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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brunch at The Sparrow- Review


I have been known to be rather harsh on restaurants, if there is a culinary weak spot I will probably spot it. This time however, I went to eat at a restaurant where I could barely find anything wrong. I would have loved to say that it was flawless but there was one teensy-weensy thing that could be corrected, but however, as far as restaurants go my meal was nearly perfect.


The restaurant’s decor is rather charming. There is lots of dark wood, framed picture and books shelves with books and knick knacks on them. I loved the wallpaper with the embossed birds on it. The menu is British inspired and it definitely felt as though I had wandered into my non-existent British aunt’s cozy drawing room.


I went to brunch with a group of Montreal bloggers. You can see their happy shiny faces above. It had been a while since our last meet up so it was nice to see everyone again. If you’re a Montreal food blogger drop me a line so we can include you in our next get together.


One thing I have to hand to The Sparrow is their attention to details. I loved the fact that they had lumps of cane sugar and their cream was served in a little jug. Ok, here comes the one bad thing about the food at The Sparrow. The coffee was not very good, but it was not very bad either, it was just mediocre. It tasted very weak. In my books brunch deserves a good strong cup of coffee. But then again, the coffee was included in the price of the food so I can’t complain too much.


Ok, now that that unpleasantness is out of the way you will see that the rest of my review will be positively glowing.

The menu was very minimalistic which can be annoying if the servers aren’t willing describe the items but we had a super friendly waitress who took her time to go through each item and answer all of our questions. The service here was excellent, even though the restaurant was full when we went we didn’t have to wait overly long for our food and our coffee and water were refilled at regular intervals.

I was torn over a few items but decided to order the custard doughnuts and the sausage and egg roll. The French toast made with brioche really tempted me but I will save that for my next visit.


One thing I have to say was that the plates were gorgeous. It added to the feeling of having a meal at a relative’s house, that is, a relative who happens to be a fabulous cook.


The doughnut were nice and airy, not heavy or greasy at all. I had ordered custard ones but I traded one away for a taste of a chocolate doughnut. The chocolate was just ok; I felt the chocolate taste was not strong enough. If they had put in more cocoa powder the taste would have been perfect. As well, the chocolate doughnuts were under filled compared to the custard doughnuts. Ok, so I lied, there were two things that I found that could have been better.


The custard filling was amazing. It almost tasted like crème patisserie and you can even see the little black flecks of the vanilla bean seeds. I could have happily eaten a few more of these.


One thing that I was really impressed by was the fact that all our meals were brought out at the same time and nothing was cold or overcooked. This is especially impressive given that most of us had ordered eggs which overcook and cool down quickly, and as there were 13 of us this was quite the feat. Most places have a very difficult time handling serving a big group at the same time.

Up above is my meal. It was a sausage patty on a soft milky bun, with a sunny side up egg, lettuce, tomato, cheddar and I think mayo or some other kind of sauce.


I am seriously salivating looking at these pictures as I am typing this. This sausage and egg roll was incredible. The sausage patty was perfectly seasoned and still moist and juicy. The egg was was perfectly cooked, the whites were firm but the yolk was runny and perfectly oozy. The cheddar was appropriately strong and the soft milkyness of the bun brought the whole thing all together. A lot of thought and care went into this sandwich. Like I said, this place really pays attention to the details.


I had also ordered bubble and squeak which is a potato and cabbage dish. This was also really good, the potatoes were soft and savoury with an incredible golden crust on top.

The following are the items ordered by other bloggers:


Crumpet with jam. This looked absolutely scrumptious. I’ve only ever had crumpets from the supermarket and this one definitely looked a million times better.


This was baked eggs, celeriac and oyster mushrooms with some toast.


This was the full English breakfast, otherwise known as the meat bonanza: bacon, sausage, blood sausage, beans, bubble and squeak (if I’m not mistaken), eggs and toast. This was most definitely the heartiest of the dishes.


This was scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.


This was eggs Florentine with smoked salmon. The slices of salmon were generous and looked lovely.


Doesn’t this look absolutely amazing? As Evelyne said to the waitress as she was ordering this, “you had me at Brioche”. The French toast came with caramelized pears, apples and cranberries all doused in maple syrup. I’m definitely getting this next time.

Perhaps the best part of this meal was the cost. The doughnuts, the sausage and egg roll, the bubble and squeak and coffee with tax and tip was 20$ which was an absolute steal considering the quality of the ingredients and the service we received. I will most definitely be back for brunch again soon, hopefully before the lineups get too long since I am sure this place will keep on getting more and more popular.

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