Cafe Medina is a unique breakfast, lunch and weekend-brunch destination that effortlessly blends eclectic bistro fare, connoisseur-savvy coffee and sweet nourishment via their signature Belgian waffles.
This is my first review. One of the owners of Cafe Medina finally inspired me to get online and write about my dining experience. This morning my husband and I returned for the second time to have breakfast at this lovely little restaurant, which has very good food and a European atmosphere. Unfortunately Robbie (the owner/partner) doesn't really have a European mentality, more like a corporate American one...
After ordering the most expensive dishes on the menu, we decided to finish off our meal with dessert - a nice waffle and another round of Americanos. (In total the bill was about $50, not cheap for breakfast for two, but we didn't mind considering the food was good.) Before we had finished our coffees, the owner came and put the bill on our table (we hadn't asked for it, but ok, we give him our credit card and settle up). Then less than 5 minutes later as my husband is just finishing off the last of his coffee the owner sits down at THE EMPTY TABLE BESIDE US to tell us he needs to seat other people and asks us to hurry up and leave!!! What a shame. We go for breakfast every single weekend and really took a shine to this place, but will never return.
If you just want a quick and tasty - yet expensive - breakfast, and don't mind being rushed, then check it out. However if you like to read the paper in the morning, I wouldn't recommend it...
great food - this place makes the tastiest tiny waffles with a great variety of topping choices (warm fruit compote, fig and orange marmelade, e.g.), though you do have to pay for the syrup as well. each breakfast entree option is made and served to you in its own warm skillet, and the fried focaccia was delicious.
that being said, our server (who i think may have been an asst. manager) was hands down the most pretentious server i've ever encountered, and i've worked in food service for many years as a dishwasher, bartender, server and cook. he glibly answered our simple and straightforward questions about the somewhat vague menu with impatience, and almost seemed to go out of his way to make us feel like we wouldn't have the first clue about how to engage with this echelon of dining, or that. when i inquired about making an option vegetarian, he said, "well, what you're asking for sir is simply an omelette. i could make you some eggs with cheese and veggies, but..." as if to imply that he was going to go back and make the food himself. when instead what he did was forget half our order. and when we inquired about the roasted potatoes that were forgotten, he tried to pass it off as the kitchen's fault without an apology. the potatoes did happen to be the most scrumptious potatoes we've ever eaten, but they would have been even tastier with the eggs we ate nearly 30 minutes earlier. one should also note that they come cooked in melted cheese, which happened to enhance the experience for us, but all it says on the menu is "roasted potatoes." so if you're vegan or don't like cheesy potatoes...heads up.
it also took nearly ten minutes for us to flag down our server to get the check ("you guys ready to roll?" he asked when we finally got his attention), and we watched more than two tables come and go in our nearly 2 hours there. and my last gripe is that the setup of the restaurant is also a bit too cozy, with your other diners eating mere inches from your own elbows...
so sad to give this review, but i bet if you don't get this server your experience will be much better!
Overall, the food was fantastic. We had brunch around 11am on a Sunday and found Cafe Medina had great flavors, and a breakfast menu that was untraditional.
The downside is that it is very small and very packed. We managed to eat outside (though it was a bit chilly to do so), and when we were finished, some of the folks who had been there before us were still waiting to be seated inside.
Not the traditional, huge plate brunch I had wanted (I was sad not to find eggs benny on the menu), but the food was great. They also didn't have brewed coffee (however, the Americano they served me in place of it was great).
I would recommend this place to anyone who likes a different type of brunch, and who (on the weekend at least) doesn't mind a solid wait. :)
The place is breathtaking - you feel like you are in beautiful new york brunch spot or taken away to streets of paris. Nice high ceilings, brick walls and modern parisian like decor - you are tempted to drink their white chocolate pistachio lattes while reading your latest book for hours.
The brunch is definitely unique and more on the "fine dining" end of brunch. The prices are decent though and only a couple of dollars more than your usual eggs benedict. The waffles - to die for, try it with the berry compote.
I love this place and take visitors here always for brunch. The service is excellent - Robbie Kane is the one who runs the place and you can see the love and care he puts into the service, operations, ambience and food.
Thumbs up. Go there this weekend.
I just recently heard about Cafe Medina, and decided to give it a try for brunch this morning since I'm a long-time devoted fan of Chambar. It definitely did not disappoint in any way. Though the menu is short, everything on it sounded mouth-watering (especially if you're starving, as I was). I ordered the first item on the menu: baked eggs atop a filling of smoked black cod, lemon roasted potatoes and goat cheese. It was cooked perfectly, with the center slightly gooey with cheese, and the flavours were just right. It came with a small arugula and shaved fennel salad, and a slice of grilled foccacia. I'm usually not a fan of grilled bread, as I'm so used to chefs leaving it on the heat for too long, leaving it dry and scorched around the edges, but this was perfect - warm throughout but still nice and soft. Not only did everything taste great, but as a professional chef myself, I couldn't help but think that it was probably the most technically perfect breakfast I've ever been served. I was so impressed by the food and relaxing atmosphere, that I stayed to have a waffle with lavender milk chocolate sauce for dessert. I will definitely be going back many times!
The boyfriend and I went here fore breakfast a week ago. The space is beautiful and the choice of colours within the space make it feel sophisticated without being overly stuffy.
The food is also very good. The waffles and granola are great. The waffles are quite small, but have and intense aroma and huge flavour. The food is very rich and therefore I don't need a lot to be satisfied. The coffee is also fantastic and I love that the mocha wasn't as sweet as the ones you get from Starbucks.
A beautiful space, I'm just jealous of my boyfriend! It's so close to his work!
