We’re taking a tasty tour of Vancouver’s many brunches to create The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide. This week we’re savouring unique brunch-inspired eats at Farmer’s Apprentice.
Set amidst a residential/commercial area in Fairview, Farmer’s Apprentice is a welcoming spot, headed by chef-owner David Gunawan. Known for its nightly farm-to-fork food, dinner’s not all this rustic space has to offer. There’s an enticing list of innovative brunch options too, dished up specially on the weekend.
The restaurant swings back its door at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Opening at such a prime brunch time, it’s no surprise that a little gathering of people (all eager to taste the spoils about to be served up) begins to form.
With a charming country ambience, an array of homey touches (potted plants, mismatched woods, country-style window panes, and mason jars filled with wildflowers), and incredible aromas wafting out from the kitchen, Farmer’s Apprentice makes a great first impression.
Featuring an ever-changing menu (the produce at hand is dependent on the farmer’s delivery), patrons can never be too sure what brunch items will appear, however, top-notch meals are most certainly guaranteed.
Diners who frequent Farmer’s Apprentice for brunch can expect to discover a freshly printed menu sheet, full of creative plates, designed to be sampled and shared, and composed of an assortment of familiar ingredients (eggs, cabbage, and the like) and not so familiar ingredients–like sprouted emmer, for example, an ancient grain.
Preparing a brunch spread like no other, Farmer’s Apprentice offers a range of intriguing and delicious sounding options, from buttermilk biscuits served with concord grape jelly ($4), to a miso-based dish topped with complementary chunks of lightly grilled octopus, cabbage, potato, and a boiled egg ($16).
With the intention to serve unique food, Gunawan and his talented team constantly craft dishes with inventive textures and flavours. This endeavor to create original meals is never more apparent than in the sprouted emmer dish itself ($16). The cultivated grain, which can be thought of as a rice substitute, is cooked with garlic and onion, blended with a squash purée, and served with a dollop of wonderfully creamy burrata, and two perfectly cooked soft poached eggs.
As soon as the fork pierces the eggs, the grains start to immediately soak up all that yolky goodness. The overall flavours achieved in this dish are rich, yet balanced at the same time.
More standout dishes include the Crispy Pork Terrine ($12), which comes plated with Beyond Bread’s organic sourdough, a fried egg, greens, and sliced kohlrabi (a member of the cabbage family), and the Brown Butter Lemon Crepes ($9). Topped with blueberries and an airy whipped Chantilly cream, this starter, or finisher plate, is the perfect mix of sweet and tart.
Farmer’s Apprentice implores diners to be a little adventurous, to step out of their comfort zone and try something different from the usual brunch suspects that are so commonly offered. Diners who follow suit will be rewarded with a delicious and memorable meal.
Drink wise, Farmer’s Apprentice offers a variety of brunch libations, including a Caesar, Mimosa, the French cocktail Kir Royale, draft beer, and Champagne. Non-alcoholic options include unpasteurized juice and freshly brewed coffee.
Address: 1535 West 6th Street, Fairview
Hours: Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.