“Where to brunch?” is the question that’s always on my mind as soon as hump day hits. Ikanos is located on Old Montreal’s one of the busiest streets. The restaurant has its reputation out there for specializing in contemporary mediterranean cuisine. Recently, Ikanos is making its way to join the brunch game in the city by introducing a unique brunch experience remaining true to the Ikanos style, a Mediterranean style menu with a twist on classic brunch staples.
The restaurant is very spacious, and divided into front and back dining areas with a bar in the middle. It’s naturally brighten up with large windows, which is exactly the perfect ambiance for brunch!
Our waitress, Kim, greeted us warmly, and asked if we would like to start with any drinks. My friend chose the bellini, which is sparkling wine with peach nectar. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I asked if I can have a mocktail. She asked a simple, but most important question, “do you prefer sweet or sour?” Sweet is never my thing, so of course the latter. The bartender made me a citrusy-based mocktail that had grapefruit juices and pomegranate!
On the menu, it’s mezzes style, which means smaller portion but meant to be shared. We started off with their homemade pastries, which consisted of Mahlep brioche bread, chocolate scone, and toast along with field berry and mastiha jam, chocolate cream, and churned butter. The brioche was airy and soft inside with a thin and slightly crisp exterior. The scone was very chocolate-y but not too sweet that would make me feel like a dessert!
Next, the kreatopita, which is confit duck puff pastry with honey, sesame seeds and served with beet and pear salad with a little bit of orange and cardamom yogurt. The puff pastry was super flaky and the salad balanced out the greasiness of it. However, the taste of orange and cardamon in the yogurt was very subtle, almost none.
Before this dish was served, our waitress kept telling us to get our camera ready, but we had absolutely not clue why until the waiter came and lit up the cast iron in a flash second. Obviously, I wasn’t prepared!
This was the saganaki, which is a piece of Ouzo flambeed kefralograviera cheese with fennel “salad” and dried fruit mostarda on the side. The dish on fire was definitely a good selling point, however, once the flame is gone, so as excitement. Why salad in quotation mark? Because it wasn’t really a salad. It was like a fennel coleslaw side served in those dipping sauce dish… We were glad that we didn’t finish the toast from the pastry basket, because we wouldn’t know what else can we pair it with. The cheese was salty to eat on its own, so definitely need some toasts!
The waitress made our orders into three services, from lighter, more appetizer-like dishes to heavier, main-like dishes. This is the benedictine, which consists of lobster cakes, poached eggs, orange grilled artichokes, spinach, and saffron hollandaise. It was a nice twist of classic eggs benedict, but I wished the hollandaise can be thicker. It was too watery.
This porchetta was my favorite! It’s homemade porchetta served with poached eggs, garlic rapini, and anchovy salsa verde. Pork belly is one of my guilty pleasures. It was thin and crisp, but the fat still melts in the mouth. I was happy that the chef paired the porchetta with salsa verde, not something heavy. It was very much to my liking that I wished it was a bit thicker!
We ended with panna cotta, which is made with orange blossom yogurt. This smooth-looking, delicate panna cotta sat on a bed of citrus salad that consist of oranges, grapefruits, and lime, and sprinkled with some granola. The orange blossom flavor was very subtle, and the panna cotta was a bit grainy. However, loved the pairing with citrusy fruits. It’s definitely a very summer-like dish!
I love the high ceilings and big windows, even if you don’t sit outside, it is very sunny in there. Doesn’t matter rain or shine, it’s the brunch spot to enjoy with friends and family. Unlike a lot of hip brunch spots that do not take reservations, Ikanos takes reservation no matter if you are just 2 people or a large group! Outstanding services too. Our waitress, Kim, was super friendly and knowledgeable. She definitely elevated our whole dining experience!
112 rue McGill #1, Montreal, QC
Tel: +1 (415) 842-0867