Date of visit: March 8, 2014
It's been a long time since my last visit to Cafe Zen. I used to come here often, and then I became obsessed with Paul's Omelettery and stopped coming here. I stopped going to Paul's now because of the long lineup, the rate increase and food has gone downhill.
Because of the visit to Thyme to Indulge did not satisfy my craving for eggs benedict, we came here to have some REAL eggs benedict because I know Cafe Zen will not disappoint me.
Cafe Zen offers a bunch of eggs benedicts choices, as well as other breakfast choices. I sort of wanted to order the french toast as their french toast is so fluffy; it's probably the best french toast that I have had in Vancouver. In the end I decided to go with just eggs benedict and ordered half crab and half shrimp. I remembered there was one time that I ordered the shrimp, but didn't taste too well. Fortunately, I didn't have this problem today. And no, they did not adjust their price like Paul did. I really love how they allow people to mix & match the orders, because that way I get to eat two kinds of bennys.
In the past, I didn't really find the portion of Cafe Zen's dishes to be huge, but that's probably because I was used to the kind of portion served at Paul's. However, after my visit to Yolk's, Thyme to Indulge, and now I'm back to Cafe Zen, the portion of the dish certainly seemed much bigger to me. This is what I seek in a brunch restaurant: a place which serves you a dish that's big enough to cover breakfast and lunch.
Now, my Half Crab Half Shrimp Bennies ($12.69) did not look fancy, but they definitely tasted better than fancier look ones that I've had. With my Taiwanese background, I am so used to street food or decent eats in a poor surrounding. Therefore, I do not usually care much about the presentation unless it's fine dining. For me, the taste and value are far more important than the presentation. The hashbrowns were really fresh and crispy, way better than the one from Red Wagon. The English muffin was fresh and moist. The poached eggs were not 100% poached but much better than the ones that I've had in Yolk's. The eggs here also seemed to be larger in terms of size. Was it because they're not free-range eggs? Free-range eggs are available upon request at Cafe Zen. The hollandaise sauce remains to be best that I've had. It had a perfect thickness and full of flavor. Also, it was a generous amount of hollandaise sauce.
Service: 3.5/5 (once I ordered and got my food they sort of left me alone, but understandable as they were very busy)
Value: 5/5 (pretty affordable decent brunch eats in Vancouver)
Food: 4.5/5 (rating based on the bennys and the french toast that I had in the past. It's not likely that I will try other things here in the future as I hate to be disappointed; I will just stick with my favorite dish.)