This is the sort of place that I wish we had dozens of in the city. Their coffess are wonderful, the egg dishes are always so filling and complex & the waffles are such a decadent way to finish breakfast!
No matter how busy the room is the service is quick and super friendly.
And p.s to the reviewer Jesus below - now that I hear that the employees there weren't impressed with either your gucci wtach OR your Lexus (are you for real? LOL) I love this place twice as much! Hopefully all your idiot friends stay away too!
Hooray for Medina!
I came here with my boyfriend for lunch after a morning meeting. Despite it being really busy, we lucked out and and were seated right away by one of the owners - it was a good thing because I was starving. I had a vanilla latte and my boyfriend had the raspberry chocolate latte; it was by far one of the best lattes I have ever had - my boyfriend is a coffee snob and he agreed. My gf loves their lavender latte, I will have to try that the next time I go. We both had the Les Boulettes which were meatballs that tasted like Iranian kabobs served with a side of foccacia bread and hummus and cool cucumber cream which went great with the spiciness of the meatballs. I really liked the vibe of the place and the patrons there. Can't wait to go back to try their brunch.
A restaurant with great food, cozy ambiance, and be low average value. Portions are generous -- but the service is super slow and it's packed elbow to elbow. The waitress does not look good no matter how you cut it.
Only minor item: service was not unfriendly but very on the slow side. That said, sometimes it's nice to laze over a 2.5 hour meal.
I recently went to Medina Cafe at 4:40pm when the closing time was 5pm. They had locked the gates so I knocked on the window pointing at my Gucci watch. They insisted that the Cafe was closed so I then pointed at the 5pm closing time that was on the front window but they shrugged as if they were sorry. They wouldn't even open the door for me to explain that I actually got in my Lexus and drove to the Cafe just to try there coffee and that of course I would never come back and that I would tell everyone I know never to go there.
By reading the other comments, it sounds like the owner has no clue about customer service which will undoubtedly put this cafe out of business.
Thank you for reading.
It doesn't matter what you choose from this menu if you like intereseting food and brunch there is no wrong here. I had read about this place on yelp where it is highly recommended. Went to the restaurant today and was super impressed with everything. Even though it was busy there was still a great flow to the place. The food was remarkable. The service prompt, warm and professional. I went with four other friends so we were able to put a good dent in the menu and I must say there was not a loser in the bunch. We are all blown away. One of my friends had been there already so we had a bit of an inside scoop. Every dish was totally original and delish! OK the raspberry latte... OMG I had to have it twice. Sure you can spend $15 at MIlestones for a an ordinary omlette with curly fries....or you can go to Cafe Medina and have a Fricasse! Melt in your mouth awesome.
Maybe a bit rich for everyday eating but what a treat!
I will be sure to return.
My friend and I ate here after he raved about the waffles. He had the waffle with raspberry caramel, which was delicious (I tried some too) and I had the chocolate lavender sauce, which was also very tasty. They don't have whipped cream, which was a little disappointing. We followed the waffles with our lunch. He had the fricasse, which was tasty (I tried some of this too). The cheese and tender meat made the dish really stand out. I had the lamb burger, which was good, but not outstanding. Definitely try the waffles.
I went there on Sunday with 2 other friends and we had to wait 45 minutes before getting a table. It was raining and we wanted to wait inside but was soon kicked out by the manager saying there's not enough space inside.
True enough, there's NOT...we were seated finally at the back end of the restaurant near the hallway. The three of us sat on such a small table that the dishes and our drinks didn't even fit in. We had to struggle not to drop them off, and we were constantly elbowing the next table because they were so close together. The place was packed and I was constantly mindful of people walking to the washroom because they sat me nearly in the middle of the hallway.
The food was OK. We had the sausages with poached eggs. Good but not $15 good for a small dish of 2 eggs and 2 sausages with some focaccia on the side
Service was SLOW. It's clear that they are lacking staff for adequate service. Either they were short staffed that day or the manager was too cheap to hire more staff. We waited 15 mins for drinks, another 20 for food and were rushed out and were never checked on.
OK food but poor service and too cramped probably due to owner's greed wanting to squeeze as much money out of us. $90 for 3 tables for breakfast? Not worth it.
Yesterday was my third visit to the cafe...unfortunately it will be my last.
Upon entering we noticed only two other tables were seated...Perfect (we thought) service will be quick!
Almost 10 minutes till the waiter acknowledged us and took our coffee order. Then we had to ASK for menus after he brought the coffees...Another ten minutes.
We both ordered waffles with a side of fruit...and then our wait began.
Nearly an HOUR later the cafe was full and I started to notice tables that had been seated long after us were recieving food.
So with a quick nod to the waiter we were informed that he got "slammed" and forgot to put our order in!
(Lets just remind you that we were one of only three tables in the restaurant when he took the order.)
He did offer to put a rush on the order...but at that point we were DONE...Given that this has happened before....and for the simple fact that our table had been all but ignored the whole time.
A simple "How's everything or Would you like more coffee/water" any ANY time during our 100 minute wait...and I would not be writing this.
WAITERS: It is your job to place orders...and be sure that the customers get the food they ordered! Simple! Dont make excuses...Do Your Job!
Check in on tables!
Medina has 12 tables...a child could run food faster than these guys.
And as a side note to Medina Kitchen...I know that it is "Traditional French Style" to serve the eggs almost raw...but when half of the restaurant is sending then back...maybe it time to adjust for a North American Pallet.
I'd like to give a review of the food...but clearly...I didn't have any.
Oh...and good luck getting your bill...Thankfully our Cappuccino's were gratis.