For Mother’s Day, my plan was to take Mama Lam out for brunch. After much hinting, I made reservations at Hawksworth Restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Winner of many restaurant awards since its opening, we have been wanting to try the restaurant for a few times so finally we made it happen.
Hawksworth didn’t offer a special brunch menu for Mother’s Day. We simply ordered from its regular menu. Despite two lobster dishes were featured, Mama Lam opted for the Dungeness Crab Benedict, which comes with hash browns and tomato jam. Compared to the Crab Benedict I had at the Wildflower Grill, this one was a bit underwhelming. It was pretty good for a traditional benny, with eggs poached just right and a good amount of crab meat – just not in a pile like it did in Lincoln City nor was it on a crispy thick toast (Gee I missed the little town already). Mama Lam actually picked out a big piece of cartilage out of the claw meat, which is hard to avoid since they wanted to keep the entire claw intact. The hash browns were okay, crispy skin with sea salt sprinkled on the outside. The tomato jam was not bad but I wish there was more, and more tart. Hash browns are still better with ketchup.
I surprised myself by ordering a sweet item. As you know I’m a sucker for brioche so my eyes just set on the Brioche French Toast as I scanned the menu. The French toast comes with caramelized banana and lavender honey. The honey was heaven. It’s very fragrant, not overly sweet and much lighter than maple syrup. It was so good with every bite – now only if there was enough honey to go around. I’m one of those people who like a decent amount of syrup on my French toast, so the drizzle of honey just didn’t cut it. I was basically searching for honey bits on the plate when I got to the last piece of my toast. I didn’t try to ask for some more honey, though, which I should have because likely they would give it to me and then I’d have enough honey to finish my plate.
We ordered a couple of Mimosas to go with our food. A whopping $12 mimosa – a bit pricey I must say, but the price point is consistent with its cocktail offering.
Although we were pretty stuffed after finishing our plates, we decided to order some dessert to share. Something that we could pack the unfinished bits to go. A Sampling of Macarons, perfect. The Hawksworth kitchen is also in charge of the Bel Cafe production, so what we got would be the same as what you order at Bel Cafe. Overall the macarons are on the sweet side, but the flavours are spot-on. I have had some macarons where you could barely taste any flavour, but with these ones you could taste exactly what it says it is. Even the Pistachio one, although they cheat a little bit by including some chopped nuts in the butter cream to intensify the flavour. Of the six flavours we tried, my favourite is the Raspberry Rosewater, not too sweet and the rosewater butter cream was fragrant and not over-powered by the raspberry cookies. I think I’m starting to develop a love for floral flavoured items.
Hawksworth’s service was fantastic. They’ve got a lot of staff working, perhaps in anticipation of a busy lunch service due to Mother’s Day. There’s always someone walking around: serving dishes, clearing tables, taking orders, settling bills, etc. Even though our server was managing a number of tables at the same time, I thought he was delivering us prompt service.
Now that kind of service is probably expected at a fine-dining restaurant like Hawksworth. What impressed me the most, was the fact that we were invited to check out the kitchen. No, they did not know that I write a food blog. It was all triggered by my conversation with Mama Lam, pointing out the various things I was observing through the hallway into the kitchen. Mama Lam, with her back to the hallway, turned around and started looking, then someone who seemed to be a manager offered to take us into the kitchen. We didn’t actually get a tour of the kitchen or anything, but we were led into the kitchen entrance and stood there for a few minutes to peek around. It was unnecessary, but by being observant they noticed little things like this. That gesture just earned points in my book.
By the way, the kitchen was very clean and tidy. Lots of chefs and cooks working on the tail-end of lunch service.
While I thought the food was a bit too expensive (cost me close to $100 after tax and gratuity), the service at Hawksworth is superb, which is important when I review my overall experience at a restaurant. Would be a great option for special occasions.
Hawksworth Restaurant at Rosewood Hotel Georgia
801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver