Review: Cafe Portrait


The first place to have opened in the neighbourhood since I arrived in Vancouver, I sure had my finger on the pulse with this one. We went there within the opening week and hopefully before it becomes increasingly popular.

We nabbed the window seat, with its big comfy armchairs and a windowsill lined with flowers. It would prove to be a wonderful spot for people watching.

We immediately got the vibe that the place was family owned. Obviously eager to make a good first impression, the service we received was truly exceptional and also very personably. The lady in charge made it clear that it wasn’t a service offered when the place got busy, but she offered to read my coffee dregs for me if I waved her over once I was done drinking it.

The menu was relatively refined – not too many options but everything sounded as thought it would be tasty. I had heard the shakshuka was meant to be great – Andy ordered it, yay, as it meant I could order what I really felt like: avocado on toast. Obviously I also couldn’t go past the almond croissant sitting amongst the counter food.

Prices were lower than average – and it was refreshing to be told that a tip wasn’t required (almost like being in New Zealand again). As we ordered, I could tell they were immensely proud of their Turkish coffee, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The coffee was yummy. It came with a piece of Turkish Delight (which probably stole the show) but I enjoyed it much more than what I liked Turkish coffee when we had it in Turkey itself. True to her word, I got my dregs read – fortunately everything in my future is looking good!

The food was tasty albeit not overwhelming (certainly good enough to return and outstanding for the price). I thought the toast served with the meal was delicious – it had currants in it so occasionally a bite would be sweeter than expected. The avocado serving was extremely generous (pictured above – plus I was given a whole bowl of salad which I actually ended up getting to take away). Andy thought the shakshuka tasted a lot like what we make at home – which is really just a compliment to the shakshuka we make at home, as it is truly delicious!

Lastly, the setting is gorgeous. It would make for a nice place to set up a laptop and do some work, surrounded by an astonishing number of portraits and artwork – an enthusiast’s dream!

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