Last time while I was dining at Chambar with Whipping Girl, we had noticed Cafe Medina next door. Incidentally, Cafe Medina is operated by Nico and Karri Schuermans of Chambar with former staffer Robbie Kane. It has taken us until now to try it. I just needed to find an excuse to go there. Well, MagMagMug's visit had come to an end and she was leaving tonight back to Hong Kong. Hey, let's do a going away brunch! Originally, TS (eating_club Vancouver) was supposed to join us; but she was just too tired from her gastronomical adventures in NYC. Too tired to eat? What's with that??? So it ended up to be only the 3 of us. When we arrived, I was about to park right across the street from Cafe Medina; but I noticed the special parking restrictions on the meter. I thought better to park the next street over since there was a tow truck taking a Range Rover away and the meter maid standing right across the street ready to pounce. Pretty obvious I should not park here eh?
To my dismay, we were seated far in the back of the cafe because the front table near the window was taken. This would mean bad photos! The humanity!!! Ah, no worries, we noticed that the people had left and I flagged down our server and asked if we could move. Whipping Girl was a bit concerned for all the trouble we were causing and thought they would spit in our food. C'mon, they won't do that, we're not in a Chinese restaurant you know! Joyfully, I moved to our new table with excellent lighting. MagMagMug was doing her best Miss Y impression and was fashionably late. It was alright, I wasn't in any rush; but I think Whipping Girl was anxious to get back to work. Just as we were about to order without her, MagMagMug arrived, so all was good.
While MagMagMug was looking over the menu, I hinted to her that the Fricasse was their most popular breakfast dish. It was my way of making her order it because Whipping Girl and I had already choose other dishes. With a combination of 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, applewood cheddar in a skillet and grilled foccacia on the side, it's easy to be popular. This makes the standard eggs and bacon breakfast look downright boring. I was able to sample a bit of the short rib and it was so tender. Short ribs for breakfast - awesome!
Prior to the Fricasse, we all had one waffle each. Hey, you can't have breakfast at Cafe Medina and not have a Belgian waffle! Well, that's the play I used on MagMagMug anyways. The girls opted for the Mixed Berry Compote with their waffle and I settled for the White Chocolate Pistachio (since Fig Orange Marmalade was out). Let me say that I'm not much of a waffle person; however, I really liked this waffle! Warm, soft, slightly sweet and crisp; this waffle would be great for snacking alone. I preferred the berry compote more than my chocolate pistachio. It was too sweet and didn't have much pistachio flavour. The compote had a nice tartness to it.
Whipping Girl already picked out her meal the day before (that's some type of planning) and it happened to be La Sante. Presented on a large platter, the deconstructed breakfast consisted of a soft boiled egg, vine ripened tomato, avocado, prosciutto, extra virgin olive oil and grilled ciabatta. It was a great array of textures and flavours from the salty prosciutto, smooth avocado, crispy ciabatta to the delicate egg. My choice was the Cassoulet which consisted of 2 fried eggs on baked beans, saucisson de Paris, double smoked bacon, andouille and grilled foccacia. This breakfast made me a happy man. I had baked beans, 3 types of meat and fried eggs. How could I not be happy? It was so savoury and rich in flavour, I actually ate all the onions (despite my issues with them)!
What makes Cafe Medina special is that it's no ordinary breakfast. Combined with the delectable waffles, the savory and filling breakfasts have a certain "wow" factor. Combine that with a really quaint dining room and friendly service, who wouldn't want to have their first (or second) meal of the day at Cafe Medina?
- Fresh and tasty waffles
- Unique savory breakfasts
- It's got a wonderful chicness to it
- Tight table arrangements
- A bit more expensive than the usual fare (but it's worth it)