Weekend brunch is one of my favourite things to do to start the weekend. After my trip to Toronto (which was quite a while ago), Jacky and I caught up with our huge foodie friend, Raissa, for a brunch date at The Oakwood Bistro. I’m not sure what it is, but something about The Oakwood Bistro reminded me of Happy Bones in New York City, but a darker and more metropolitan vibe to it. Moreover, Oakwood Bistro is a restaurant and Happy Bones is a coffee shop. Happy Bones excelled in pastel, white and wooden tones with large windows whereas The Oakwood Bistro was dim lit, closed in and surrounded with darker and heavier colours in their restaurant.
When we got there, the place was already packed with people. We would have to wait for an hour if we wanted a table so we decided to skip the long table line ups and went for a seat at the bar. I know bar seats are not the most intimate ways to dine with friends, but at least service was very attentive since the bartender helped us out with all of our orders.
Oakwood Bistro prides itself in locally produced products from all over British Columbia and with their fresh ingredients from our BC neighbours, a wonderful brunch was prepared for us.
Short Rib Hash Brown Croquettes with Sous Vide Eggs, and Caramelized Onion Purée.
The presentation didn’t seem too impressive since everything looked like it was scattered on the plate. When I took the photo from above, my thoughts changed. It was quite pretty with the caramelized onion purée drops that created a windmill image with the short rib, hash brown croquettes and sour vide eggs in the centre.
I don’t think I’ve ever had sous vide eggs, but since this was Raissa’s order, I didn’t get a chance to try it. I observed the texture of the egg and how it looked like a poached egg but instead the yolk and egg white were still in a consistent runny texture. Breaking the egg yolk and allowing it to spread across the dish will be most welcomed.
In French, “sous vide” means that the food is vacuum sealed then cooked in a controlled temperature water point. Egg could easily be overcooked so the method is quite tricky.
The hash brown croquettes were vibrant in taste and texture giving the dish an extra crunch.
Confit Tuna Benedict with Dill Hollandaise, a Fennel Salad and Home Fries
I have never heard of fennel before so I did some research on it before writing this post. Fennel is a flowering plant in the celery family and most people use the bulb of the fennel in cooking. The fronds are often left aside and tossed into salads. Since it is part of the celery family, the texture was refreshing, crunchy and firm similar to its other family members.
Out of all of the egg benedicts I have eaten, this was by far the most sour hollandaise I’ve ever had. This wasn’t bad though, because I know hollandaise already has lemon juice and vinegar in its mixture. However with dill, it gave an extra sour kick that became a bit too overwhelming at the end.
Other than the dill hollandaise, the benedict was delicious with a perfect golden runny yolk that leaked onto the meaty tuna and English muffin.
The home fries were very different than other places I’ve had brunch with home fries. The Oakwood Bistro adds a final dash of BBQ sauce on their home fries and my God, that was the perfect touch!
Maple Confit Pork Belly with Scrambled Eggs, Home Fries and Toast
The maple confit pork belly was thick but soft to chew with a slightly crispy rim. Compared to the other two orders, this might look very plain and simple but all taste buds are focused on the maple confit pork belly slices here.
The brush of maple sweetness on top of each pork belly accentuated the savoury flavours in the pork with a hint of sweetness and lightness.
The scrambled eggs were fluffy and buttery making this menu option a very fulfilling Canadian and quite masculine brunch.