Eating Vancouver: Day 1’s Brunch at The Market

I’m arrived in Vancouver a couple nights ago to attend my sister’s Iron Ring ceremony and have to say, although I’m getting killed in my March Madness pools, I’m having a great time and fattening up on good food.  For brunch on my first day in town we tried The Market in the Shangri-la hotel… and what a Shangri-la it is. 

Inside the posh hotel on the third floor is a beautiful lounge and restaurant that I felt very underdressed in having only been wearing jeans and a long sleeve sweater.  None-the-less, the staff was very friendly and attentive.  The space consisted of three rooms, a outdoor lounge that overlooks the street, an indoor lounge with low tables and couches and a more brightly lit dining room which is where we dined (picture is from the dininf room into the lounge).

As for food, I decided to go with the Chinese Breakfast which included a selection of juices, an assortment of fruit, chicken congee, shallots, pickled daikon, candied salmon, “dim sum” and a Chinese bun.

The congee was delicious.  It had a nice smooth and slightly sweet chicken broth and the texture of the rice was great.  The chicken was nicely grilled, not as tender as I would have liked but had quite a bit of flavor.  The whole thing sort of reminded me of oatmeal, but Chinese oatmeal.  The candied salmon was excellent.  My sister tried it and thought it was like salmon jerky.  I thought the layer of candy on the outside was wonderfully sweet and dipped in the Chinese vinegar was perfectly balanced.  The dim sum, which included a couple shrimp dumplings and pork roll type of thing were good.  Nothing spectacular that you couldn’t find in a typical Chinese dim sum restaurant but good.  For the bun, I was expecting just a standard pork bun but inside were a mix of vegetables, vermicelli noodles and pork.  It had a bit of a seafood flavor to it which was determined was from the seaweed inside.  It was interesting.  Not the highlight of the dish but a nice addition.  The fruit and other sides were fresh, tasty and provided a nice mix of flavors.  I was impressed with the variety of fruits with everything from mango, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, strawberries and mellons.

My mother had the fried eggs, asparagus, and bacon on sourdough.  This was one of the Jean-Georges dishes that the waitress had recommended.

Fried eggs, it’s one of those dishes that’s easy to do well but tough to do great.  This was a great dish of fried eggs.  Everything on the dish had a fresh and clean taste to it.  It was simply good.

My father had the scrambled eggs, Dungeness crab and tomato.  This was another Jean-Georges dish.

Again, srambled eggs, easy to do well but tough to make great.  Adding the Dungeness crab also helps make this a great dish.  The slightly flaky crab mixed with the perfectly cooked eggs (not runny, too hard or too fluffy) was great.  The crab meat was soft and didn’t overpower the taste of the egg which is what I find this type of delicious tasting crab can do.

My sister had the Benny.  The Market’s benny was served with ham, smoked salmon and spinich.  Bennys are normally pretty unhealthy but this appeared to be a healthier, cleaner take on the dish.

The benny was tasty.  I thought the holandaise sauce had an unusually thick texture but I was told that they probably use healthier ingredients which probably thickened it up.  The smoked salmon was delicious and went really well with the whole bite.  I also have to make note of the potatoes on the side.  Awesome!  Crisp on the outside, soft and warm on the inside and perfectly seasoned.  They were pretty addictive.  If I weren’t so full I probably would have cleared the rest of the plate for her.

My brunch had a significant amount of food but what really topped me off was the French toast that we shared, the last of the Jean-Georges breakfast dishes.  It was French toast with roasted apples and bacon.

The bread is a brioche that is soaked in butter milk overnight.  I know… my eyes lit up too when the waitress told us.  The roated apples, mixed with the rich and incredably flavorful toast, powdered sugar and maple syrup was incredable!  I perfect blend of milky smoothness, sugar sweetness and apple tartness.  This is without a doubt the BEST french toast I’ve ever had.  The bacon was nice on the side.  The saltiness balanced out the sweetness of the French toast and completed the dish.  In my opionion, the bacon was too crispy.  It wasn’t overcooked but just very crisp.

Overall, brunch was excellent!  It’s a little pricey for brunch but given the quality of the food I didn’t think it was too ridiculous.  The mains that the rest of my family had were all under $20 and my big breakfast was just under $30.  Believe me when I say, the French toast is worth the trip to this Shangri-la past the mountains.

~ by jlowjlow on March 26, 2010.

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