When your pancakes and waffles come with a side of celebrity, then you know you’re in for a good brunch! I recently checked out the new brunch menu at Brassaii with some friends. Coincidentally enough, the Sunday we visited was during TIFF (totally not planned, I swear) and The Hollywood Reporter was using the restaurant as its hub to do interviews. So, while we sat and enjoyed our brunch on the patio, we got to see many celebs being escorted in and out, including Jeremy Renner (who I just missed), Felicity Jones, and Sigourney Weaver (rumour had it Pharrell Williams was also inside, but we didn’t get to see him). I was in good company with Karen, Rosemary, Didier and Tiffany; but what made the brunch that much more awesome was literally having the best seat in the house, completely undisturbed by others and with an unobstructed view.

The celebrity sightings weren’t the only things that were over the top at Brassaii. The patio features cute, private cabanas with swings and pillows, and the new brunch menu is also a spectacle on its own! Believe it or not, there are pancakes that have Oreo crumbles all over and are covered in the melted cream centre, and you can choose from a variety of toppings for your sundae, including crickets. Yes, crickets! But, sadly, none of us was feeling adventurous enough, so we didn’t order any.

No coincidence at all about the fact that I was dining again in a group. True to form, we ordered almost the entire menu, including the Oreo pancakes ($12.00), Cobb salad ($15.00), eggs benedict (poached eggs, pulled short rib, chipotle Hollandaise sauce, English muffin, 100km green salad, $15.00), omelette (eggs, wild mushrooms, blue cheese, balsamic reduction, white truffle oil, $14.00), and chicken and waffles (fried chicken, maple syrup, chicken gravy, $15.00). We also got a couple orders of cinnamon buns ($4.00), sides of avocado, Abruzzese fennel sausage ($5.00), bacon ($4.00), and a couple rounds of Mimosas ($7.00 each) for good measure! Chef Marcus Monteiro personally greeted us and gave us an explanation of the entire menu, which we appreciated. Overall, the food was good, but was not great. We all thought the dishes had a lot of potential (especially the pulled short rib eggs benedict), but could have been more flavourful. I understand from my friends that the cinnamon buns (which I didn’t eat because I don’t have a sweet tooth) were the highlight of the meal, and according to the Chef, the Oreo pancakes (which I also didn’t eat) are a hit. My favourite dishes were the Cobb salad and omelette, which were well executed and the tastiest.

I must say, I was looking forward to dining at Brassaii again, since it had been so many years and their new brunch menu was launched only a few weeks ago. But, I think in order to stay competitive with its neighbours, the food bar will have to be raised. Nevertheless, Brassaii remains one of the more popular places to grab a drink along the King W. strip and certainly proved to be the place for the ultimate celeb spotting during TIFF!

Have you tried the new brunch menu at Brassaii? If so, what did you think?