Sorry about the long absence since my last post. In between, I went back to Beijing for vacation. Maybe I will write something to bring you a taste of real Beijing food.
A sister restaurant of the next-door Chambar, Medina Cafe has long been raved about by foodies and critics. A random man on the Hastings (the bad part) also told me that he heard the place is great and would like to try it. I was quite surprised, really. Maybe a good reputation does travel fast, regardless where. My friend and I paid it a visit in hope of an excellent brunch.
I wasn’t very impressed from the get-go. The restaurant was full while a dozen people were waiting outside. I went in to inquire about the wait time and to put my name down, but I wasn’t greeted immediately and warmly. Then the wait started and went on for an hour. To the restaurant, the wait seemed like nothing. The restaurant didn’t attempt to be nice or apologetic about it. Oh well…
We started our brunch with coffee and waffles. I had my waffle with lavender milk chocolate. The topping was great… good flavour and consistency. The waffle on the other hand was definitely on the small side. At $3.15 each, I expected it to be a bit bigger. By the way, the waffles weren’t exactly hot off the iron either. The coffee was great though – good beans and brewed right. In terms of the main event, I had the Tortilla while my friend had Oeufs Cocottes. Presentation was neat. The dish came in its own little cast iron vessel. My dish had good flavours – the chorizo and eggs combination is one of my favourites. The supposed omelet tasted a little plastic and has a funny texture. Similar to mine, my friend’s eggs tasted the same. I was somewhat disappointed by the dishes not living up to the hype. Also, when I see Tortilla on a brunch menu, I immediately think potato, egg, and chorizo. Medina’s version is certainly not the most traditional albeit somewhat original.
As a side note, if you are in pursuit of excellent waffles, I highly recommend Patisserie Lebeau. Traditional Belgian Waffles, stuffed waffles, savoury ones, and various other Belgian pastries, the place has it all. That’s probably for another post.
All in all, I think the place has its potential as well as a big expectation to live up to. In terms of food and service, there seems to be room for further improvement.Cuisine: European Price: $10 – $20 Location: 556 Beatty Street, Vancouver Website: www.medinacafe.com Phone: 604-879-3114 (reservation recommended)