Tuesday 29 August 2017

Edible Obsessions | Rosé All Day Brunch at The Market Jean-Georges

Rosé Popsicle Cocktail | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

I practically fell out of my seat yesterday morning on the Skytrain when I received an email from the head of public relation team at the Shangri-La Vancouver. Apparently my recent Instagram posts of their infamous Rosé Popsicle caught her attention and before I knew it, I was sitting across from Market Jean-Georges Executive Chef, Ken Nakano!

The Rosé All Day Brunch Series at the Market Jean-Georges has been the place to be on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Instagram feeds have become inundated with Rosé Popsicle Cocktails, a house-made fruit popsicle over which Ruffino Sparkling Rosé is poured and finished with fresh raspberries. I enjoyed the iciness of the popsicle and it tasted amazing with the bubbles from the sparkling rosé. The Popsicle is one of six Rosé cocktails on the brunch menu and also feature Kim Crawford Rosé and a more affordable wine, the Jackson Triggs Reserve Rosé. I am a big fresh berry girl, so it was tough to not order one of the others, but I had come specifically for the popsicle. 

August 2017 also happens to mark Chef Ken's second year with the Shangri-La; however, he has been immersed in the hotel food scene for nearly 20 years which includes his time at the Fairmont Vancouver and more recently the Rosewood. Unlike the regular dinner and lunch menus which are solely signature recipes chef Jean-Georges, the brunch menu is Chef Ken's creation. I could listen to the Chef speak about food all day and it was touching to hear him speak so lovingly about his mother's cooking and being raised in a Japanese home helped foster his love of food. 

"Tradition is passed through food. Food is day to day, it is rooted-deep in our lives" 

There are lots of exciting new dishes planned for the fall at Market, but it also means the Rosé All Day Brunch series will be coming to an end soon. I only just tried this marvellous brunch and I wish I went sooner. As an influencer, I sometimes try to avoid overtly-hyped trends as I want to do something different. I am so glad I took my friend up on this girl date because the hype is well deserved by the Shangri-La. 

We were seated outside on Shangri-La's stunning third floor patio for the Rose brunch menu which is exclusively served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 3pm. This might be the first and only time you will be at a restaurant where your reservation is primarily made for a patio - that is also quite roomy -  and not a first come first serve basis; however, it is also served indoors if you prefer it. Brunch started with mini cinnamon buns that were not only adorable, but perfect in flavour and texture. I knew I was going to spoil myself with food, so I got two entrees, the Bircher Muesli and the Three-Egg Omelette. 

The egg was fluffy and enveloped mushrooms, wilted spinach, grilled red peppers and farmhouse cheddar. There were also a generous number of bacon strips in the omelette, but I am not a big pork eater so my friend happily ate them for me. The omelette also came with a side of crispy golden potatoes. When it comes to eggs, I can only eat them with ketchup, so I politely requested some from our server. What I was not expecting were the adorable little glass Heinz ketchup bottles! I honestly died from seeing how tiny they were and I shamelessly asked if I can take them home with me. 

The Bircher Muesli may seem like a weird thing to order when going out for brunch at one of Vancovuer's luxury hotel restaurants, but I actually enjoyed it more than the omelette. When oatmeal and mueslis are done right, they can taste amazing and Chef Ken definitely knows how to make a sensational bowl of muesli. It was decadent and full of lovely flavours like tart apple, coconut shreddings and fresh berries. Chef Ken has promised me that he is going to teach me how to make his Muesli and I am most definitely going to be taking him up on his offer. 

Chef Ken's personal favourites are the Smoked Cauliflower "Croque Madame" and the French Toast. A slice of smoked cauliflower is paired with gruyere cheese and a perfect sunny up egg between perfectly toasted sourdough bread. Chef's second favourite is also vegetarian friendly and loved by everyone no matter the age. The french toast is thick-cut pieces of brioche bread, caramelized bananas and finished with a rich chocolate sauce. 

"The french toast is decadent, but basically a dessert for an entree" 

I appreciate Chef Ken including so many vegetarian dishes on the Rosé All Day Brunch menu since I find far too many menus are saturated with meats and seafoods. My own parents are vegetarian and it can be tricky to find a restaurant where their only option is a salad. 

My friend had the Braised Shortrib Hash with two poached eggs, sautéed peppers and lemon chilli asparagus. We both liked the heat from the chilli's as it was bold and really enhanced the flavour of the braised shortrib. After three entrees, I felt like my stomach was going to burst, but I could not leave without a sweet bite. To prepare myself for one more dish, I did a little jog up and down the bridge between the restaurant and the stairs. 

Unlike the rest of our brunch, the Market Cheesecake just did not do it for us. The rhubarb sorbet was far too sweet and I was not too fond of the cheesecake's texture. I did express to Chef Ken that I was not too keen on the Market Cheesecake's flavour and he appreciated my honest feedback. Next time I will be ordering the Lime Bar that comes with spiced caramel and vanilla scented carrots - cannot wait!

Going into Fall/Winter, you may start to feel a presence of Chef Ken's mother and his Japanese heritage on the menu. As Vancouver restaurants continues to decrease their carbon-footprints by sourcing ingredients more locally, you can expect to see more vegetables, especially root vegetables. Chef Ken excitedly revealed his plan to ferment the fresh vegetables using miso and tsukemono techniques. Processes like fermenting or curing or salting for him not only preserve the food, but also helps the food develop a more robust flavour. The insurgence of traditional food preservation methods in Vancouver echoes Chef Ken's own fond sentiments of having his mother pass on Japanese traditions to him. 

Vancouver has been enamoured with the Shangri-La's Rosé All Day Brunch and it is most definitely the highlight of summer 2017. The Rosé Popsicle is sensational both in taste and appearance. Chef Ken's vision was brought to life by the entire team at the Shangri-La Vancouver as it takes a team of talented individuals to create a spectacular dining experience. I seriously urge everyone to make a reservation for Rosé All Day because the final seating of Summer 2017's ultimate brunch will be on September 17!


EDIT: The last date for the Rosé All Day Brunch has been extended to Sunday September 17th, 2017

The Popsicle was delicious! Icy and the perfect amount of sweetness from the berries.
That final pour on the Rosé Popsicle | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

Complimentary mini cinnamon rolls | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

Brunch is served | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

Three Egg Omelette with crispy potatoes | Rosé All Day Brunch Series
Adorable mini Heinz Ketchup Bottles | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

Bircher Muesli, the best one I have tasted to date | Rosé All Day Brunch Series
Braised Short-Rib Hash with Two Poached Eggs | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

Market Cheesecake with Rhubarb Sorbet and Strawberry Sauce | Rosé All Day Brunch Series

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