My boyfriend and I treated our friend to brunch this past Sunday at Sugarcane, the new restaurant on Flatbush between 6th Ave and Bergen (I think that's right). It is in the old Vybes space. I read in Time Out New York that this place is concentrating on food from Trinidad and Tobago, and that the chef used to cook at Soul Cafe in Manhattan (though I'm not familiar with that establishment).
I give this place HIGH marks on presentation. Everything in the place is brand new and sparkling -- the champagne flutes, gleaming silver bar stools, red leather wrap-around booth, in-laid dark and blond wood floors. I loved the attention to detail, too -- the flatware had bamboo handles, and the fixtures in the bathroom were adorable. (BIZARRE DECOR DECISION -- both bathrooms were single rooms, but each had two toilets side by side (no stalls) -- wonder what's up with that).
On to the food -- not being huge breakfast eaters, we all opted for the "Light Brunch" options. The menu is divided in to the "Light" options and "Standard" options. I think. The "Standard" options included Fried Chicken, Oxtails, and some other things. The whole brunch menu was about 16 items, total.
I ordered the sandwich with coconut bake. The shark was served hot on a square plate, accompanied by four different sauces -- I forget what they were, but one was cilantro, one was a mayonnaise, and one was hot. The shark was fried, but not greasy. I also got two warm slabs of coconut bake. Delicous. It was also served with two sizable slivers of avocado, three tomato slices, and a huge pile of watercress. Lots of food -- and a reasonable $9.95. Also came with a complimentary hibiscus-sorrel champagne drink, which I thought was tasty. Also, the coffee was strong and respectable.
My boyfriend had a baked fritatta, which I didn't try, but the accompanying potatoes were yummy. Our friend had "Rasta Pasta". I should have tasted everything we ordered, but I was happily gnawing on my shark.
The service was very pleasant. We didn't have to wait all that long for our food (though the place was reasonably empty -- halfway through our meal, the after-church crowd started to file in and the place filled up). And, they let us linger over coffee for the best part -- the pan jazz band.
I was most impressed with this place. I can't wait to go back for brunch, and also to try the dinner menu. They also have open-mic nights, reggae nights, and Ladie's night!
I urge other Chowhounds to check it out and offer their opinions.