We’re taking a tasty tour of Vancouver’s many brunches to create The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide. This week we’re savouring a late-morning meal at Gastown’s Secret Location.
In the heart of Gastown across from Maple Tree Square, the ultra-fashionable Secret Location lies. Part concept store, part tasting room, the luxurious space offers boutique brands and unique cuisine, which on the weekend includes a range of brunch-inspired eats.
While the chic restaurant (with its mostly white interior and sumptuous leather couches) is often labelled as daring and exclusive, weekend brunch goers will discover an eatery flaunting sleek décor and a menu full of reasonably priced familiar favourites.
Under the direction of Chef Montgomery Lau, Secret Location’s brunch service excels at crafting beautifully plated re-imagined classics. À la carte options include a Daily Omelette Special; Poached Scrambled Egg Whites with chicken, asparagus, and maitake mushroom; Hollandaise-topped Lobster Hash; Steak and Eggs with mixed greens; Potato Pancakes with house-made chorizo, charred scallions, and crème fraîche; a traditional breakfast plate of Bacon and Eggs, and more.
Those who are seeking a light meal or who simply enjoy an egg-focused breakfast, should not skip the Crispy Golden Eggs dish. Boasting a deliciously crisp golden exterior of Panko bread crumbs and a wonderfully soft custard-like interior, these poached sous vide eggs are exactly as they are described. A rich cream reduction pairs incredibly well with a bed of sautéed black kale, onions, and wild mushrooms.
Diners who tend to lean towards sweeter plates will want to order the Waffle and Banana. This stunningly presented plate, composed of a crisp gluten-free waffle, poached banana, fresh raw sliced banana, a blueberry compote, fresh blueberries, lavender, and Earl Grey ice cream, not only gives the old waffle and banana combo a welcome upgrade but also strikes a nice balance between sweet and savoury.
Alongside their main brunch plates, Secret Location also offers a variety of freshly baked goods, which when ordered are a great treat to begin (or finish off) the meal with. Patrons can nibble on flaky layered Pain au Chocolat, addictively sweet Kronuts (croissant doughnut hybrids), and almond studded double-baked croissants, just to name a few.
If committing to an entire pastry is too much to handle, sit back and savour the complimentary mini fried pies offered at the beginning of the meal. These tiny morsels are utterly divine, and served with a whipped Manjari Chocolate Ganache.
Although the fillings change in these pocket-like treats from time to time, brunch enthusiasts can can expect delicious combinations like white wine, pears, and bananas.
While there can be no denying that Secret Location’s interior features certain upscale elements, the space remains friendly and welcoming, and is a terrific spot to enjoy a sparking Mimosa and lingering brunch with friends. Come sunny weekends brunch on the restaurant’s sidewalk patio is a must!
Address: 1 Water Street, Gastown
Hours: Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday