For Mother’s Day, I treated my mom to a brunch at Culina Highlands. I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while now, and unfortunately never did make it there when the location was a previous restaurant named Bacon. Having been to Culina Mill Creek before, however, I knew that I could expect some good quality food.
Like their sister Mill Creek location, Culina Highlands is a small venue. It’s quite warm and comfortable, and with the sun shining through the large windows the place was nicely lit up. Many people ate out back since it was such a nice day.
For drinks we were served water in a wine bottle, just like they do in Culina Mill Creek. I ordered a pineapple, coconut and rooibos tea from local store Cally’s Teas, and my mom was given a complimentary Prosecco mimosa. The mimosa was very tasty and had a good balance of wine and orange juice. The tea wasn’t bad; you could taste a hint of coconut and fruitiness but otherwise it didn’t stand out to me compared to other teas I’ve had in the past.
Mom had a very filling tofu scramble with spicy tomato sauce, mushrooms, quinoa, chickpeas and cashew cheese served with vegan toast. The quinoa gave the scramble a nice texture and the whole mix tasted vaguely of curry. The toast was slightly crisp and was very light.
I ordered the dill crepes with smoked salmon, poached eggs, spinach and spicy hollandaise. It was a great dish with lots of dill flavour. The menu description is a little misleading though as I was surprised to find the dill flavour was actually infused into the smoked salmon instead of being present in the crepe. The eggs were cooked perfectly; hard enough to be moved around the plate but soft enough that the yolk oozed when pierced.
I really enjoyed the salmon. Unlike most smoked salmon, each piece was cut thickly and yet was still very tender.
The menu had a few desserts listed but instead we decided to order the day’s special – an olive oil cake with strawberry and balsamic compote. The cake was a light sponge, the whipped cream was fresh and fluffy, and the star of the plate was the strawberry and balsamic compote. Sweet without being cloying, it was a lovely way to round out the meal.
And lastly, the bill came with a little dish of fennel candy served with an Alberta-shaped spoon. Generally I only see this in Indian restaurants and it was a pleasant and special way to freshen your breath. Some fennel candy can taste slightly soapy, but these had the perfect blend of candy and fennel/anise seed flavour.
There were a couple of problems with service, but once pointed out they were corrected right away. Most importantly, my mother enjoyed her meal and had a great Mother’s Day.
The menus at each Culina location are different, so I highly recommend you take the time to check out both restaurants if you can.