1079 Mainland Street
T: 604 602 0835
Brief Description: A fairly glamorous, yet incredibly affordable, restaurant located on Mainland Street, in Yaletown. glowbal (intentional lower g) offers a varied menu with a West Coast influence.
The Glowbal chain of restaurants has really taken Vancouver by storm. Coast, Italian Kitchen, Trattoria, Sanafir and glowbal are all part of the immensely successful Glowbal chain. One of my personal favourites out of this line-up is glowbal.
For those, like B and I, who feel slightly out of place in the ever-so glamorous Yaletown, glowbal can be slightly intimidating to visit. There is quite an emphasis on appearances at glowbal (as in the decor/presentation of food) and this is somewhat reflected in some of the clientele that frequent glowbal. If you’ve ever seen an episode of “The Hill’s” then you’ll have some understanding of what the regulars look like. Bear in mind, that this is the restaurant that is frequented by young, hot, transient Hollywood actors. Thankfully, the servers are always friendly and don’t seem to judge you based on your appearance (or the fact that you haven’t got a scratch of make-up on, as I’ve been known to do). Service, in my experience, has always been seamless. An extra touch, which wins big brownie points with me, is the complimentary basket of mini (ultra-mini!) donuts that they provide with brunch. The perfect size; they ensure that my sweet-tooth is satisfied without having to order dessert.
Inside, the decor is sleek, minimalistic and dimly lit to set the mood. The mood, of course, is a sexy one. Outside, the patio is equipped with comfy couches and heating, making it the perfect spot for a lingering brunch or dinner on a warm summer’s evening. You can also easily transition from dinner to AFTERglow, a bar that is adjoining to the restaurant. Considering the location and the appearance of the restaurant, you would automatically assume that the prices would be expensive; however, you would be wrong. Prices are surprisingly affordable with brunch coming in at around the $10-15 mark. Lunches fall in more around the $15 mark and dinners come in, expectedly more expensive, at around the $20-$30 mark for an entree. There is also a satay bar which allows for patrons to try a little of this, and a little of that, for only a few dollars. This is a great way of tasting many different things without having to take too much of a financial risk. Some options are Rosemary Lamb Chops with wildflower honey glaze, Grilled BC Salmon with a coriander and peppercorn crust or Garlic Jumbo Prawn with lemon and herb butter.
The brunch menu offers a wide (an excellent) selection that will appeal to almost every taste-bud out there. For those who crave sweeter things for brunch – my hand is fully extended! – you can indulge in Buttermilk Belgian Waffles, which are accompanied by honey marinated strawberries and white chocolate mousse($10), or you could have Wild Berry Panettone French Toast that is served with a shot of milk chocolate and organic wildflower honeycomb (also only $10). If savoury is more your deal, then you can choose from various Benedict’s (glowbal Benedict, P.E.I Lobster Benedict or BC Smoked Salmon Benedict), burgers and even pasta’s (Kobe Meatballs with spaghetti for brunch, anyone?). Plus, they have offerings for the lovers of the more traditional breakfasts of granola or bacon and eggs, only their bacon and eggs is also served alongside sausage, potato hash and a cheddar biscuit.
On our most recent visit, I tried the Woodland Mushroom and Burrata Cheese Frittata, which was served with crispy new potatoes and house green salad. It was extremely affordable at only $11. The omelette was scrumptious – the vegetables in it still kept a slight crunch – and the side of potatoes were more-ish (as in, I want more!).
B’s fish and chips were absolutely incredible. From the presentation, to the taste, to the added extras of vinegar and tartare sauce, it was a brunch that was certainly miles-away from that of traditional bacon and eggs.
Final Thoughts: I love almost everything about glowbal; the prices are refreshingly affordable (particularly for Yaletown), the food is wonderful and the patio is a blessing. My only grizzle is that it can be a little pretentious (in my opinion), but that won’t stop me from going there. It might just make me put a little more effort into my appearance before going for brunch.