Bannock, a round flatbread originally of Scottish origin, is featured widely in Indigenous people’s cuisine in Canada. The Oliver & Bonacini restaurant of the same name offers a modern twist on comfort food with fresh quality ingredients. Located at 401 Bay Street, next to Canada’s oldest department store Hudson’s Bay, the Eaton Center shopping mall, and several tourist attractions, this is a great spot for both visitors and locals to take a break and enjoy a good meal.
The restaurant is divided in a grab-and-go counter/coffee shop with cafe seating (open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week) and a more formal but still inviting dining room (open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday and brunch on Sundays). We visited for Sunday brunch and were impressed by both the food and excellent service. With perfect portion sizes and plenty of rich ingredients, everyone left satisfied. An added bonus, this is one of few restaurants in the city that take reservations for brunch, making it ideal for groups.
The delicious house-smoked salmon comes with fluffy scrambled eggs and sauteed mustard greens wrapped in a pocket of bannock with capers, green onions and creme fraiche ($16).
The Eggs Bannodict ($16) offers a fresh spin on the classic brunch dish by using bannock as the base, topped with shaved peameal bacon, perfectly cooked eggs, and citrus hollandaise.
The macaroni and cheese dish includes two slices of bacon and two deviled eggs, and with lots of gooey cheese was probably the richest dish we tried ($16).
Now for my absolute favourite, the Croissant French Toast ($14). It did not look quite like what we expected, but the taste was divine! The decadent goodness just melts in your mouth — definitely a treat for anyone with a sweet tooth but perhaps a bit overwhelming for those without. My friend and I shared the Smoked & Scrambled and the French Toast for the perfect combination of sweet and savoury.
Next time you are shopping or site seeing in downtown Toronto, consider skipping the food court and dropping into Bannock instead.