Edible flowers on every dish, and coffee served with real carnations.
By Steven Sandor | February 26, 2021
The first thing you’ll be drawn to when you walk into Brew+Bloom is the floral installation, a colourful array that stretches from floor to ceiling — and looks like it’s growing out of a wall.
On the opposite side of the cafe, which opens to the public on Friday (Feb. 26), features jars of tea leaves and a miniature apothecary of natural products. Oh, and a cotton-candy bar.
Whimsy and colour are part of the cafe’s ethos, founded by partners Samantha Pham and Cecilia Baguiwong. Both have a history in putting rooms together — with J’Adore Design and Events. Brew+Bloom also has a floral-arrangement business. But, the cafe is a new venture, a realization of a dream for Pham.
“We want to take you from ordinary to extraordinary,” said Pham as she led me through the menu of the soon-to-be-open cafe, located on 115th Street just north of 105th Avenue. Attached is a 75-person meeting space, which Pham hopes will become a community hub when it’s once again safe to have that many people together indoors.
The menu is indeed colourful — Pham said a year was spent planning dishes that feature edible flowers and are meant to be visually appealing.
That comes through in a “cloud” coffee. Condensed milk is served with a splash of natural colour. On top is a dollop of cotton candy. The coffee is served in a bottle on the side, and you pour it over the candy and onto the milk, and it all combines. The cotton candy cloud vaporizes in front of your eyes. You stir it with the long stem of an edible carnation.
The Empress Bowl is pho; but the service is pushed up a notch. The bone broth is true to the Pham family recipe. But it’s served in a kettle, next to the bowl, filled with noodles that are naturally coloured pink by the addition of beets into the recipe. You pour the steaming broth over the noodles.
More menu items will be added, but look for salmon or prosciutto open-face sandwiches and a squash ravioli with garlic sauce. No matter what you order, there will be edible petals to add colour to every dish.