Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brunch. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Yolk's Restaurant and Commissionary

I decided to return from a long blogging slumber with the coverage of an east-side neighbourhood diner that is probably the most raved about in city at the moment; Yolk's!

My previous trip to New York City has seriously left me longing for a seriously good wholesome brunch, which is comparably scarce in Vancouver in my opinion.  I've been gawking at photos of oozing runny poached eggs from Yolk's for quite sometime on Urbanspoon.  Work schedule, however, only left me to write it up as a wish list up until last Sunday.

Located on Clarke and East Hastings, a lazy individual such as myself could only describe it as 'a road trip', or a mini 'journey' coming up from Richmond.  Since Yolk's doesn't take reservation, I already predicted that the wait would be long and eternal.  We should either go extremely early, or just before closing.  Nonetheless, we showed up at the door right around 11:30 am and met with the rest of the population crowding outside.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio

My family and I visited Aura at Laurel Point hotel on a beautiful sunny day.  It was a perfect setting for brunch; a picturesque oceanside scenery, warm weather, a quiet setting, and we didn't have a care in the world but to enjoy ourselves.

Aura offers contemporary Pacific West Coast inspired creations with influences from Japanese and Hawaiian cuisines.  There were a lot of more items on their lunch menu we didn't get to try since it was Sunday brunch.  Nonetheless, we really enjoyed a lot of the dishes here.

The complimentary chocolate and zucchini bread and refreshing strawberry banana smoothies were a really nice touch.   The zucchini bread was presented with a cute fresh flower.  Mini jars of jams, peanut butter and honey were there for you to go crazy on. I'm not a fan of raw bananas, but I was ready to order more of these smoothies.

Brunch just wouldn't be brunch without eggs benny.  Aura's Crab Benny is served with soft poached eggs over meaty Dungeness crab cakes.  The toasted brioche was fluffy with crispy edges, way better than the typical mundane English muffin.  The hollandaise sauce was nice and creamy, yet not too heavy.  Although it was infused with shiso, the flavour wasn't too overwhelming but very fragrant. Along side were melon salad and "home fries", or roasted fingerling potatoes.
Albacore tuna and tomato poke was our most memorable dish here.  Rather than typical guacamole, the chef put a spin on it and took it a step further, by making it into an avocado sorbet.  It was a fun and exciting plate with a party of flavours.  The tuna and tomato were well marinated and went great with the bed of noodles underneath.  The sorbet was really rich with fresh avocado taste, kinda like eating a frozen avocado paste.  Of course, it had to be eaten along with the tuna poke rather on its own.  I find that you only need a little bit of the sorbet to go with the tuna, though.

The steak sandwich was a favourite of my carnivorous sister.  The 6 oz. strip loin was served medium, though could have been more rare, but still very tender.  Over it were 2 jumbo onion rings, fragrant truffle mayo (mmm...) and toasted herb torpedo buns.  The frites arrived hot and crispy and we blamed ourselves for not ordering a side of truffle mayo to dip them in.  The newspaper-wax paper was a nice touch.  

Grilled romaine heart with crispy pancetta, soft poached egg, parmesan and pesto vinaigrette.  Compared to other dishes, this dish did the least for us.  Some parts of the romaine weren't grilled all the way through. And despite having most of my favourite ingredients, the dish wasn't enough to keep me interested after a few bites.
 We ended brunch with a few sweet notes.  The server recommended the 'Carmelia Valhrona Chocolate Bar'.  We took his words and we were glad we did.  This was no ordinary chocolate bar.  The texture was smooth with rich, dark chocolate flavour. It also had pop rock crunch which fizzled in your mouth with every bite.  Very exciting stuff.  The salted caramel ice cream on the side was wonderful with everything else around it.  Kudos.
 Lemon thyme cheesecake was also really nice.  I'm not a huge cheesecake fan as some can be too rich and I find it hard to swallow down without chasing with a glass of water.  But this cheesecake was more smooth and velvety, and very lemony in flavour.  It had a pleasing presentation being served with vibrant raspberry coulis and fruit salad.
I would definitely come back to Aura again for their relaxing atmosphere and exciting creations!

AURA waterfront restaurant + patio on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A must stop in Whistler, Aura at Nita Lake Lodge

Located at Nita Lake Lodge resort, Aura is an elegant lakeside restaurant, which the moment you step in, radiates  a warm, cozy vibe and a stunning view of nature.  We settled in cozily for the Saturday's brunch during a quiet mid day. Since it was off-season, the area was really secluded and so the whole place was pretty much ours to enjoy for the moment.

 Now, it's rare that I would say this, but the service was just outstanding. We were warmly greeted and the staff remained proactive, professional and attentive throughout the service. It was a stark comparison to our later dinner service at Alta.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Most interesting setting for brunch; the Fat Lady

Located in Oakland near Jack London Park, the former brothel was transformed into a Tim Burton-like haunted house/circus during Halloween.  The inside was cluttered, and there was still the old fashion 1920's brothel feel to it.  There were tons of cute skeletons, spooky statues, the Halloween spirit lived on here. A lot of effort went into the decoration and it was a lot of fun dining inside the Fat Lady.  


Interesting washroom.  A boudoir like setting, with a creepy giant clown, life-size, towering over and staring right at you as you take a pee.  I had a thought he was going to come to life and attack me.  

Now what does the Fat Lady enjoy for brunch?

A complimentary plate of assorted mini muffins is a pretty good start. 

This is what I would look like if I eat here everyday.
Instead of regular milkshake, try their Ramos Fizz $8.50, a shake with a twist, a generous splash of brandy.

The infamous french fried zucchini $9 is a definite must try.  They were so crispy outside, soft on the inside, but not soggy.  They were topped with shaved parmigiano cheese and served with blue cheese ranch.  Extremely addictive, and probably harmful to your health, but soooo good!

