Okay, we've finally come full circle. My first Sunday brunch post was at Cafe Pacifica (at the Pan Pacific) a good 4 years ago. Since then, I've meandered my way through most of the other Sunday brunch offerings in town. Hence, it was about time I did a re-visit to see if my initial thoughts were on the money or completely off-base. Being the priciest in town, at $50.00 per person and add in parking costing almost $20.00 (depending how long you stay for), one would have heightened expectations.
One of the main draws is the location of Cafe Pacifica. Being right on the water affords lots of natural light and somewhat of a view depending on where you are sitting. Like deja vu, we sat roughly in the same seat as last time and the spread looked identical as well. Like any good Asian, I attacked the seafood first including the same big bowl of large Cocktail Shrimp and Snow Crab Legs. For a buffet, these were pretty good since the cocktail shrimp were gigantic and exhibited a great snap. As for the crab legs, I liked how they weren't salty and the meat was relatively fluffy. Included in this Cold Appetizer Section was also a Cheese Plate, Breads, Sushi Platter, Smoked Salmon, Grilled Vegetables, Fresh Fruit and various Salads. Moving onto the hot food, there was a Carving Station consisting of Prime Rib and Salmon Wellington. The prime rib was really moist and super tender, although cooked a bit too much for our liking. The wellington was great with flaky salmon and puffed pastry.
Next to the carving station, there was the obligatory Omelet Bar and then directly in front was the Hot Food Section. This included the usual items being Bacon & Sausage, Eggs Benny, Veggies & Potatoes. Nothing much to comment on these items as they were pretty typical. Now the next 2 items were not only not typical, they were prepared very well considering this was a buffet. The Seafood Trio consisting of Salmon, Ling Cod and Prawns in an orange & mango beurre blanc was fantastic. With a nice snap and natural sweetness, the prawns were barely cooked. The fish were cooked just right with the ling cod being the highlight which was buttery and soft. However, no one (during the time we were there) was really able to sample the ling cod because some moron picked it clean each and every time they put out a new tray. Anyways, we had no problem helping ourselves to the next dish as he didn't seem to fancy it. The Pan Seared Duck Breast with port & sour cherry jus was also a fantastically prepared item. The duck was buttery soft with only a bit of resistance while the skin was rendered nicely. The tart and sweet jus was a natural compliment.
Completing the hot food section were some Asian dishes that were pretty forgettable including the Singapore Fried Noodles and Black Bean Chicken Stir-Fry. The noodles were pretty weak in flavour and predictably soft since it had been sitting in a chaffing tray. As for the stir-fry, it suffered from far too much moisture and lack of flavour. Also pretty typical was the Haw Gow and Sui Mai, as they did not exhibit the bouncy texture we would normally see. But this was to be expected from a non-Asian restaurant. The individual components were okay though. Onto Dessert, there was a good selection of items including Bread Pudding, Cheesecake, Creme Caramel and Creme Brulee. Most were pretty good especially the Creme Caramel. In fact, the majority of the food was above average, even for a non-buffet setting. Of course the Asian food was forgettable, but if we ignored that, the Sunday Brunch at Cafe Pacifica is probably still one of the better ones in town. With that being said, it is also the most expensive too. Whether it is worth it or not would be based on each individual's threshold for spending money.
- For a buffet, the proteins were done nicely
- Not a whole lot of seafood, but for the ones available, they were good
- Nice ambiance and location
- Service was not attentive enough to justify the price
- Parking is expensive