Catch 122: Fancy French Brunch
122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
The best thing about the weekend is brunch! Checking out a new brunch restaurant in Crosstown, I skipped breakfast and joined food bloggers, Diana (Foodology), Anita (La Petite Foodie) and Alvin (Foodimagery) at Catch 122. A clever literary reference and a great restaurant name since the address is 122 West Hastings.
The specious restaurant is much larger than it looks from the outside. Diana described it as a hybrid between Meat and Bread and Chambar. I also loved the open kitchen concept in the back, giving the restaurant more of a cozy, domestic vibe, like we were eating at a friend’s house.
The menus were quirky, sheets of paper clipped onto cork boards. The typesetting of the menu was also smart and eye catching. The most enticing ingredients were in bold and enlarged, drawing your eye to that menu item. Naturally, I navigated to an item that featured cheese and sausage: the scrambled eggs and chorizo crepe with cheddar cheese, avocado and tomato sauce.
The delicate crepe was stuffed to the max. And look at that huge strip of cheese on top of the crepe, underneath the shell. The crepe was very delicious, and the ingredients were so simple too. The eggs were amazingly fluffy and the melted cheese kept spilling out of the middle of the crepe as I cut deeper into it. The sweet and salty tomato sauce pulled the whole dish together and the avocado added a rich texture and subtle sweetness to an otherwise very savory breakfast crepe.
The crepe shell was so light, it was like a feather was wrapped around all these breakfast ingredients. I am in awe of how something so thin and airy could form such a sturdy pouch for so much filling.
The potatoes were well seasoned and cooked beautifully, with a nice, crispy crust on the outside and soft middles.
Diana ordered my other favourite dish, the croque madame, a grilled cheese with black forest ham, swiss cheese, covered in bechamel sauce and a poached egg on top. It was gorgeous when it came to the table, the brilliantly red tomato slice peeking out teasingly from underneath all that glorious cheese.
I loved the stretchy cheese mixed in with the runny egg yolk as I stole a bite of this sandwich. It really was like a heart attack in a sandwich, but boy, was it worth it.
Alvin ordered the Gastown breakfast, it was listed like a standard breakfast with toast, sausage, eggs and a salad but it was plated so creatively. I tried a bit of the sausage and am happy to report that it’s the perfect mix of salty and moist fattiness that makes brunch the indulgent meal that it is.
Anita’s crispy duck confit salad was also delectable. I didn’t order this item because it was a salad! I wish there was something like a duck confit breakfast sandwich or even an omelette. The small forkful of duck confit meat that I tried was incredible, well seasoned and delicious.
Anita and Alvin ordered Belgian hot chocolates which smelled rich and dense and they both agreed that it was like drinking a liquid chocolate bar. It kind of made me wish I had gotten one too! Diana and I shared a French pressed coffee, it was also rich and aromatic, slightly nutty and very smooth in flavour.
We were also treated to some of the best freshly squeezed orange juice I’ve ever tasted. I’m not quite sure how Catch 122 pulled it off but the juice tasted shockingly fresh like it came from an orange that was freshly picked off a tree. There was no pulp and the juice was sweet and refreshing and not the slightest bit sour.
I’m glad we saved room for dessert because Catch 122′s General Manager, Walter Messiah whipped out a giant apple pecan almond cinnamon cream cake, one of the specials of the day. We couldn’t resist but to order a big slice to share. We also ordered a slice of the goat cheese and strawberry tart.
The cake looked and tasted exactly like a huge cinnamon bun with lots of caramel sauce drizzled on top and apples stuffed in the middle. It was incredible, and as soon as I stuck my fork in, I couldn’t stop eating it. The cake was dense and rich, the top soaked completely in sticky and dripping caramel sauce and heavily dusted with powdered sugar. The middle of the cake was layered with sweet, cinnamon covered apple slices and soft bread-like folds of pastry. The one and only drawback was that we found a tiny bit of uncooked dough in the very middle of the cake. I imagine this cake would be hard to cook through since it’s so large and multi-layered.
I probably should have started with the tart because the strawberries and mild tasting goat cheese was not half as sweet as the apple pecan almond cinnamon cream cake. It was still delicious though, the creamy cheese mixed in with the sweet and tart strawberries made this a wonderfully balanced dessert. I also loved that the pastry crust was so incredibly buttery and crumbly. This was a very addictive dessert.
We also appreciated Catch 122′s General Manager, Walter Messiah visiting our table often to make sure we had everything we needed. We felt very well taken care of!
I will definitely return to Catch 122 soon! I’m excited to find out what future feature desserts will be!