My family and I spent Christmas long-weekend in Vancouver (I had to come back for work, they stayed till New Year's Eve). In that short amount of time, we tried to squeeze in some nice meals, including a "meh" Christmas buffet at Cloud 9, dim sum at Top Gun, and a traditional Chinese dinner at Kirin. I also had my first taste of apple-beet juice from a shop at Aberdeen Centre. But the meal that was probably the most out of our family's comfort zone was the jazz brunch at Nu.
Nu is a tiny, sunny restaurant perched on the edge of False Creek (offering gorgeous views of the marina) across from Granville Island. Despite its small space, they host a lot of events and parties - in fact, my cousin once attended a wedding reception held there. Nu's focus is a farm-to-table approach, serving up food from local producers. A plaque noting that it was enRoute Magazine's Best New Restaurant of 2006 is proudly displayed in the dining room.
For brunch, there is a table d'hôte menu where you have your choice of appetizer, beverage and main dish for (I believe) under $30. My parents and sister ordered from that menu (though they don't drink, so it was probably a ripoff), whereas I resisted the siren calls of the Candy-Striped & Golden Beet Salad and the Mimosa and just ordered off the mains. But before that - freebies!
Please excuse my sloppy photo-editing skills.
We were greeted with a plate of grapes and house-made preserves as we sat down...
...and a tiny mug of rich, foamy hot chocolate and a citrus scone (which went very well with the berry preserves) as we waited for our food to arrive.
It was the Sunday after Christmas after all, and I believe the restaurant was probably short-staffed as our food took quite a while to arrive. The waitress handled it very professionally, pre-emptively apologizing and was very gracious even when my dad tried to complain, fresh from a "victory" where he scared away the host at Cloud 9, never to return for the whole evening.
The food did eventually arrive though -
My parents and sister all started off with some Deep Fried Oysters with Lighthouse Lager Shooters ($3 each; the table d'hôte came with an order of two). I didn't have the chance to try one but they were nice and crispy on the outside and warm and meaty on the inside. My sister obviously couldn't have any of the beer, but my mom preferred the oysters without it and my dad looked pretty funny trying to suck back the leftover lager from the dropper by itself.
I had the Vegetarian Benedict ($11.90), which was simple, but delicious. I'm usually not a fan of hollandaise sauce, but found that this one was rich without being overpowering and the eggs were cooked to medium, which is the way I like them (I hate chasing runny yolk around!) The dish also came with a fresh, minty salad and all the dishes came with this tomatoey sauce on the side (cooked salsa?) which had a hearty, chili-like flavour that everyone in my family enjoyed. My mom said it was her favourite part of the dish.
I didn't have a chance to take photos and get verdicts on the other dishes my family had - I think my dad had the Dungeness Crab Benedict, my grandma and cousin got the basic two eggs, bacon, hash browns and baguette and my mom had... an omelette? I think the general consensus was that the food was just "ok" for my family - they were out of their comfort zone and had to wait, which made their impression of the restaurant even worse.
My sister liked her Warm Chicken and Brie on a Baguette ($13.90) though, and I think we were all a little jealous of the fruit salad that came with it.
While I don't think my family will be going back, my cousin's girlfriend (who recommended the restaurant to us) said that she'd never experienced slow service before, so if I'm ever in Vancouver again, I'll definitely drop by and try some of their other dishes, enjoy the view, then ride the Aquabus to Granville Island.
1661 Granville St
Vancouver BC V6Z 1N3
Online reservations available.