Oof. Homesickness has hit. Just like Proust got sucked into a world of nostalgia and memory from one bite of a madeleine, so I found myself in tears after a sip of latte at Fable on West 4th. It was perfect; silky steamed, frothy milk and rich, smooth coffee – just exactly the way I love it – and how the fine folk at Small Batch make it in Brighton.
I thought of all my friends that I missed sitting and having coffee with and oh, it hurt. Silly really, to cry over coffee but isn’t it always food that makes you feel connected to memories and special occasions? I’m sitting back at home now, indulging in a small sob-fest. It’s three months on Thursday since I arrived in Vancouver and this is the first time I’ve felt truly homesick. How typical that it was because of a coffee!
Fortunately apart from weeping over the latte, I was also raving over the brunch menu at Fable. I went with my friend from Toronto, Alyssa, who confessed to being not much of a brunch person – but looks like she may have changed her mind after the dazzling meal that we shared. We kicked off with brunch cocktails; a pink grapefruit Cava mimosa for me (loved the tartness of this) and a tongue-tingly spicy Victoria Gin Caesar for Alyssa. We split the special, a smoked salmon benedict, which came with a satisfying wedge of almost-candied smoked salmon, completely different from the usual waxy sliver of salmon that arrives with a benny. Paired with a peppery olive oil hollandaise and dressed salad leaves, this had us both gurgling with glee.
The must-have is definitely scrambled eggs; served in a glass jar, layered with buttery spinach, salty bacon and topped with a parmesan foam; they arrived with hefts of fluffy brioche and a brilliantly-crunchy rosti. After one bite, thoughts of how far I was from home faded and instead I started to feel glad that I was within walking distance of these eggs instead.
I tried the french toast – I’m not a fan as a rule, maybe it’s the cinnamon, maybe it’s the overly-sweetness of it? – but this might change my mind. I liked the chewy, carmelised, buttery edges and the smooth dollop of Mascarpone, along with the freshness of the blueberries served on the side, cut through the usual teeth-rattling sugaryness. Alyssa loved it.
We sat at the bar – recommended for fans of kitchen theatre and the sheer joy of watching a good crew work together – but next time, I plan to bring a crew of my own, maybe for the monthly boozy brunch, and sit in the back. It’s time I started to create new traditions in Vancouver, and I think brunch at Fable is just the thing to make me feel at home.
We were hosted by Fable, but my views are 100% my own. In fact I’ve been back for that boozy brunch a few times since – it’s still great!