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Arc Bottomless Brunch, DOVF2024

Dine Out Vancouver is not just 3 course dinners and the lesser seen lunch special, but it includes the even rarer brunch as well. And this weekend I was to get my first taste of ARC Restaurant’s well received “Bottomless Brunch”.

This was not unlimited drinks, but a buffet-style, all you can eat brunch from the kitchen of the luxury hotel, Farimount Waterfront. And we aren’t talking a complementary continental breakfast. Although there are waffles, but they are topped with buttermilk fried chicken. And there is oatmeal, but the oats are accompanied by chia seeds and toasted coconut. And there are eggs but they are Florentined and not scrambled. Although the scrambled egg that came on the side of the bone marrow was the fluffiest and most enjoyable I have ever had.

I digress, getting there. The drive downtown from my house in Burnaby is a distance, but worth it. The bottomless brunch is typically $69 per person, which is honestly great value considering the elevated dish offerings and how well executed on them they are. However, during the 2.5 weeks of Dine Out Vancouver (January 17th to February 4th, 2024) it is available for only $49 per person. This same menu regularly, and on promotion now, gives you the ability to order however many quantities of any of their listed breakfast items.

On this Saturday morning they were already bustling by 11am. We grabbed a high top table to be able to people watch out the all glass exterior. We were also well within earshot of the live musician performing his take on classic pop songs from the 50’s to the 80’s. It really set a nice breezy mood for brunch.

Speaking of setting the vibe. Not part of the bottomless brunch, but highly recommended is any of their cocktails. The Lambrusco was very tempting, much like their Caesar made with Maggi seasoning and Chicharron. But the Eventide cocktail peaked my interest with the promise of chai as a cocktail. I was looking forward to a bold ginger flavour and a creamy bouquet. However, what we got was more like a sangria. Bacarni 8, Knob Creek rye, Roja, mango, chai, cardamom cinnamon, star anise, and lemon. A refreshing cocktail with the taste of its spirit hidden. It had a fruity citrus tang to start and warm baking spices to end on. Only very faintly did I taste any chai, but that is probably only because I knew to look for it.

The “Let’s Get Fizzical” mimosa tasting flight is a customer favourite. The ability to try 3 different sparkling wine and fruit cocktails on a specialty flight board. Each equipped with a welcoming greeting and tasting notes.

The passionfruit, guava, and margo mimosa was the more familiar version with orange fruit. Rich, bright, and fruity, the passionfruit is the stand out here.

The rose and lychee was balanced, floral, and mellow. The lightest and breeziest of the 3. The bitterness of the rose is tempered by the sweet exotic lychee.

And the pineapple and hibiscus was the boldest with a sweet, tropical, and lush feel. Although more floral than fruity.

Now for the food. We had every intention of going in and ordering it all. Our strategy was to order in rounds, starting with the dishes we were most excited about and to repeat the process. We did the first two rounds in almost succession, not wanting to fill ourselves up with any waiting in between. Thankfully the servings are smaller. For example your eggs Benedict’s come as a single half and not 2 open faced English muffin sides.

The Buttermilk Biscuits with honey butter is a must. They are served warm, fragrant with cheese. Warm to the core and not just reheated. The butter immediately melts on the biscuit smooth, and they were generous with it. The biscuit is a cross between cornbread and scone in texture and taste, with a terrific crispy crust. We were sure to eat these in full, as they are best fresh.

The Berry Smoothie is another must, if just for a palate cleanser in between flavourful and rich dishes. Blended blueberry, banana, strawberry, raspberry, and coconut milk.

The 6″ Bone Marrow is a luxury I don’t expect to see on an all you can eat listing, or even any breakfast menu. Here, it is served with gruyere, scrambled eggs, chives, and sourdough toast. The flavour is in the gristle and in order to enjoy it you need to have a base like the toast and the egg overtop to help soak up some of that extra grease, for a more refined bite. Each individual element was well executed. The marrow very rich and oily, the fine grill on crispy toast, and the eggs whipped so fluffy it had me eating every crumb.

The Braised Lamb Shakshuka was a zesty dish of lamb sausage, onions, red pepper, feta cheese, sourdough toast, and poached egg. All the flavour is in the sausage, which is crumbly like chorizo. The runny yolk helped to thicken the mix and dispel some of the excess salt. Once again the toast is needed as a facet to balance out the punchy flavours. I liked the tomato tang enough that I used it as a dip for a few of the other dishes below.

The Chicken & Waffles with bacon slaw came highly recommended. Even as a scaled down portion, this was still a large slab of crispy textured breading. Pre-dressed in a honey syrup that did not cause the crunch to go soft. This was complimentary on the chewy eggy waffle, the juicy dark meat chicken, and the brightening fresh slaw with salty bacon chips. Another one to prioritize to try.

The Smoked Salmon Benedict was a half of a toasted English muffin topped with multiple folds of salmon, and the perfect amount of hollandaise. A pretty standard offering, I just could have used some freshness in this by way of vegetable like cucumber, or some fragrant herbs like dill or chives.

The Beef Shortrib poutine is more lunch than breakfast with shoestring fries, cheese curds, and pickles short rib chunks; all smothered in a beefy gravy. Also pretty standard and slightly on the salty side for my tastes.

In contrast, the Dutch Baby is the one to get if you are looking for something more light. This is essentially a crispy baked egg base that folds to create an egg bowl with a slightly brunt dough-like crust/walls. This “bowl” is used to house prosciutto, burratiri, arugula, and egg for a build your own sandwich or sorts. Although easier and lighter than bread. I would like to revisit this one, not so full, to be able to better appreciate it.

And for brunch dessert we had the Ooey Gooey Skillet which was a croissant baked skillet topped with an apple compote and cream cheese icing. The flakey mini croissants made this an amazing take on an apple galette or pie. Ideally eaten fresh out of the oven, it was so satisfying to get the crispy pastry, gummy apple, and thick cream all together in one mouthful. The latter, cream cheese icing, had this one straddling savoury.

If you only have room for one dessert, I would recommend the skillet over the French Toast with a similar flavour profile. This too featured an apple compote, but topped with a crumble and whipped cream. All over a thick, fluffy, egg soaked, slice of brioche toast. The cinnamon apple flavour is what you get and with all the soggy textures and limited crumb, I was left waiting something crispy; so heading back to the skillet.

This is where we had to throw in the white flag. Our would have been last round, and the dishes we missed out on were the following. The Egg Florentine, which sounded like an omelette, but with more toast on the side. The Steel Cut Oat Risotto read like dinner and felt heavy, even with the addition of a poached egg. The Roesti was more or less a smoked salmon and fennel salad. There was also a pork Benedict but we thought one Benny was enough. And the Bircher Muesli was oats topped with seeds, nut, and fruit that was sure to fill.

10/15 items tried and we felt full and satisfied. My only critique would be that I would have liked them in even smaller portions, to be able to try them all and go back for seconds of our favourites. A similar size to what you would scoop for yourself from a buffet line. I highly recommend this all you can eat brunch, and even more so during Dine Out Vancouver where you can save $20 on this elevated experience.

ARC Restaurant
900 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5

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