Hawksworth Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is one of Vancouver’s brightest culinary gems, morning to night

It’s always a luxury when you can grab a beautiful brunch at a top-notch restaurant like Hawksworth, recently showered with numerous restaurant awards. Hawksworth has earned its place on Vancouver’s foodie scene as a culinary gem, morning to night.

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It’s a given that restaurants like Hawksworth excel with the dinner and business lunch crowds, but brunch is a whole other world, which is why it’s a real treat to sample award-winning cuisine by the early light of day. While there’s always a place in my stomach for a rustic poached-egg-and-hash breakfast, sometimes I want sablefish with my mimosa.

I think a lot of high-end restaurants forgo serving in the a.m. because unlike lunch (which, really, is just a lighter version of the dinner menu) breakfast and brunch require their own specific ingredients, cooking techniques and menu planning. It’s an entirely different set of culinary challenges to cater to the brunch crowd and, of course, Hawksworth does it brilliantly. its brunch menu will have you salivating. This is a menu (and a gorgeous room) to impress.

Pastry Heaven

We started with the assorted fresh-baked pastries and cappuccinos. Three pastries, all baked earlier that morning, were presented. There’s no set combination to this, so if you have favourites, pipe up. We had a pear danish, brioche and pain au chocolat, presented on a wooden serving board with a variety of spreads (that went untouched – the pastries were so delicious on their own).

I’ve since gone back to Bel Cafe across the hall for a few more of those pear danishes, which are flaky, luscious and absolute pastry heaven. I kid you not. They take their pastries seriously: all their flaky pastries are made with a special high-fat (84%) butter imported from New Zealand. 

Sablefish Cake

This sablefish and steelhead fish cake was one of the daily specials. It was served on a potato base, topped with two poached eggs and a tarragon-scented Bernaise sauce, with a perfectly dressed arugula salad on the side. I love sablefish and this was absolutely delectable and possibly one of the most elegant brunches I’ve ever been presented with.

Corned Beef Comfort Food

You know if Hawksworth is going to do corned beef, it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever had before. And true to form, this dish was succulent, flavourful and had just the right amount of mish-mash to make it the finest comfort food you’ve ever had. It was served with carmelized onions, grainy mustard and topped with two beautifully runny sunnyside eggs.

“You Mean... the FRIES, Right?”

I love potatoes, especially in the form of home fries. So, since neither brunch entrée came with them, I asked for a side of their house potatoes, which are prepared with parmesan and chives. When I tried adding this to our order, the server paused a beat and then carefully articulated, “You mean... the fries, right?”

When someone says something with such purposeful conviction, you take notice. “I want... the fries?”

“You want the fries.”

When they arrived, of course we immediately delved into them with curiosity and frankly a love of anything fried. They were outstanding, and this is why: the Kennebec potatoes are triple cooked – first boiled, then fried at a low temperature, then fried again at a high temperature. These were fat, chunky spears of deep-fried starchy goodness, satisfyingly crisp and salty on the outside, fluffy and flavourful on the inside. You, too, will want the fries.

Bel Cafe Macarons

And since Hawksworth’s sister enterprise is Bel Cafe just across the hall, we had to end our meal with an assortment of the delectable, signature macarons. It’d be rude not to.

After brunch, if you can move, I highly suggest taking advantage of the nearby artwork on display throughout the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, which is an outstanding collection. Pick up an art map at the concierge desk and meander along the first two floors, which are open to the public and filled with stunning pieces of artwork and architecture.

Hawksworth, 801 West Georgia Street, 604.673. 7000. Located in the lobby of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.