One of the best french toasts I've ever had, Jerry's Grand Marnier french toast $10.  Thick and soft cinnamon bread in Grand Marnier batter with maple syrup and sweet strawberries.  The french toast was so soft with cinnamon swirls in the bread.  Incredible.  
A side of chicken apple sausages $3.50 (free for us).  Even more incredible with the french toast, kinda like a sophisticated corn dog.

Nom nom.
Soft scramble with smoked salmon and croissant $11.  The fluffy white stuff peaking out was the sour cream.  This dish was good, but compared to everything else it was the most average.

Here is my epic dungeness crab cake eggs benedict $15.  Go big or go home right? This dish was pretty enormous and there was no way I could finish this alone.  The crab cakes were thick and everything else on that plate was so filling.  But everything was good, very creamy hollandaise sauce.  I kept a bottle of Tabasco nearby at all time.

Our host/tour leader Mr. W ordered what would've been my second choice, fluffy crab and artichoke omelette with melted parmigiano $13.  There were so much crab meat packed in there!

The ambience at the Fat Lady was definitely something else.  I'll definitely remember it for its grand decoration and hearty brunch.  Those zucchini fries....YUM....The price was reasonable, and the portions were huge. A unique find in Bay area.

Fat Lady on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brunch at Murrieta's

My little correspondence B.Bo sent me a review of her recent brunch experience at Murrieta's located on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton.  I remember visiting Murrieta's for dinner many moons ago before I started blogging.  My memory of that experience was as clear as mud so I will have to rely on B.'s review this time.  

 Along with her companion, who happens to work for Murietta's, they each ordered an entree, and cinnamon french toast to share.  

Eggs benedict with smoked applewood cheddar and bruchetta $11.97
"The eggs were cooked perfectly.  Applewood smoked cheddar is white in colour.  I wish there was more of it so it would be cheesier.  The hollandaise sauce was nice and buttery.  The fresh bruschetta went very well with the English muffin and eggs.  The potato hash was only okay.  It was nothing special and not very crispy."

Chicken hash $11.97 
"It arrived with 2 perfectly poached eggs, feta and mushrooms. I really liked that the chicken was cut into smaller pieces and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't dry.  Instead, it was really tender and well seasoned. The runny poached eggs became a sauce which kept the dish from being too dry.  Everything went well with the potatoes, and I finished the whole plate.  The only thing is that the taste may be too one dimensional after a while of eating.  The feta was a really nice touch and they could always use more."

Cinnamon french toast $9.68 
"The french toast was eaten with syrup.  I really love this dish! The toast was crispy on the edges and not too hard or chewy and not too spongy.  It absorbed syrup well.  There was the right amount of sweetness with a hint of coco powder. The candied walnuts added extra crunch.  The lemon cranberry cream cheese was creamy, buttery, and tangy all in one.  What a great combination, just plain yummy!"
The verdict:
"I really liked the french toast and I would go back again for it.  The restaurant has a nice fine dining ambience, and good service. The price is also reasonable."
Murrieta's on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday brunch rush at 2 Chefs and a Table

After being shunned by a crowd of hungry people packing the street outside of Cafe Medina, my sister and I carried ourselves off and seeking refuge at 2 Chefs and a Table. I'm not sure what it is about Sunday brunch that has become a ritual where people just CANNOT go without!  Though there were also lineups outside of 2 Chefs, the wait time was only half and hour, a third of the time we would've had to wait at the original location.  The 2 waitresses were efficient and very friendly to everyone despite the brunch rush.  Rather than taking down names, they were able to memorize the order of the patrons standing outside who was next in line and how many party they had.   Not the most efficient method, but it works for them.  How do they do it?

The food took another half hour to arrive (or more it seemed).  But, hence the name "2 Chefs", they  were working hard to their capacity to make fresh food and feed a room full of starving people.

Between waiting, I ordered one of the 2 tomato cocktail selections, Bourbon and bacon $5, bloody Mary with infused bacon Bourbon and celery bitters.  I ordered it because it had some kind of bacon association in it.  To my disappointment, no bits of real bacon was actually 'infused' nor could I detect smoky bacon flavour T^T.  The tomato juice was quite thick, almost like a gazpacho with a stiff shot of Bourbon.  Heck yes, a nice little drink to wake up to on a Sunday morning.

There's no brunch without runny eggs.  Arrived the Classic $9, 2 eggs benedict with smoked ham.   The creamy hollandaise sauce had a nice buttery taste which went nicely with the fluffy eggs, and the potato hash were full with flavours from herbs and spices.

And now the reason why I came here: Chicken waffles $13 with maple syrup, vanilla butter, and candied peacans.  The fried chicken batter was delicious and full of spices.  Although I did find some of the meat to be on the dry side.  The waffle wasn't as tasty as I had hoped.  I wish it had more of that fresh, homemade flavours with crisps on the edges.  Instead, it was kinda average, like something I could heat up in the microwave.
*side story: Don't you hate it when you are seated beside loud, obnoxious patrons and it somewhat ruined your experience? The table beside us got bigger pieces of the fried chicken, probably so that the lady beside us would stay quiet for 5 minutes.  She just went on and on and on...about who knows what.  We had to try to eat our meal quicker to escape her yabbering.  It was just too close within ear shots and I didn't want none of that on my day off -__-*.  

Back to fried chicken, so far, the best chicken waffles I've had are at Roscoe's in LA and A&W in Thailand. YES, I said it. A&W in THAILAND makes great AMAZING chicken and waffles! Not sure how, not sure why.  They just do...

 The verdict:
Reasonable price, hearty brunch, good portions, and service is friendly though the food may arrive slow.

Two Chefs and a Table on Urbanspoon