Sherman's Food Adventures: Mother's Day Brunch @ Notch8 (Fairmont Hotel Vancouver)

Mother's Day Brunch @ Notch8 (Fairmont Hotel Vancouver)

Normally, we try to avoid the crowds and the accompanying high prices of Mother's Day by either celebrating it a week earlier or later.  However, my mom wanted it to be right on the actual day this year and to top it off, at probably one of the most decadent spots in town - The Hotel Vancouver.  Gone are the days when it was held at Griffin's.  These days, their special occasion brunches are at Notch8 which took over the space once occupied by 900 West.  Decorated in classy dark colours with soothing lighting, there is more of an upscale look and atmosphere.

We made an early reservation for the sold-out seatings to find a beautiful Seafood spread that took up the entire bar area and the adjacent space. There was a selection of shrimp, dungeness crab legs, smoked salmon, lox, smoked tuna and salmon candy.  Everything was on point with fluffy crab, meaty shrimp and buttery salmon and tuna.  I really should've devoured plates of these, but there was other things to eat such as Salad.  Yes, I should've bypassed it completely, but the colours were so attractive!  My favourite was the ambrosia orchard salad with the crunch of root veggies and the sweetness of the citrus.  The grilled corn salad was also tasty with a smoky sweetness.

Onto the hot items, there was a Carving Station that featured the usual prime rib and baked ham, but there was also salmon wellington and seared duck breast.  Looking at the plate, it was rather obvious that the prime rib was fairly rare.  However, it was well-seasoned and super tender.  The duck breast was a little overdone, but was still moist and came with a tasty jus.  Same could be said about the wellington as the salmon was cooked all-the-way-through.  It was not dry though and the duxelles on top was Earthy and tasty.  The pastry on the outside was rather doughy as seen in the picture.  Although it appeared rather plain, the crab benedict featured a perfectly runny poached egg.  There was avocado on the side if one wanted any.

For some odd reason, I went back to the salads and had the grilled Caesar with bacon and parm. After that, I tried some of their Hot Dishes including lobster hash, chicken & apple sausage, bacon, truffled egg frittata, baked eggs with merguez sausage and sundried tomato, lemon butter veggies, cauliflower and broccoli gratin, tuna casserole and a sweet one in the chocolate hazelnut crepes.  I didn't actually dig into each offering as some were picked clean and others (like the egg dishes) didn't look all that appealing.  Surprisingly, my favourite was the tuna casserole featuring big tubes of pasta with plenty of moist tuna and cheese.  Adjacent to the seafood spread was various Cheeses and small selection of meats.

The real draw of the buffet brunch was the Dessert Room as it was nearly the size of the hot food section itself.  The 2 pictures doesn't nearly do it justice as that only represented 1/3rd of what was actually available.  In addition to a chocolate fountain with various fruits and marshmallows, there was macarons strewn all over the room.  We also found cake pops, tarts, cupcakes, scones, creme brulee, chocolate mousse, various cakes, meringues, cream puffs and fruit crumble.  Suffice to say, we didn't eat all of this, but things were actually quite good including the macarons.  Overall, the brunch was bordering on extravagant, yet should've been for the price tag of $75.00 each before tax and tip.  The highlights were definitely the seafood, carving station, dessert and even the salads.  However, the hot food was somewhat of a disappointment.

The Good:
- Nice dining space
- That dessert room
- On point service

The Bad:
- Hit and miss hot food
- Expensive

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