One of our jobs here at Brunchcouver is to keep out ahead of the pack; to be on the cutting edge with eggs, so to speak. We like to check out the newest that the city has to offer and report back to y’all so that you can also be in the know.
I failed this time though. Sorry, guys.
There are a lot of restaurants in this city. They open, they close. It’s a full-time job keeping track of them all, but hey, that’s what Scout is for, right?
Either way, I had not heard of Breakfast Table until my friend Jen and I were making brunch plans last week. This is seriously my bad, kids, because it’s awesomesauce with hollandaise on top.
Open since late September, Breakfast Table is, as you might expect, a breakfast/brunch joint conveniently located near the corner of Granville and Broadway, next to Memphis Blues BBQ. The chef/owner, George Koay has an impressive pedigree in the city; he was formerly the Executive Chef at Lift in Coal Harbour.
Breakfast Table is partly inspired by Koay’s wife, who is a brunch fanatic (we like her already), and it has a distinctive Asian flair. Both beef bulgogi and chicken kaarage are reinvented as brunch dishes here.
And, as is to be expected from someone who came from Lift, there is lots of seafood here as well. The feature benny the day we visited was a “Califorinia;” crab and avocado. On a benny, kids! Yeah. There’s lobster here, too, and house-smoked trout (instead of salmon) also on a benny.
I’m a pescatarian, so I like to take meat-eaters with me to these brunches, you know, just to be fair. Again, this time was a bit of a fail, as my brunch buddy was also a vegetarian. But that’s okay. I think it’s a good test of a restaurant to see how they do with the vegetarian and vegan fare. First of all, do they even have choices for non-meat eaters, and if they do, are they afterthoughts?
Breakfast Table has both vegan and vegetarian options, and they are not afterthoughts.
Jen had the vegetarian benny; english muffins topped with loads of veggies, perfectly poached eggs (#yolkporn) and a bright, lemony berniase. It came with a side of potatoes that were coated in some kind of umami dressing; we were guessing there was miso in there somewhere, but boy howdy were they tasty. You know how I feel about deep-fried potatoes at breakfast. These were special; not just because they were properly roasted, still a tiny bit al dente, but crispy on the outside, but also because George uses baby potatoes as opposed to cheaper baker potatoes. They were just plain good.
I like to order whatever’s vegan on the menu. I’m not vegan, but I feel like it’s a good test. If a chef can make something taste good that doesn’t include eggs, milk or butter, then they win.
So I had the vegan bowl. Packed with different kinds of veggies; steamed, still crispy hericot vert, roasted baby potatoes, kohlrabi, roasted radishes, and spinach, it’s topped with a big slab of tofu and a cauliflower hollandaise. The hollandaise is nice; less thick than the traditional version, but good enough that Jen sometimes asks for it on her benny in the place of the real stuff.
I loved the textures in the bowl, and I also really loved that I was having a big bowl of vegetables for breakfast. The one thing I didn’t like about it was that the tofu was served in a big slab on top of the veggies. It was a better cut up and mixed in with everything else.
One thing that struck me about the plates of food going by was how often you’d see veggies on the plates. Vegetables (other than the traditional root veg) are not often served at breakfast, but here, they are a going concern. There’s something righteous about it.
The room is small; an alley painted robin’s egg blue. It’s pretty packed, because it’s a small space and there’s about 15 to 20 tables here. But the food is good, the coffee is good, and the service is great. Mike Lee, previously of Gerard, runs the front of the house here, and he’s pro in every sense of the word.
Oh, man, I have to tell you about the waffles. George mills his own flour, and makes a batch of waffles every day. Just one. Once they run out, that’s it. So get there early.
Overall, Breakfast Table, despite its somewhat humble location and the fact that it’s a breakfast joint, is, because of the quality of the food and of the service, elevated beyond average brunch expectations.
1481 W Broadway
Open Tues-Sun 8 am to 3 pm.