The latest from the folks at Trillium and Miss Frank - Monroe continues on with the cool kid vibes with a slick interior and equally modern cuisine. It has strong influences from its sister cafes but does it reach the heights they have already reached?
Walking into Monroe I was so impressed with the interior. Sleek and modern with all the makings of an Instagram cafe - it really wowed on first sight. It also hasn't reached the hype levels of its sister cafes so no worries about the line as there was none!
We started with the Eggs Benny Benny (Egg benedict two ways, on toasted English muffins: Spinach, bacon, poached egg and hollandaise & Smoked salmon, poached egg and hollandaise) which was an example of a perfectly executed Eggs Benny. It was hard to fault as it played on the exact flavours that has made the eggs benny a staple for any brunch - creamy hollandaise, fluffy muffin and a perfectly poached egg. The rosti was a nice addition that was nice and crisp and peppery that broke up the other wise creamy and soft flavours of the dish. My only complaint is that as much as I loved the variety of two different options on that plate I would've preferred them to stick to one and make the serving larger - with the option of two compromising on size and generosity of serving.
Next up was the Lemon, Poppy Seed & Ricotta Hotcakes (Banana coffee marscarpone, toasted pistachios, maple syrup and edible flowers) that was honestly a great dish that really played off the complementary flavours well. The hotcake was deliciously fluffy with a food amount of lemon and ricotta in it to have a nice acidic flavour that did not overwhelm. The combination of the marscarpone, maple syrup and hotcake did seem a bit heavy and stodgy though - but with the addition of the banana it took it to the next level and really made this dish shine. Mouthful after mouthful of all the elements combined was a delight to eat!
The signature dish of Monroe, the Crispy Banana Roti (Banana filled roti, pan fried with marscapone, biscuit crumb and strawberries). First up I have to say...it was plated up exactly like the hotcakes. They looked identical and that was really unimpressive in terms of presentation and just the creativity of it. On to the taste though - it was beautiful. Crispy and fluffy roti which was not too sweet and perfectly light. The banana flavour wasn’t overwhelming for our non-banana lover at the table so don't be scared to try if you're like her! It was balanced so that all elements got to sing and despite the many elements they all had a purpose and worked well texturally.
Overall - I'm not sure if I would recommend Monroe over its sister cafes or its strong competition in the Richmond area but it's well on its way there as a newbie on the brunch scene. Give it a few months and I'm sure that this place will blow up the scene with its instaworthy dishes!
Presentation (5): 3
Service (5): 4
Atmosphere (5): 5