Going bananas for Monki

New Breakfast Club a flavourful way to start the day

Remember Petite’s old space on 10th Avenue S.W.? It’s now home to a lovely little breakfast and lunch spot called Monki Breakfast Club & Bistro. Owned and operated by the team behind (the now defunct) Gnocchi’s, Monki’s menu offers a fresh take on that first, most important meal of the day.

Stopping in at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, me and my other half are ready to do battle with the breakfast line. We’re happily surprised when we’re seated right away — although it may have been nothing more than dumb luck.

We opt for a table overlooking the patio (which seats about 20). Inside, the room seats approximately 30 and maintains the original exposed brick walls. The refreshed space looks great, with wood laminate tables, vibrant orange accents and fresh flowers.

Armed with tasty Fratello coffee, our upbeat server asks if we have any questions about the menu. I ask about the preparation of the grapefruit brûlée ($6). As one might expect it’s cut in halves, sprinkled with sugar and torched. Sounds good, but I’m leaning more towards the frittatas, today.

We decide to split two dishes and go for the sun-dried cherry tomato, spicy Italian sausage and bocconcini frittata ($15), and the banana and Frangelico cream cheese stuffed toast ($15) with a side of bacon ($4).

Both dishes come to the table in cast-iron skillets on wood boards. I’ve always loved this style of presentation, and it does the trick — our breakfasts look amazing.

Flavourfully spiked with diced chunks of spicy sausage and a mix of fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, the eggs in the frittata are fluffy and moist, but I would say that this dish is more like an omelette than a layered frittata. I also like the home fries served on the side — nicely browned with dash of sweet mixed in with the salt, they pair well with the dish.

We both love the French toast served with a side cup of fresh berries, watermelons and grapes. Reading the description, I thought we might be in for a sickly sweet dessert breakfast, but the cream cheese does wonders for balancing the sweetness of the Nutella, Frangelico and condensed milk. I can’t tell if the bread is brioche or not, but it’s certainly thick, fluffy and fresh, and perfect for the dish.

Not to be overlooked is the side of bacon. Sure, there are better cuts of bacon to be had in town, but this side is perfectly crisp and has just the right amount of saltiness to go with our fantastic French toast.

Monki is a great option for breakfast downtown. I like that it’s in a low-traffic area with accessible parking — and the new space looks great. I’ll have to pop by another time to try the lunch menu featuring salads, paninis and a mac ’n’ cheese with butter-poached lobster, crab, bacon and truffle-scented bread crumbs ($18). If it’s as good as the breakfast menu, I’m sure I’ll go bananas for it.

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