Foie Gras Torchon – Toasted Brioche, British Columbia Peach Preserves, Sea Salt
Cassoulet – Duck, Pork, White Beans, Grilled Bread
Dark Chocolate & Coconut Bread Pudding – Almond and Coconut Ice Cream, Chocolate Tuille, Pomegranate Seeds
Defining themselves as a “Canadian Brasserie inspired by local ingredients,” the menu quite French while the design and high Tea service on weekends lean British, Brasserie Kensington has achieved notoriety by way of its focus on simple, honest cooking and bold flavors, lunch at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday finding the frequently-packed space far less buzzy than usual, the first twenty-minutes spent dining in exclusivity.
Open from Lunch through Late-night, a short flight of stairs placing the heavily wooded dining room above a bar beneath, it was with greetings from a youthful gentleman in buttoned flannel featuring wild animals that ‘any seat you like’ was offered, the front window looking out on the street from which the restaurant takes its name providing a bit of people watching throughout the course of the meal.
Playing music ranging from White Stripes to The Tragically Hip, a television behind the bar showing American football, it was not long after ordering that a two-ounces of creamy Duck Liver arrived on grilled Brioche, the individualized squares from Rougie perfectly portioned and ideal for sharing with a spoonful of Peach Jam, though fans of Foie Gras will no doubt be compelled to eat the whole thing.
Tempted by plats du jour, an absolute bargain for those looking for a substantial-yet-expedited business lunch, any thoughts of braised local Beef were cast aside the moment Cassoulet entered my line of vision, the small-ish bowl without much Broth still packing quite a wallop with Duck and Pork plus the unmistakable flavor of Offal mixed with soft White Beans stewed with Herbs and Tomatoes.
Making the obvious choice for dessert, the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake in January producing a chuckle while Earl Grey Crème Brulee is simply not my style, it was with greedy eyes that I starred at the lump of Bread Pudding before diving in, melted Dark Chocolate richly infusing every centimeter of the springy Brioche topped in a slowly melting ball of Coconut Ice Cream with the added bonus of Hot Fudge and Pomegranate Seeds.