Brunch at forage

It had been awhile since my last visit to forage, so my husband and I headed over to Robson Street last weekend to celebrate spring with a locally-sourced brunch.

Brunch at forage

This was also my first time seeing the interior bathed in natural daylight. The bar and inviting seating areas are well-lit and tastefully decorated with striped wallpaper in green and blue tones, nicely offsetting the wooden accents and black leather banquettes and chairs.

Brunch at forage Brunch at forage Brunch at forage

As with dinner, many dishes are brought out in iron skillets atop a wooden board branded with the forage logo. Brunch items range from eggs benny to pumpkin brioche French toast with caramelized bacon. We watched that French toast dish pass us by and noted it for a future visit.

Brunch at forage/Dungeness crab cake
[Dungeness crab cake]

The Dungeness crab cake ($14) is filler-free, moist, and so delicate, we’d wished the the order had arrived with two on the plate. My husband and I slowly devoured the beautifully-presented crab cake, served alongside a portion of Fresh Roots Urban Farm salad greens. forage uses Ocean Wise-sanctioned seafood in its dishes, as well as locally-sourced and foraged ingredients, many prepared in-house.

Brunch at forage/Two Rivers turkey sausage hash, free-range eggs, roasted vegetables
[Two Rivers turkey sausage hash, free-range eggs, roasted vegetables]

My husband ordered the Two Rivers turkey sausage hash, served with roasted vegetables, free-range poached eggs, mustard hollandaise and toast ($14). The poached egg, hollandaise, and toast combo was the best he’s had in ages. The soft egg complemented both the veggies and roasted potatoes in taste and texture.

Brunch at forage/Alpine juniper duck confit frittata
[Alpine juniper duck confit frittata]

As for me, all eyes were on the Alpine juniper duck confit frittata ($12). This hearty menu ‘iron’ cleans up nicely with delicious multigrain bread and an assortment of homemade jams (my fave being the strawberry-ginger, slightly sweet with a tiny tang from the ginger). The dish’s flavour is further heightened by roasted garlic cloves appearing here and there throughout the frittata.

Brunch at forage/Alpine juniper duck confit frittata

The duck confit is cooked in juniper, then the frittata receives a topping of fresh greens and Neufchâtel. Overall this was rich without being too salty, and not greasy, the perfect marriage of flavour and texture, especially when put on top of that lovely multigrain toast.

Brunch at forage/Housemade strawberry ginger jam
[Housemade strawberry-ginger jam]

It’s the small touches that make forage a worthwhile stop for healthy brunching: freshly ground salt and pepper in white dishes, little jars of condiments, and loose-leaf tea in place of tea bags. I enjoyed a pot of Sencha green tea with my meal (later with the addition of rooibos for added sweetness). The staff are very accommodating and helpful in describing/recommending dishes.

Brunch at forage/Sencha green tea
[Sencha loose green tea]

forage takes pride in being a sustainable, zero-waste establishment, the same as its next-door neighbour, the Listel Hotel.

Brunch at forage/buttermilk pancakes, Valley blueberries, honey butter
[Buttermilk pancake, Valley blueberries, honey butter]

The house-made honey butter on our fluffy buttermilk pancakes ($11, stack of four) are heavenly, especially when maple syrup and locally-sourced Valley blueberries arrive with the order. A sprinkling of powdered sugar added to the dish’s festiveness.

Assistant restaurant manager Matthew frequently checked up on us to make sure everything was to our satisfaction, from the first bites right through to extra water for my tea or topping up my husband’s coffee.

On the morning of our visit, a steady stream of customers came and went, from older couples and a few groups of ladies brunching together, to parents with young children. The restaurant receives a mix of hotel clients and locals, though on weekends, the traffic is definitely focused on Lower Mainland food lovers, according to Matthew.

Brunch at forage/temporary sculpture exhibit

forage is located at 1300 Robson Street next to the artfully-designed Listel Hotel. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.

Well done, Chef Chris Whittaker and team!

Disclosure: Our meals were compliments of forage, for the purpose of experiencing their brunch and writing this article.

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