We’re taking a tasty tour of Vancouver’s many brunches to create The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide. This week we’re relishing a lavish late-morning feast at Beach Bay Cafe.
Located on Denman Street, a stone’s throw away from the sandy shores of English Bay, Beach Bay Cafe is the ideal weekend brunch destination. Not only does the refurbished corner spot grant patrons ocean views, but it also serves a knockout brunch spread.
Under the direction of newly appointed Executive Chef Felix Zhou the kitchen, come the weekend, prepares a range of brunch time essentials, in addition to some of Beach Bay Cafe’s favourite lunch plates.
The menu ticks all the right boxes. There are breakfast items including a Yogurt Parfait ($9), Smoked Cheddar Omelette ($14), Black Truffle Scramble ($18), a salad of Organic Greens ($11), and an array of Beach Bay Eggs Benny plates ($14 to $16).
These enticing brekkie options are listed alongside more lunch time-driven starters and meals, like a half dozen West Coast Oysters ($16), Seafood Chowder ($12), House Cured Salmon ($14), Fish and Chips ($16), and a burger and fries combo ($17).
Brunch traditionalists should dive into one of Beach Bay Cafe’s Eggs Benedict creations. Every weekend diners can expect to find perfectly cooked poached eggs topped with a light yet creamy Hollandaise, cozied up to a crisp potato rosti, a vibrant and fresh-tasting apple fennel salad, and one of these three options: porchetta, smoked salmon, or spinach and mushroom. Depending on what Zhou has at hand, diners may even find the choice of lobster or scallops on the specials menu.
Simplicity is key in this dish, just like it is in virtually all of Zhou’s offerings. The Hollandaise, which is freshly made and modestly poured, is not overpowering in the slightest. The ingredients, whether they be of the veggie or meat variety, have been left to speak for themselves. Rather than being saturated in heavy sauces, Zhou prefers to exhibit simple, clean flavours, which means at the end of the meal patrons are left feeling well-feed rather than disgustingly full.
Another standout brunch option is the English Bay haunt’s French Toast with maple syrup and a homemade berry compote. Golden in colour, crisp on the outside, and almost creamy on the inside, Beach Bay Cafe’s French toast is exactly as it should be.
Zhou and his talented team achieve these dreamy textures, by their unhurried cooking practices. “French Toast takes time,” says Restaurant Director, Luc Trottier. Made with a classic French Baguette, Beach Bay Cafe’s French Toast is soaked in an eggy mixture for just the right amount of time, pan fried, and then given a quick deep fry, which gives the bread an almost doughnut-like taste and quality.
Sweet indulgence doesn’t end there. Beach Bay Cafe also offers a few dessert specials, including a decadent chocolate mousse, a refreshing coconut sorbet, and a crumbly cheesecake, served with endive jam.
Drink wise, Beach Bay Cafe offers caffeinated beverages, as well as a range of boozy libations, mixed by bar manager, Adrian Lindner. Those who love to indulge in a bubbly morning mimosa will be thrilled to note that the Denman Street locale features Endless Mimosas, for $8 with any brunch item.
While the temptation of ‘endless mimosas’ is a seductive factor all in itself, Beach Bay Cafe’s minimalist and airy interior (plus sidewalk patio) is also an alluring draw. The pristine space is light-filled and conjures up impressions of the seaside, with details of worn wood and a wall-sized sepia-toned photo print, portraying the old pier that once resided at English Bay Beach.
Address: 1193 Denman Street
Hours: Brunch is served Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm