Change. That is something that is constant in the restaurant world. From the menu to the decor and more importantly the chef and staff, a restaurant goes through many phases in its lifetime. Generally, I welcome change and try to revisit restaurants due to it. However, for some strange reason, I've been avoiding revisiting EBO restaurant ever since Executive Chef Dan Craig (no, not James Bond or Stormtrooper) left for Toronto. Finally, we decided to check out their New Year's Day brunch which probably doesn't represent their actual cuisine very much, but at least it's a start.
Another reason we picked EBO was the fact the brunch was only $50.00 as opposed to many of the Downtown hotels charging anywhere from $75.00 - $100.00. Also the free parking and spacious dining room didn't hurt either. Of course, we couldn't forget about Chef John Chang's famous freshly-made Malay Roti either. I have to say his roti has to be some of the best, if not the best, in the GVRD. Nicely browned and slightly crispy on the outside while chewy, flaky and soft on the inside, the whole package was on point. The accompanying thick coconut curry on the side only served to enhance the final product. We were also served something special in the Paper-Thin Roti filled with curry beef. Somewhat like a Dosa but without the lentil flour (wheat flour in this case), the roll was crispy and airy while filled with a meaty and coconutty beef curry.
Onto the actual brunch buffet, I hit the cold seafood first that featured Snow Crab, Mussels, Prawns, Shrimp Ceviche and Smoked Salmon. Nothing particularly amiss here with proper textures. We liked the shrimp ceviche as it was appealingly acidic. Although cold snow crab can often be spongy and salty, this one was actually okay. Onto the hot food, there was a selection that included Chicken & Waffles, Tilapia, Beef Stew, Polenta and Veggies. There was no real standout here, but most items were well-made and withstood sitting in a chaffing tray except for the beef stew as the meat was rather dry and lifeless. I did enjoy the fried chicken though as it was juicy, well-seasoned and crunchy on the outside.
The Carving Station was impressively stocked with Roast Leg of Lamb, Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Glazed Ham and Bone Marrow. I also added a Chicken Satay Skewer and Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny to round out my 3rd plate of food. I didn't try the ham, but the both the lamb and beef were prepared medium to medium-rare being tender and moist. Again, for something that sat in a chaffing tray, the eggs benny was nicely runny while the Hollandaise was buttery. Much like the roti, the chicken satay was pretty legit with a nice char that helped caramelize the peanutty curry marinade. The meat itself was tender and not dried out.
Located across from the restaurant entrance, there was a Dessert spread that included liquid nitrogen Ice Cream, Chocolate Fountain, assorted Pastries and a Cookie decoration station for the kiddies. We liked how there were different options and definitely engaging for the kids. However, EBO has always been a kid-friendly restaurant despite being higher-end and located next to a casino. That is partially one of the reasons we chose EBO for our New Year's brunch since it was both comfortable for the family and served up more-than-acceptable eats at a relatively reasonable price.
- Spacious dining space
- Above-average eats
- Relatively well-priced
- Possibly a little lacking in the seafood department