Not too long ago, one of my teammates from hockey suggested that I should give Ritual on Denman a try. He enjoyed a solid meal at reasonable prices. I did what I usually do and filed it away for later. That usually means that I forget and never end up going to the place. However, an all-too-convenient tasting meant that I would actually being able to say that I listened to somebody (even though I really didn't). I hope my teammate isn't reading this right now...
The tasting would mainly highlight their brunch menu and we were served a bunch of their house-baked goods first. These consisted of on point Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies, Corn Bread and Apple Pie. For me personally, the crispy and light exterior texture of the cookies was just right. Beyond the initial crumbly bite, the soft and lightly chewy interior was nutty, chocolatey and just sweet enough. Exhibiting a buttery crunch, the corn bread was sweet, moist and not dense at all. Consisting of tender apples slices, the pie featured a thin crust that was a bit soft on the bottom and inside. I found the flavours to be semi-sweet with only a mild tang.
Continuing on with the carbs, I tried their Pumpkin Scone and it surprised me as I generally am not a fan of pumpkin anything. I found this featured just enough pungency from the pumpkin while nicely spiced and mildly sweet with some savoury notes. Texturally, it was lightly crunchy on the outside while not overly dense on the inside. The regular scones were more buttery and soft on the inside whereas the outside was equally crunchy. What really stood out was the cinnamon butter which was creamy and of course aromatic and lightly sweet. Oh, and how about a Brioche Donut Ice Cream Sandwich to boot too? Not grossly sweet, the donut was firm enough to stand up to the ice cream while not being too dry either.
On that note, we stuck with the glazed donut and why not stick a piece of fried chicken into it right? Yep, we had the Brioche Donut Stuffed with Hot Fried Chicken. They didn't mess around with the spicy portion as the sweet srirracha provided a pretty potent kick, which I personally loved. Sure, the glaze from the donut didn't really balance the spice out, but I liked it anyways. As for the chicken, it was aggressively breaded which meant it was messily crunchy where the chicken inside maintained a moistness. From this, I tried the Huevos Rancheros that was not merely a pile of beans with egg on top. Rather, there was a wealth of flavour that included a background spice. The beans were texturally on point as well as the fluffy scrambled eggs. The sauce on the side completed the dish with a sweet acidic note.
Despite looking like a mess of sweetness, the Bananas Foster French Toast was just right (and I don't like sweet breaky dishes either). It featured fluffy bread soaked in enough egg and milk to keep things moist without being wet. The caramel sauce doused on top was purposefully sweet with a nice consistency. Loved the barely cooked bananas which meant they weren't mushy nor too caramelized. My favourite of the bunch was the Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict that sported runny yolk poached eggs drenched in a thick Hollandaise that had a good amount of lemon. This kept things bright despite the heaviness of the dish. As for the pork, it was tender and moist with a tangy sauce.
The Tartine de Poulet was a very interestingly plated dish with 2 chicken croquettes topped with golden kiwi dressing. They were in turn on top of toasted brioche, Hollandaise and accompanied by 2 poached eggs. I thought the croquettes were tasty with a firm crunch that revealed a soft poatoey centre with chicken. The Phoebe Buffay was an interesting dish much like its namesake. A vegetarian offering, it consisted of green lentils, eggplant kasundi, sauteed mushrooms, smoked parsnip puree and sunny side eggs topped with Hollandaise red pepper and onions. This was rather pleasant despite the absence of meat. It ate somewhat like a huevos rancheros except with softer textures and of course the sauce and runny eggs made things creamier.
I found the Chorizo Spiced Tagliatelle to be super tasty with a thick ragu of sorts. I found it meaty and lightly spicy with a balancing amount of spice and acidity. The house-made noodles were a bit strange in texture being more spongy then al dente. That was not necessarily a bad thing as the noodles were not too soft, it was just different. Our last item was an off-menu item that featured a Lentil Cake in the middle that was cold, yet not overly processed. It was accompanied by sweet apples and beets. Something that was truly vegan and not really my cup of tea. However, there wasn't anything inherently bad about it though. On the other hand, most of the other dishes were my cup of tea and more. I really enjoyed the dishes here, especially the baked goods.
*All food and beverages were complimentary*
- Solid eats, in particularly the baked goods
- Fairly simple brunch menu that keeps things focused
- Decent portion size
- Seating can be a bit tight
- Some of the items are rather heavy