Looking for a great breakfast or brunch spot in the Mt. Pleasant / Main Street area on the East Side of Vancouver?
Check out Seb’s Market Cafe (map, website, 592 East Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, phone: 604-298-4403).
Owner operator Francois Godbout found success in the Vancouver film industry catering business before deciding to open a home-style, family-friendly breakfast and brunch place in a neighborhood that is growing and becoming more “happening” by the day.
A friend of mine is a regular customer here, and he recommended that we try it one Saturday morning. The food was fantastic – I had the Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs (pictured below, $9.00) which were made with smoked salmon (of course!), red onions, and cheese, and served with homecut potatoes, toast, and homemade preserves. I also enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice (also pictured below) which was the real thing (and had no sugar added so it was a little bit tart, but very refreshing nevertheless).
My friend is a bit worried that if more people discover this secret amazing brunch place, it may get too busy! But that would be a sign of success for Seb’s and in the event they needed to expand, I’m sure they could handle it quite well.
Smoked salmon scrambled eggs ($9.00) from Seb's Market Cafe in Mt. Pleasant area of Vancouver BC Canada.
Freshly squeezed orange juice from Seb's, a great breakfast and brunch place in East Vancouver.
Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro (web site, map, 735 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-685-9399) is yet another excellent Japanese Izakaya (tapas) restaurant in Vancouver; this one is run by the same family who previously operated the superb (but now closed) Shiru Bay Chopstick Cafe in Yaletown.
At Toratatsu the Uno family has created a space that looks like a cozy New York bistro, but with a definite Japanese vibe that they say “would fit downtown Tokyo perfectly.” Chef Kodai Uno, 26, trained at the Pacific Institute of Culinary arts and at French restaurant L’Emotion, and is the youngest in a family of professional chefs. He brings a great deal of creativity and skill to his kitchen, crafting modern Japanese tapas with a fusion twist.
I was getting a little tired of Gyoza King and Hapa (which I both still like) so had to try this place. The decor is cool and comfy. The service friendly (always smiling) and the food was great! familiar dishes like Agedashi Tofu but with a twist (yama imo potato on top with tasty sauce). We also had the daikon salad (those are little fish sprinkled on top) which was so good, had to order a second.
My friends and I were quite hungry so we sampled a lot of delicious dishes (some pictured below).
For an order of chef’s special sashimi ($15.80) we chose the saba (mackerel), scallops, and salmon. The mackerel and scallops were seared with a blow torch right at our table, which made for quite the fiery entertainment!
The crab avocado salad ($8.80) was delicate and light, combining two of my favorite ingredients in a most favorable way.
The Ebi Chili Mayo ($8.00, deep fried prawn with Japanese mayonnaise and hot chili sauces) was gigantic and disappeared in a flash.
The Cheese Tofu ($6.80) looked like a fancy dessert cheese with strawberries, slivered almonds, and a sweet glaze, but tasted like a combination of custard, tofu, and a soft brie cheese. We also tried the Ishiyaki Risotto ($8.30) which was a nice sticky rice mixed with some succulent seafood.
My friends also ordered the Smoke Kissed Duck ($8.80), the Tarako Kimchi Udon ($7.80), and the Sashimi salad ($8.80), which looked amazing but I didn’t get a chance to try them. Hopefully next time!
Sashimi Salad from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in downtown Vancouver ($8.80)
Crab Avocado salad ($8.80) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas restaurant in the West End of Vancouver (Denman).
Chef's special Sashimi ($15.80) from Toratatsu in Vancouver (being seared with a blow torch!)
Another shot of the Chef's special sashimi from Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver.
Smoke kissed duck ($8.80) from Toratatsu on Denman Street in Vancouver.
Ebi Chili Mayo (deep fried prawn, $8.00) - wonderful!! from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas Bistro in Vancouver
Ishiyaki Seafood Risotto ($8.30) from Toratatsu Japanese Tapas in Vancouver.
Cheese Tofu ($6.80, a nice sweet dessert or appetizer) - with strawberries and slivered almonds. From Toratatsu Japanese restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.
I made a visit to Cassis Bistro (map, web site, visitor reviews, 420 West Pender St. Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-605-0420) and was really impressed. Cassis Bistro is a French tapas bistro hidden away in a somewhat seedier area of downtown Vancouver on the edge of Gastown (about two blocks from the Granville Skytrain station).
Ron Brill of Martiniboys (click here to read review) writes of “…elegantly simple, modern tapas fare…alluring French flavours…” and I concur. Cassis Bistro is definitely deserving of the positive buzz it has been getting recently.
Pictured below are some of the items we ordered. First was the complimentary amuse bouche, which was olives and antipasto served with French bread. The olives and antipasto were served in an interesting narrow tray and whetted the appetite perfectly. For an appetizer, we ordered a crepe with Brie cheese (around $10), which tasted great. Looking at the photo brings back fond memories! For the main course I orderedthe Duck a l’Orange ($17.50). The menu describes this item as:
Duck and oranges: a combination popular in many countries. This dish consists of Muscovy duck braised with oranges.
Let me say, the Duck a l’Orange was fantastic (or should I say merveilleux “en Francais”). I am a huge fan of orange juice and oranges in general, and duck is always a special treat for me since I don’t cook it at home. So this was a match made in heaven.
We also ordered a side dish of some vegetables: beets and zucchini (also pictured below, around $5). This went very well with a side of bechamel sauce.
Amuse bouche (olives and antipasto) with French bread at Cassis Bistro in downtown Vancouver.
Crepe with Brie Cheese from Cassis French Bistro restaurant in Downtown Vancouver BC Canada.
Duck a l'orange (Duck and Oranges), $17.50 from Cassis Bistro, a French restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.
Side order of market fresh vegetables from Cassis Bistro in Vancouver (beets and zucchini) - around $5.00.
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