Today we were at Dalina, Chinatown’s local cafe, artisan convenience store, and now brunch hot spot.
We came down to try their new brunch menu with no preconceived notions, and left wonderfully surprised. Truly, what we had was a delicious and affordable brunch, that is available Thursday through to Sunday.
We would try everything on this new bunch menu, minus the vegetarian Benny (as we had their regular one), to be able to report to you here on how it all was, and what to order for yourself in the future.
The day was bright and hot, so we took advantage of their patio seating and started with a round of drinks. Coffee and iced lattes for my guests and a green smoothie for myself. The Green Pineapple was a blended mix of pineapple, banana, spinach, and coconut milk. A tasty way to sneak some leafy greens into my diet; and a healthy and nutritious start to my day, as I prefer it over caffeine.
The Dalina Breakfast Plate was an assembly of scrambled eggs, bacon, house made berry compote, and sourdough. A pretty standard offering. The bacon was thick cut and caramelized for a delicious salty chew. And the jam was more tart than sweet, made more enjoyable with actual bits of fruit. Each of the dishes comes with a side salad of arugula, pickled onion, grape tomatoes, and house dressing. Ideal as a fresh bite in between salty meats and heavy sauces.
My favourite and the one I would order again and recommend is the Giant Breakfast Sandwich. Scrambled eggs, secret sauce, and hollandaise all between a brioche bun. And be sure to add on their specialty harissa bacon as it really makes the sandwich. The messier the better I say, and this one delivered. Incredibly tasty upon first bite with its savoury rich hollandaise, sweet buttery bun, and the highlight of the sticky toffee-like candied bacon. I am craving it now writing this.
The BBQ Brisket Croissant is a great option too. Take delicious roasted brisket and sautéed mushroom then sandwich both between a flaky croissant with cheese, hollandise, and a poached egg. This one you have to eat quickly as the sauce over croissant is a ticking time bomb and crispy turns into soggy quick. And as photogenic as the runny egg yolk looked, you are left with only a few bites of meat and egg. Here, the fluffy scrambled egg above would have allowed a more even ratio of egg to brisket. The flavour of the barbecue sauce was a classic sweet and it left me wanting something tangy and fresh to balance it out. Here, the side salad helped, but I would have preferred a slice of tomato instead.
The Panino Crocante was their take on a croque madam with a perfectly poached egg over a prosciutto cotto sandwich with cheese, hollandaise, and their secret sauce.
The mix of the latter two dishes was the same as what it was in the giant breakfast sandwich, but on crispy toasted sourdough bread, with saltier ham slices and a runny yolk. Here, I was also left searching for some depth and tang, so reached for Dalina’s house-made hot sauce that did the trick.
And as mentioned earlier they have a Smoked salmon Benny with avocado, poached eggs, and an herb crema cheese hollandiase; all over an open faced English muffin. Whereas their veggie Benny was the same except subtitle salmon for tomatoes. As far as egg Benedicts go, this was pretty standard. Nothing about it stood out compared to all the other more unique offerings above.
We pretty much ordered everything on the menu as is, but they do offer add ons and ways to make each breakfast dish above your own. Doing so with the likes of poached eggs, more avocado, regular bacon, the highly recommend Harissa bacon, sausage, chicken, and even a potato hash in place of the salad.
Once again, an unsuspectingly great and afford brunch that I did not expect from a cafe. Can recommend and would order again.
DALINA Main St.
687 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2V4