I work out an office in the Chinatown area. I am lucky to be surrounded by delicious food destinations. One of my favourite places nearby for post- work drinks and dinner is The Union.
One of my colleagues was raving to me about how good The Union's brunch is. He even mentioned that he liked working some weekend shifts because it meant a tasty brunch....specifically he had one favourite dish, The Bangalore Hash.
This past weekend, my pal T and I did a Sunday morning coat drive donation drop off at Covenant House.
Side note: this is a great time of year to clean your closets and donate warm clothes that you no longer wear to those in need. See Covenant House link above for donation deets.
I was quick to suggest that we head to The Union for a post donation brunch.
We arrived around 11am. There is meter street parking out front and residential parking nearby. The restaurant environment is industrial-style with wood and concrete pillars, long picnic bench seating that feels cozy and communal and trendy metal light fixtures hanging from high ceilings. It was a sunny day and this space was full of pleasant sunlight streaming through large windows. This place feels relaxed and cool.
We asked our server for recommendations and she enthusiastically sang the praises of the aforementioned Bangalore Hash, saying it was hands down her favourite thing.
The menu is full of intriguing and delicious sounding options like Bao Bennies, Pandesal French Toast, Breakfast Banh Mi, Shanghai Scramble and even a Pho option.
Ultimately, with two strong recommendations, I had to go with the Bangalore Hash $14 curry spiced potatoes, peas, spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, squash, goat cheese, poached eggs, cauliflower purée ‘hollandaise’(with goat cheese on the side since I'm eating semi-vegan).
This dish was worth the hype. Pretty damn perfect breakfast if you ask me with every element executed awesomely. The base of the dish is fantastically flavoured crispy curry potato hash browns with chunks of butternut squash. The tomato, chickpea, cooked spinach had a nice flavour with a bit of a chunky chana masala taste and feel. The eggs were perfectly poached with perfect, thick-yet-runny, silky, bright yellow yolks. The cauliflower puree was a lighter, more subtle flavour alternative to the traditional hollandaise, but with so much flavour happening underneath, it certainly didn't need the rich hollandaise.
I would have enjoyed the dish a bit more without the butternut squash. It didn't really contribute anything flavour wise, its texture threw off the balance of the dish for me and just made the dish heavier than it needed to be.
T ordered the Filipino Pankaplog $14 two eggs (choice of fried or scrambled), sinangag, pickled papaya, pandesal, curry spiced hashbrowns, choice of sausage or bacon.
She really enjoyed her meal especially the pickled papaya salad and curry spiced hash browns and sinangag (garlic fried rice) which was quite rich and flavourful.
Unless you are a pretty "meat and potatoes" type of bruncher with an unadventurous palette, I would definitely recommend checking out brunch at The Union.