6 June 2018
One thing that we as Australians really take for granted is the whole concept of brunch. I didn’t realise this until I travelled to the States but sleeping in and then going out for a real fancy set of eggs doesn’t seem to be a huge thing here on this side of the world. Here in Vancouver in particular, it was surprising to find that most places only do brunch on the weekend, as if we don’t already have enough reasons to love the weekend already!
Lily and I had some nostalgic brunch cravings and looking online, Medina was highly ranked on numerous websites, and really, if we can’t trust our online friends then who can we trust right? So with that decided, Lily and I set out for some sweet egg action that hopefully would remind us a bit of home.
Well, the fanciness was definitely present! Lily ordered the Saumon Fume ($14). This dish included smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado and capsicum on sourdough with a side of lettuce. Medina are clearly impressed with the quality of their produce and that shines through in this dish, where the flavour of the ingredients themselves do all the talking.
It was a nice, tasty and rather clean dish – nothing too heavy or super flavourful. Although, for $14, it is quite small. At the end of the day, you only get one medium sized sourdough slice with some other ingredients and one fried egg. So if you’re looking to get full or something more substantial, this may not be the right dish for you.
So on the flip-side of “letting the ingredients do all the talking” comes the Les Boulettes ($17), lamb meatballs, two poached eggs, roasted capsicum served in an olive and tomato stew with grilled focaccia. Both the stew and the meatballs brought a ton of flavour to this dish, they were heavily seasoned in an array of different spices.
The meatballs were also really soft and springy – I couldn’t stop myself from making tiny open sandwiches with the bread. This lead to a self inflicted bread shortage, as you only get one small piece of focaccia, and everything from the meat to the stew to the yolk seemed to scream “put me on bread!” This of course lead to the whole bread conundrum, where I never know if I should ask for more bread or not. Like, is it free? It would be a nightmare if I requested more bread and then I found a charge for like, $2 or something on the bill. I mean come on, bread is pretty great, but I want half a loaf or something for $2. This is weirdly becoming a bit of a theme for me if you read the last post on the Templeton, so I probably should just suck it up and ask someone one day. I’ll let you all know the result when it happens!
We also got a couple of non-alcoholic drinks and some waffles, which we didn’t really take pictures of. We were seated at the bar, so there wasn’t a lot of space and didn’t want to annoy the bartender too much with all our picture taking!
We opted for the waffles ($3.35 each) with milk chocolate lavender, passionfruit syrup and ice cream ($1 for most toppings, $1.5 for maple syrup or yoghurt and $2 for ice cream). The waffles were nice and crispy with a hint of sweetness. This was paired with our choice of toppings, both the lavender white chocolate and passionfruit syrup complemented the waffle nicely. However, the ice cream was errr… strange. It tasted and felt like ice cream that had been melted then refrozen, with a twang of that “left in the fridge unsealed” taste to it. We’re thinking this might have been due to the fact that the ice cream appeared to be pre-prepared rather than scooped on order, so something might’ve happened there.
We also got two house sodas, the Jamaiquita Lemonade ($5) and the Dickies Ginger Beer ($6). The lemonade was flavoured with hibiscus flower, eucalyptus, fresh lemon juice and grapefruit bitters while the ginger beer was served with fresh lime and mint. Of the two, the lemonade was pretty average – it definitely sounded a lot better than it tasted. It kinda just tasted like a mush of spiced flavours. On the other hand, the ginger beer was quite nice. Medina is also licensed bar, so if you’re into that sort of stuff, yay, alcohol for brunch!
Medina is definitely the quintessential brunch place. The decor is what could only be described as ‘modern hipster’ and the presentation of the food is to match. But like all great places that become too well known, Medina is extremely busy, with long lines, and waits during peak lunch hour and over the weekends. The vibe inside the cafe is also kinda crushed by the masses of people – it’s quite a large space that seats a lot so it can get pretty noisy. If you like brunch places like the Grounds of Alexandria (for my Sydney folks), this is the place for you.
Hopefully now that we are getting to know Vancouver, we’ll start to find of the city’s hidden brunch gems!
Address: 780 Richards Street, Vancouver Downtown