or single-serve towels at handwashing basin
  • Bo’s Big Dogs (Mobile Food Unit): Failed to keep cold foods cold
  • Alycia’s Restaurant (559 Cathedral Ave.): Allowed people to smoke in spite of provincial ban on smoking in restaurants, and even made ashtrays available
  • Red Top Restaurant (219 St. Mary’s Rd.): Dishes and utensils not properly sanitized
  • Ocean King Restaurant (1800 Main St.): “Did fail to avoid contamination” and improper food storage
  • Win Win Restaurant (1399 McPhillips St.): Improper food storage
  • Bone Appetite (Pan Am Pool, 75 Poseidon Bay): Person in charge hadn’t completed mandatory food safety training; no sanitizer test kit; dishwashing problems; no convenient or accessible hand-washing sink
  • Charisma Chicken and Pizza (83 Sherbrook St.): Dirty floors, cold foods not kept cold, improper storage of cleaning cloths
  • Chicken Delight (1000 Nairn Ave.): Neither soap nor single-serve towels available at handwashing station

Sources: City of Winnipeg Community Services Department lists of closures and convictions


About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

6 Responses to Diner’s Digest lets you see health inspectors’ reviews of local restaurants

  1. Uptown says:

    “Alycia’s Restaurant (559 Cathedral Ave.): Allowed people to smoke in spite of provincial ban on smoking in restaurants, and even made ashtrays available”


    That’s not a health violation, it’s just sheer bravado!!!

  2. FUD says:

    Warhaft is a real person.


  4. Goodserving says:

    Hmmm…I heard it was just one ashtray they found, The resturaunt is closed for good. Too bad, Alicia’s made good ukrainian food and their closure was a loss to the community..

  5. Debbie Ryder says:

    Ricky’s restaurant must be experienced by all. The food wether it be steak, chicken, or pasta is sure to have you ooohing and awwwhing. Wednesday is 1/2 off glass of any wine on menu. I tried the Angel VQA – I paid $7.00 and it was exquisite. Both times we tried Ricky’s it left us planning to return soon, wondering who we could give a gift certificate to and who we would share this outstanding food experience with. This popular restaurant is located on Hwy 44 and Henderson Hwy, near Lockport and is attached to a gas station. It wasn’t an attractive feature on our first visit, however when we entered we were pleasantly surprised by the warm and inviting decor, prompt seating and serving service. Please take the time to try Rickly’s today. You deserve great food! I can’t wait to go back. Debbie & Ted

  6. Marion Warhaft is a sorry excuse Winnipeg has for a food critic. Come on, reviewing chain restaurants. Wow! Speaking of Wow, hospitality that is…Doug Steven can do no wrong by her. I put as much stock in her reviews as I do winning the 6/49 jackpot (i don’t play the lotteries..LOL)

    [Posted with edit]

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