Some restaurants have such buzz around them that you wait anxiously for them to offer brunch. This isn’t easy since most restaurants focus on dinner and brunch isn’t really an option. When we found out that Barbounya was doing brunch we were excited to see not only a restaurant with a solid reputation serve brunch but also that it was an ethnic brunch since Barbounya serves Turkish food.
When you walk in you will see an interesting seating layout near the front with seats around a bar station. A little further on the right you will find a bar and the kitchen all the way in the back; you can see into it thanks to a partially open concept. When we went it wasn’t full and did not need the reservations we made. It could also be that all those mile-end kids hadn’t woken up from their hangovers.
Food Fisun Ercan is the chef and one of the owners at Barbounya. She is also involved with Su another Turkish restaurant over in Verdun that we reviewed a few years back and adored. The food is all Turkish and to have two Turkish brunches available in the city is a very good thing. The menu of the two locations are not exactly the same and the approach on the dishes vary even if you may recognize one from the menu over at Su.
The menu offers some interesting dishes and some of them have hints of a classic brunch fare, like the French toast. Most dishes will weight in at the $15 plus zone before you add the coffee, which is at $4 for a latte. There is not drip coffee and there are no refills, so do keep that in mind. The menu is as follows:
We started with a doughnut and jam dish ($15) which was intended as a sharing dish but in reality it is on the menu as a main dish. Now, Turkish doughnuts aren’t doughnuts like we are used to; they look like madeleines but have a different kind of consistency. This plate came with cheese cubes, tomatoes and a kasseri cheese spread which is a consistency that is definitely soft but not exactly liquidy – kind of like a ricotta cheese for lack of a better example. It was incredibly tasty but the dish was not filling and as a main I could see myself wanting a little more.
The French toast ($12) is a brioche bread French toast, with Tahini and chocolate. The presentation on this dish is breathtaking. It looks almost too good to eat but after your first bite that hesitation melts away as you become overwhelmed by how delicious this dish is and how the various flavours are perfectly married on the plate. The only downside with this plate is that the portion size is not enormous and for someone with a hungrier appetite this may not be enough since it is only one slice. Even though it’s an incredibly tasty slice, it is still just one and you will need something else which will drive up your bill.
My dish was the Borek ($11) which came stuffed with three different types of meat. You get beef, veal and lamb all stuffed into one delectable puff pasty and a side salad of tomatoes and some greens. The salad is incredibly fresh and reminds me of the summer which is no small feat when you are eating mid-winter.
I should note that each dish in the menu comes with a wine paring suggestion which,for wine drinkers, is a very nice touch (we didn’t have wine this time but for those who like it the option is on the menu).
The staff is very attentive to their clients. In fact my water was never empty and there was always someone checking in on us. Our waiter was very helpful in answering our questions and checked up on us frequently to ensure we were enjoying our meal and had all we needed.
Most of the dishes here have a meat in them, there are a few vegetarian options but the majority has some meat or fish. If you are ok with fish than your options increase.
I enjoyed Barbouya. I like seeing an ethnic take on brunch with an emphasis on presentation and taste. This is not something we get to see often. The location is lovely, the dishes are incredibly tasty and creative and you get that ethnic twist on brunch which you don’t always get to see. On the negative, the price can rise and get to the $20 zone if you are hungry and want coffee which isn’t included and doesn’t have refills..
| 234 Avenue Laurier Ouest
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||NO|
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