Man, I was really missing Juno Kim’s pop-up events. He used to do a Monday night dinner series at 33 Acres (which I wrote about here and here) but he stopped doing them in early 2016, so it’s been more than a year since I last had any of his food! So, between his stints
catering food styling for iZombie, he’s started a monthly brunch pop-up at Field & Social downtown, so now’s your chance to once again eat his food. Tickets for this brunch series have been selling out pretty fast, so follow Juno on Instagram to learn about upcoming events.
I went to the second monthly brunch with Wicca and hungrySLIF. The word “brunch” doesn’t quite describe the food though.
Eggs appear only once. (Actually there’s egg in two dishes.) There’s no bacon (not the typical kind, anyways), no hollandaise, no waffles, no stereotypical brunch elements. It’s really just a 6-course share plates meal with none of the overwrought greasy excesses of your typical brunch. When was the last time you got an amuse-bouche with your brunch?
Transparency Report: As I’ve said before, I always pay my own way. However, we were comped the beer and two cocktails. (Very much appreciated!) Tickets were $49 each, which includes tax and tip but excludes drinks and Eventbrite fee. We all paid full-price.
There were two seatings for this brunch, 11:00am and 1:00pm. The entire brunch does take a couple of hours. They were cleaning up from the 11:00 seating when we got there.
Field & Social isn’t really my kind of thing, but it’s a nice space. Someone riding past on their bike shouted loudly about the lineup, incredulous that anyone would line up for food.
(Well…some people do have to line up for food and they don’t have a choice. That’s why you might want to consider donating to Being Hungry Sucks and A Better Life Foundation. I’ll let you mull over the irony of two stratas of society lining up for food.)
The menu. Fancy shot.
The menu. Readable shot. (I’ve been informed that there were some minor garnish changes in the actual dishes, which I’ve noted below
like this. Adjusting food on-the-fly!)
The food and drink menus change every month.
Collaboration makes us all stronger.
Side note: When They Find Us does the most amazing photos that make me wanna throw my camera into the trash.
Juno in action.
Twin Sails Dat Juice (5.2%). Amazingly juicy and crushable (crushable in that you can drink a lot of it…and maybe crush the can on your head, I dunno.) This beer was one of the first local beers to emulate that east coast “Vermont style” of hazy IPAs (or pale ales in this case) where the beer is intentionally cloudy, and looks and tastes like citrus juice. There is no actual juice in this beer. The juiciness comes all from the hops and the techniques used to brwe it. So lots of fruity aromas and flavours but low on the bitter scale (relatively speaking — it’s still beer). Perfect choice for brunch!
Cold-press juice ($6) by The Juice Truck. We have no idea what actual juice this is, but it DOESN’T have cantaloupe or ginger 😛 Wicca could taste cucumber, carrot, banana(?), and apple.
Some comped cocktails:
“3 Bean Milk Wash” ($11) with tonka bean, espresso, cocoa nib, citrus, Wild Turkey bourbon, and brandy. I’m not a cocktail person but the coffee aromas in this were huge. Totally matches with the brunch theme for those who need a coffee in cocktail form.
I have no idea what the name means.
“Pink Matter” ($11) with fermented rhubarb purée, celery syrup, lime juice, and gin. hungrySLIF commented that he wasn’t sure about the drink at first, but warmed up to it a lot later on. Paired well with the food.
Great server surprising us with an amuse:
From what I could remember, it was duxelle (minced mushrooms) with some goat cheese emulsion on a crispy cracker. Damn good first bite.
Note: all the dishes below are share plates which mostly feed three people.
Crispy Cauliflower with whipped yogurt, rhubarb jam, and cauliflower & gruyère chips. It’s a take on cheesy cauliflower that’s elevated and super tasty. I’m a big fan of using ingredients done two, three, or more ways! (See the mushroom taco at Four Winds Brewing.)
Oyster Mushroom Risotto with 63° egg, ramp salsa verde, and manchego. Although the rice was a bit chalky in parts, the flavour of the ramp salsa verde against the risotto was amazing! And the preparation of the oyster mushroom was delicious, with the intricate scoring and the caramelization.
That gel-like sous vide egg.
Charred Cabbage with chicken & prosciutto crumble, egg yolk gel, sake kasu espuma, and
bittercress chickweed. “Espuma” is apparently another word for “foam”, but the sake kasu stuff came out creamy rather than foamy. Still, I liked its gently boozy rice wine undertones when eaten with the rest of the ingredients. While the purple cabbage I’ve bought in the past has been nearly tasteless, the charring here brought out some good flavour. And that chicken & prosciutto crumble added some great crunch and savouriness.
Triple Cooked Potatoes with duck prosciutto, sauce mornay, and “nori + sake”. The most elevated take on brunch potatoes I’ve ever had.
The texture inside was soft, and a combination of fluffy and creamy. The umami from the nori and duck prosciutto really gave the dish a punch.
Smoked Pork Hock with sourdough bread pudding, rye maple syrup, pear butter, hazelnuts, and
nasturium leaves watercress. A divisive dish. Wicca didn’t like how it skewed towards the sweet side, but for me (surprisingly) it was still really enjoyable. I’m still wrapping my head around that pear butter. The shreds of pork hock had a good smokiness to it and just enough salt.
hungrySLIF made me take this photo cuz the cocktail looked so good with the dessert.
Pistachio Lemon Tart with rhubarb, honey creme fraiche, meringue shards, and sheep sorrel. So freaking beautiful on the plate. I’m not a dessert guy, so I can’t really comment on this. As a dessert meant to be shared, I did find the rhubarb ribbons hard to cut. Flavourwise it didn’t thrill me, but I’m the kind of person who’d rather have cheese as a last course.
Surprise meat sticks to go!
What Juno showed me at his 33 Acres dinners is that he’s great with flavours. Thankfully, he carries that on with these brunches, and marries it with beautiful plating. His catering experience really helps with executing these pop-ups.
Thanks Juno, Doug, and the entire team for one of the very few brunches I will ever eat!