We weren’t lucky with the weather when we travelled to Vancouver. It started to get rainy and cold the day when we arrived, but that didn’t stop us from the food search in the city. We met up with our friends for brunch at Cafe Medina, a bistro cafe in gastown that is known for its waffles. This place doesn’t take reservations so we ended up waiting for a loooong time (30~40 mins) in the cold before our names got called.
We were taken towards the back of the restaurant which have additional space to accommodate larger parties. The high ceilings, wood paneling, and abstract paintings on the wall gave this place a stylish and modern look.
Kev ordered the lavender latte ($3.85 for 8oz.). He really enjoyed the pleasant taste of lavender. It wasn’t too sweet.
The fricasse ($16) that he ordered came with 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, balsamic onions, watercress and applewood cheddar, with grilled focaccia on the side. He was very happy with his choice. The short ribs were flavorful and very very tender. The remaining juice at the bottom of the skillet was slightly sweet which served as a perfect dipping sauce for the focaccia.
I ordered the paella ($13) which came with 1 fried egg, curried orzo, spicy chorizo, zucchini, red pepper, roasted corn, grano padano, watercress, avocado and tomato salad. Some of the orzo was crunchy, the texture was like the Chinese crispy rice (guoba). In terms of the taste, this dish contained a mixture of strong flavours- the curry sauce was very sour and the chorizo was very salty and not spicy at all. I was very disappointed with it and could barely finish half of it.
Waffle with White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater
For dessert, we ordered the waffle ($3.15) with white chocolate pistachio rosewater ($1) as the topping. The waffle was alright- a bit crunchy on the outside and moist and soft inside. Not the best I’ve tried in Vancouver. (If you want excellent waffles, Nero Belgian Waffle Bar is your to-go place) The white chocolate pistachio rosewater topping was an unique, excellent blend. On the other hand, their milk chocolate lavender was just ordinary.
My review: The dining experience at Cafe Medina is like the mail order jelly belly’s. It’ll take a long time before you can enjoy. Some people are going to like what they get, others will be disappointed.