"Where's a good place for brunch?", queried Whipping Girl via MSN Messenger on a Saturday night. Boy, that was a loaded question. So many choices, but only a few really good ones. The first thing that came to my mind was Cafe Zen. Now, that was a strange recommendation, especially since I've never personally been there. Well, everyone seems to like the place, so I figured that it would be a "can't miss" for brunch. However, upon further reflection, it was pretty lame of me to suggest it to her without trying it first... So, to make things right, the family and I made the trek over to Kits. Oh how I love this part of Kits... When one would think Richmond is the equivalent of parking hell, there can be worse. For the amount of people who live near the beach and as well as the businesses, there are very few parking spots. Reminded me of nights of circling around and around, so we could score 25 cent turkey wings at the King's Head. Or the AYCE wings at Malone's (where Viv dusted off 4 dozen by herself!).
Finally, with parking spot secured and $4.00 poorer, we headed up Yew towards the predicted lineup at Cafe Zen. Not too bad, there was only a couple of parties ahead of us. And as if it was meant to be, the party of 3 ahead of us got a smaller table, which allowed us to be seated right next to the window. As for the food, Viv decided to go with the Omelet Bomme Femme consisting of bacon, mushrooms and cheese. We found the eggs to be overcooked which in turn led to a relatively "hard" omelet. This was partially offset by the abundance of filling. Therefore, the omelet did not lack flavour nor texture. We liked the homefries, they were potatoey and not greasy while crisp on the outside.
For myself, I went for a mix and match with the Crab Benedict and B.C. Benedict (smoked salmon). Although the eggs were made in a mold, they were cooked perfectly runny and soft. I found the Hollandaise to be rather thin due to their use of margarine. Yet, the flavour was pretty balanced with a nice lemon hit. The crab was mild as expected and while the smoked salmon provided a nice salty kick. Lastly, for the kiddies, we got them the Chocolate Crepes. Honestly, these were not very good. The crepes were thick and gummy. Furthermore, the chocolate filling was far too runny and made it difficult to eat without losing it all to the plate. On a positive note, the chocolate was not to sweet and was quite tasty. Okay, I'm probably going to anger the faithful who frequent Cafe Zen, but I'm thinking that the place is slightly over-rated. Not that we didn't like our breakfast, it was mostly fine except for the crepes. However, it really didn't leave a lasting impression. With all that being said, the place is quaint, prices are reasonable given its location and service was friendly.
- Prices are okay considering where it is located
- Friendly service
- Tight seating arrangements
- Not sure why there are so many glowing reviews (not to say the food isn't good though)