Oh the days of Friday nights at Marben. No dress code, no cover and the best music a 90’s hip-hop and R&B loving girl could ask for. Those days are gone but the lovely Marben is luckily still around. Since those days (almost 4 years ago now), Marben has undergone a few re-inventions. Apparently it something they do every 5 years or so. Think of it like the Madonna of Toronto restaurants. Its most recent persona embodies that of British fare and flair.
The atmosphere is definitely brighter and the signs of English air are in every little corner. Literally. From pottery and small planters on the window sill to traditional British fashion displayed in the windows. Even their tea cups are adorably English and scream of high tea. Since the recent renovation I’ve been their twice and both times for brunch. Have yet to try their dinner menu. I’ve tried two different things off the brunch menu:
Avocado Toast – two organic poached eggs, roasted tomatillo salsa, preserved chilis, smoked sour cream
The Fry-Up – 2 organic chicken eggs, sage and apple banger, bubble and squeak hash, sourdough toast, orange marmalade
Needless to say they were both fabulous. On the first visit unfortunately our service was painstakingly slow. I’m pretty sure we waited almost 45 minutes before our food arrived to our table and by then my avocado toast was on the cold side. Boo. By then I was too hopped up on the pot of coffee I had drank and distracted by the pretty tea cups. Also as delicious as the toast was it was definitely something I could make at home.
The second time around was much much better. Our group of gals were seated by the coveted booth table near the front window. This time I ordered The Fry Up and it arrived quickly and warm. It was also the most delicious well round breakfast I’ve had in long time and not something I would necessarily attempt to make.
Perfectly poached eggs, soft sour dough bread, crunchy and simply dressed kale salad and then a salty potato mash. Even the sausage that I was a little weirded out about at first based on the ingredients was super delicious. The marmalade was a little too sweet for me but if you’re into that kinda thing then you’re set.
So in a nutshell, go here for brunch. It won’t disappoint, even if you have to wait a while for your food there is plenty to delight in. Oh and as part of the renovations they’ve also gone fully European and turned their basement into a speakeasy cocktail bar called The Cloak Bar. Also on my list of places to try.