Calabash Bistro caribbean style brunch review
Calabash Bistro recently launched a new brunch menu mixing traditional weekend brunch with a Caribbean twists. “Growing up, weekend brunch was an important time for my family to connect over classic Caribbean dishes. We want our guests at Calabash to feel at home in our space, while taking the time to catch up with friends and family, and explore new Caribbean flavours mixed with Western classics.” Executive Chef Chef Cullin David, co-owner of Calabash explained.
Last Thursday, we were invited to preview their latest offering. Upon arrival to the Caribbean themed restaurant, we were greeted by very friendly staffs and live island music to set the mood – relax and casual atmosphere. We were given a glass of Lassic. A traditional Indian drink made with yoghurt, pistachio, vanilla, honey, fresh fruit & spices.
We kick off with a traditional Caribbean breakfast of Escovitch Fish, which is pan-seared snapper, fried plantain, rice & peas. The snapper was nicely complement with a tangy Escovitch sauce. The fish was paired with a Passion Fruit & Guava Mimosa – Pares Balta organic sparkling wine, passion fruit juice, guava juice. To complement the meal, Bar Manager Jay Browne match the sweet & savoury food with cocktails that run the full flavour spectrum to challenge the palates.
The next dish mixes two of my favourites: oxtail and egg benny. The Oxtail Stew Brunch Bowl is oxtail stew, rice & peas & two poached eggs top with coconut rundown hollandaise. The coconut rundown is a custard-like sauce made from reduced coconut milk. The lightly sweetened coconut rundown goes well with the egg and stew. The oxtail was mildly spicy which I prefer. The brunch bowl is one of my favourite. I highly recommend it. It was paired with Dark & Stormy. It’s ginger infused Gosling’s rum, house-made ginger beer, Angostura bitters, ginger syrup. If you love ginger, you gotta try this.
Lastly for dessert, we had the Salara French Toast. It’s fresh baked traditional Guyanese coconut bread, fresh cut fruit, banana cream, spiced mango maple syrup. The french toast was delicious! The Guyanese coconut bread was light, spongy, fluffy and perfect with the mango syrup and banana cream. This is way better than the iconic French toast made from stale bread. The sweet dessert was paired with Coconut Jumby. It’s a 3 year old El Dorado rum shaken with coconut water, agave syrup, muddle lemongrass, mint, lime zest. For the last drink, I opted for the virgin option. Upon request, all of the cocktails can be non-alcoholic.
Chef Cullin David with partners Sam Willcocks and Roger Collins opened Calabash Bistro in 2010. Raised in a family of many great cooks, Cullin realized early on that he had an appetite for gastronomy and a craving to open a restaurant influenced by his grandmother’s signature West Indian cooking. Cullin attended the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, where he cultivated his knowledge of classic French technique and enthusiasm for Caribbean fare. His culinary adventures soon took him to Giraffe Restaurant, Blue Note Jazz Bistro, The Reef Caribbean Restaurant and Provence Restaurants, where Cullin flourished under the tutelage of acclaimed chef Jean-francis Quaglia.
At night, downstair turns into an intimate lounge with live reggae, jazz, blues music throughout the week. They also offer one of the largest rum list in Vancouver. Spice up your weekend & prepare yourself for a mouthwatering treat, Calabash is serving brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Address: 428 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC