Cafe Medina | Great Waffles, Hipster Brunch

Cafe Medina | Great Waffles, Hipster Brunch

C took a week off on his birthday to use up vacation time.  We have always wanted to try Cafe Medina but not the wait.  So on the day of C’s birthday, a Thursday, we went and my mother came along to treat him as his birthday gift. (C: yay for a week off!)

Cafe Medina 2

For those who are unfamiliar with Cafe Medina, it is one of the well known place for brunch in Vancouver.  It is especially known for their waffles and lavender-related edibles.  The restaurant doesn’t take reservation and hence on a weekend, the wait could be 1hr and onward.  To get on the list, you simply walk into the restaurant and on the side it hangs a clipboard and an attached pen.  You simply write down your name and party size. 

Interior...not a very big place!

Interior…not a very big place!

Unfortunately, we came at a bad time.  There were 2 big parties ahead of us.  We got there around 11:15 and didn’t get seat till 12.  At 11:15 the waitress also announced that breakfast will no longer be served.  I heard a lot of immediate sigh and groans.  After the 2 big parties were seated, the turn over was actually quite fast.  Ppl who came later was in luck.  Their wait was short or to no wait at all! (C: I’m pretty impressed with how busy they were – a lineup on a weekday! Don’t people have work? I’m jealous!)

Cafe Medina 12

One barista making all the caffeinated drinks

I had my mind on trying the much raved lavender latte and waffle.  Since we did not anticipate such long wait, I had no breakfast or caffeine in me.  C and I immediately ordered each a lavender latte while my mom got a white chocolate pistachio rosewater mocha.  With high hope, the lavender latte was a disappointment.  The smell of lavender was definitely there.  I think the taste of lavender and caffeine isn’t the best harmonious combination.  Something just tasted OFF…I think it would be great as lavender milk instead of using it with caffeine.  I finished it simply because I needed a fix of caffeine.  Mom loved her mocha.  She loved the rosewater flavor.  It was a very tasty drink overall!  I could not taste the pistachio and only the rosewater.  I think the rosewater flavor is much more powerful than pistachio.

(C: I found the lavender flavour for the coffee kind of weird. It smelled really nice, but it didn’t jive too well with the coffee). 

Pretty looking latte and mocha.

Pretty looking 6 oz latte and mocha.

The menu has only 2 pages, very simple and clean.  One page is for the drinks and the other page is their food menu.

Drink menu

Drink menu

Food menu

Food menu

Mom ordered the Fricasse ($16) which has 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, watercress, applewood cheddar with grilled focaccia.  This is a breakfast item that is served all day.  C and I ordered from the lunch menu instead.  I had the L’ardennais ($19) which is AAA flatiron beef, 1 fried egg, forest mushroom bruschetta, smoked tomato béarnaise, ciabatta with watercress salad.  C decided on the Truite Saissoniere ($16), pan seared steelhead, quinoa and butternut squash salad, espelette caper butter, sunflower seeds and fresh picked herbs, pita chips.

My mom’s Fricasse was sooooo good!  The braised short ribs melt in my mouth and the sweetness of the caramelized onions really popped.  It is great that a grilled focaccia was serve as it can be used to mop up all the sauce in this dish.  The focaccia alone was pretty darn tasty with the buttery herbs slathered all over it.

(C: Q’s mom’s Fricasse was indeed super good! The short ribs were ultra tender and very flavourful. It was the best dish out of the three we had! This dish included some bread as well, it was awesome!)


Fricasse $16

L’ardennais was interesting…It was served in an open sandwich kind of style.  One side is a thick layer of the beef drowning in the tomato béarnaise and the other side is  the forest mushroom bruschetta.  Béarnaise is a heavy sauce made with butter and egg yolks…like a variation of the Hollandaise sauce.  The sauce is quite acidic with the tomato.  I didn’t particularly like the combination of acidic heavy cream.  I couldn’t taste the beef but only the sauce.  The beef slices had quite a chew to it as well.  I think C was the only one who really enjoyed it.  The forest mushroom bruschetta was so refreshing and light to eat in comparison to the beef.  I love all the mushroom flavors tossed in with some olive oil.  Maybe I should’ve joined the two part into one sandwich but it would’ve be very very messy to eat.
(C: Q wasn’t a fan, but I liked the taste of the steak. I wish Q had ordered the egg sunny side up, as I think that would have gone really well with the tomato!)
L'ardennais $19

L’ardennais $19

C had the steelhead.  I am not a big fan of fish so I passed.  It has a nice crispy sear on the fish from what I can see.  I’ll let him tell you about his own dish.
(C: It was a refreshing and healthy dish! I loved the quinoa – it had chunks of avocado and vegetables within. Very flavourful. The steelhead fish was good. It was tender and tasty, but nothing particularly stood out. The roasted tomatoes were lovely, particularly with the oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
Truite Saissoniere  $16

Truite Saissoniere $16

Can’t leave Cafe Medina without trying the much raved waffles!  We ordered one waffle ($3.15) to share as we were already quite full.  The waffle itself is light and fluffy and delicious to eat on its own.  We had the lavender milk chocolate sauce ($1) which we did not enjoy.  The taste of lavender didn’t jive with the chocolate.  The combination of the smell is better than the taste.  We finished the waffle without the sauce and the waffle itself is quite small.  I still love the Nero Waffles on Robson Street.
(C: I liked the waffle, but lavender wasn’t really a hit with us either. I think we just weren’t used to eating lavender flavoured foods)
The star of the meal!

The star of the meal!

Waffle $3.15  with lavender milk chocolate $1

Waffle $3.15 with lavender milk chocolate $1

All in all, quite a pricey French brunch. Food was quite yummy and the waffles were good. The lavender didn’t really work for us, which is sad after we heard so much hype about it.
(C: I enjoyed the meal at Cafe Medina. I think we’ll have to come back and check out the much raved Brunch menu. Unfortunately, the hyped Lavender dishes didn’t work for us. I liked the atmosphere and the food though, I just wish the lineups weren’t as long!)




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