Sherman's Food Adventures: Palate Kitchen

Palate Kitchen

I've said this over and over again - for a city that loves brunch, Vancouver doesn't have enough stellar brunch options (in my mind at least).   To clarify, there are plenty of spots for brunch, but they seem rather defaultish not serving anything interesting nor gourmet.  Then we are left with a few that are truly good but a long line outside comes with the deal.  So originally, when Palate Kitchen opened up in a Georgian revival-style heritage building built in 1921 on West Hastings in Downtown, I was quite anxious to try it.  Unfortunately that was 2020 and you all know what happened.  So finally I made it out for 2 separate visits that I will blog about here.

On my first go around, I decided to try the Kefta Skillet with Moroccan meatballs and 2 poached eggs on a bed of house made tomato sauce and olives.  I really enjoyed this as the tomato sauce was full of body and distinguishable spices such as cinnamon and cumin.  As for the meatballs themselves, they were meaty while still tender and moist.  If I had to compare (even though they aren't exactly the same dish), this was much more impactful than the one at Maxine's.  Smoky and crusty, the grilled sourdough was the perfect vessel to pickup the sauce and perfectly poached runny eggs.

Viv ended up with the Fjord Toast featuring gravlax salmon, avocado, pickled crispy shallots and cream cheese spread on sourdough toast.  Now for most people, I'm sure they can construct something similar at home.  However, this was done very well and let's be honest here, not many of us could replicate this particular version exactly.  I found the toast to be the right thickness and nicely crunchy without being hard.  There was more than enough buttery gravlax on top for it to be the star of the show.  

To end off on a sweet note, we tried their Famous French Toast that gave off a funnel-cake kinda of vibe.  That was a good thing since the outside was crispy while the inside was soft and fluffy.  The whole thing included mascarpone praline, berries, ginger crumb and meringue topped with caramel sauce.  I thought the combination of ingredients added the right amount of creaminess and sweetness as well as texture.  However, there was too much caramel sauce as the bottom piece of French toast was soaked.  I suggest to get the sauce on the side.

On my second visit, I went for the Eggs Benedict with bacon, sauteed spinach and house hollandaise on ciabatta bread.  I'm not sure if there is any other way but to say that the bread was not the best choice for this benedict.  It was a bit dense and too large for the amount of ingredients on top.  It was too much about the bread and not enough about the perfectly poached eggs and silky balanced Hollandaise.  The lean thick-cut bacon was not too crispy, so there was a meatiness to it.  I also added a side of roasted potatoes and frankly, they were not very roasted.  Not enough char or sear on the outside.  I actually ordered the famous French toast again and got the sauce on the side.  To me, that was perfect.  Overall, the food was pretty good except for a things with the benny.  I would come back (well I technically already did...).

The Good:
- Beautiful building
- Interesting brunch items
- Decent service

The Bad:
- Due to its location, on the higher end of the pricing scale


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