Monday, 16 June 2014

Brunch Fit for a King at The Bird's Nest

Tastiness Factor: 9/10

Atmosphere: 5/5

Service: 4/5

Locavore approved?  YES- The Bird's Nest has a constantly evolving menu that changes every Sunday to incorporates many seasonal ingredients.  I was very pleased that many current Farmer's Market goods made it to my plate!  Homemade, seasonal fair is the name of the game at The Bird's Nest!

Underground dining is a trend that is taking off here in Vancouver, and for good reason.

Underground restaurants, also called supper clubs or closed or restaurants, offer great value for food that is often just as good and sometimes even better than conventional restaurants.  Instead of paying for  the space and the staff, your money goes only towards the food and the chef's time.  On the flip side, there is a bit of risk involved with these establishments.  Without much word of mouth or online reviews to go on, you really don't know what you are getting yourself into.

Sometimes, taking a risk pays off like it did when I visited The Bird's Nest for brunch this past Sunday.

I will not go into much detail about the location of Bird's Nest other than to say that it is a very nice, accessible area in Vancouver (you will find out the address once you confirm your booking).  Although  I do not usually expect much from the atmosphere at underground restaurants, the room at The Bird's Nest is extremely charming and the perfect setting for Sunday brunch.  The space, divided into 2 rooms, can accommodate about 20 people quite comfortably.  Myself and four friends had our own  table in one room with a few other small tables around us, while the other room had a long table for a larger group.  Although it was quaint, we certainly did not feel cramped and I really enjoyed the friendly, cozy vibe.

The hostess, who is also the chef AND the owner AND the waitress AND everything else needed to run a restaurant, is understandably very busy so you will nto see much of her during the meal.  Having said that, she is very pleasant and did come to speak with us at the end of our meal when brunch service was complete.  It is very impressive that she is able to wear so many hats at the same time, so kudos to her for that!  

Kudos to her as well for creating such a creative and tasty brunch.  The menu changes from one brunch service to the next, but there are some sample menus on her website if you want to get an idea of what you might expect (  What I loved about our brunch was the multiple components that arrived on our plate.  Whether you are a sweet or savoury brunch person, there is bound to be something to please you.   I also loved the seasonal ingredients that were incorporated into the many bites and the fact that everything right down to the bread was homemade.  Her food is approachable yet creative.  She takes brunch comfort foods and jazzes them up a bit using herbs and spices.  The end result is a brunch that leaves you both satisfied and inspired.

On the day of our visit, we were treated to unlimited tea and coffee, plus an amazing selection of goodies, including:

Mini smoothie with blueberry and mint
Homemade bread with avocado, shrimp and feta
Fried egg (with more homemade bread to dip in that yummy runny yolk!)
Potatoes with mustard and dill
Strawberry-rhubarb-granola crisp with cardamom

I enjoyed everything on the plate, especially the avocado and shrimp on bread (a marriage made in heaven, piled on top of the freshest of bread) and the the granola crisp (the cardamom knocked an already awesome dish right out of the park).  The food was all very light, clean food that left you feeling refreshed instead of giving you a "brunch hangover".  Those with larger appetites will be glad to know that more food is available if you still have a void to fill.  As we were finishing up, we were offered extra bread and/or eggs which many of us gladly accepted:)

Because this is not a conventional restaurant, you will not be handed a bill at the end of your meal.  Instead, we found a mini envelope in front of our plates with a business card and a "donation" card inside.  A $20 "donation" is recommended, which is certainly more than fair for such a delicious brunch.

So why not try something new and head to The Bird's Nest for an "underground" brunch that is sure to wow you in every way?   It is open for brunch almost every Sunday, and is also available for group dinners upon request.  To reserve, visit her reservation page:

This is one special experience that you do not want to miss out on!

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