I’ve been going to Big Fish for years for their Oyster Nights on Mondays. Up until last summer, the owners of Big Fish and Open Range, Dwayne and Alberta Ennest, also owned Diner Deluxe and Urban Baker. I was sad when they sold Diner Deluxe last year as it used to be my favourite place for brunch ever since they opened more than a decade ago. I was hoping that now after the sale the owners would concentrate their energies on Big Fish and Open Range. As I was perusing the menus for Big Fish, I noticed that they have a decent selection of brunch offerings. Hence, I convinced my friend to go and check it out with me last weekend.
My friend ordered the Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict ($14). The eggs benny were served on top of crostinis instead of the typical classic English muffin. I liked that the eggs were perfectly soft poached. However, I didn’t care much for the crab meat as it was served cold and tasted like it was of the canned variety instead of fresh. The housemade basil hollandaise was quite mild as I didn’t taste much of the basil. The eggs benny were served with a side of hash browns and some toast. The hash browns tasted fine but were not nearly as tasty nor interesting as the version that I used to love from the old Diner Deluxe. Overall, this dish tasted ok but compared to the Smoked Salmon Egg Benny that my friend used to love from the old Diner Deluxe, this dish was not nearly as good.
I chose the Duck Confit Hash ($15) after reading some rave reviews about it. The Duck Confit Hash was topped with a wild mushroom, truffle, basil and white cheddar scramble. The scramble was flavourful and tasted good on its own but I didn’t think it went well together with the duck confit hash. I found the duck confit itself to be quite dry and stringy. I was hoping for some crispy bits of the duck confit but there wasn’t any. I think the dish would have worked better if there was some kind of sauce or runny egg yolk to tie the components together. I was actually disappointed with this dish as I had high hopes after reading the great reviews and also since the description sounded so good on paper.
Our meals were served with a side of housemade ketchup and housemade jam. The housemade jam was fantastic. Made of pear and berries, I liked that it was not overly sweet. It was as good as the housemade jam that I used to love at Diner Deluxe. The toast that came with my Duck Confit Hash turned out to be my favourite part of the dish as I used the slices of toast to load up on this amazing housemade jam.
I’d go back to Big Fish for brunch again because of the housemade jam. I think next time I’ll try a more basic breakfast like the one that consists of two eggs with bacon or sausage and toast. Or I’d have the Soft Shell Crab Club Sandwich with Wild Boar Bacon again, which I loved on a previous visit for lunch. However, I’ll take a pass on the two dishes we tried on this visit. The one great thing about Big Fish is that they take reservations, even for brunch. They are actually one of the few places around town that actually take reservations for brunch. To me, that’s bonus points, as I’m not one that likes to wait in line for a hour to get a table for brunch.
1112 Edmonton Trail NE