The Three Lions: Authentic British Food and Atmosphere
EXTERIOR of the Three Lions Café on the corner of East Broadway and Ontario Street in Vancouver.
TWO OWNERS of the Three Lions Café (L-R) Simon Conway and Ryan McKeown, holding a delicious British breakfast. Missing from the photo is the third Lion, Rubin McKeown.
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
VANCOUVER - Each month after distribution of The Celtic Connection is complete, Colleen and myself will generally drop in to one of our local Celtic establishments for some lunch and refreshment.
After the April issue we dropped in to visit the new Three Lions Café in Vancouver which is located on East Broadway and Ontario Street. The U.K. type of café has only been open for the past five months and has already started to attract many ex-pats.
The name The Three Lions represents the three lions for the English national team and the three owners, Simon Conway and brothers Ryan and Rubin McKeown who were all born in England.
The café is U.K. sports orientated with one large and a smaller screen televison over the bar area for watching all the football (soccer), English Premier League, Celtic, Gaelic Games and of course hockey games.
The games can be watched from wherever you are seated in the room and the decor features photographs of famous UK football games and players.
The Three Lions is a cosy café with seating for 55. It features wooden floors, tables, and chairs with some padded wall benches on the sides of the room.
There is a small well stocked bar with Guinness and Kilkenny on tap, English bottled, European and local beers, and Strongbow Cider. Just off to one side of the café is a small patio which can seat 20 patrons with a fantastic view of downtown Vancouver and the North shore mountains. The patio also receives all the afternoon sun.
Owner Simon Conway has been a chef for the past 17 years and he designed the menu for The Three Lions. "I really missed the back home authentic food and atmosphere that you get in the U.K. pubs," he said, "the U.K. pubs are like community centres, where people gather in a friendly and social atmosphere. Ninety percent of the food that we serve in the café is made-in-house, unmedicated and of organic produce."
The menu consists of some of the really authentic type of hearty mouth watering British food you would expect if you dropped into a pub in London. Lunch hours are from 12 Noon to 3 PM with finger food available from 3 PM until 11:30 PM, dinner is served from 6 PM until 11:30 PM.
For lunch, I ordered the bangers and mash which had two Cumberland sausages in an onion gravy with buttermilk mashed potatoes, all nestled on a pie crust of Yorkshire pudding...every bite was heavenly.
Colleen ordered the pesto chicken sandwich of the day, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I couldn't resist the tempting rhubarb and strawberry dessert, which is an ample serving in a breakfast size bowl ... it's almost a meal in itself.
While visiting The Three Lions Café, I noticed that they served a traditional English breakfast every Saturday and Sunday morning. Since my husband is Irish and enjoys authentic British cuisine, we went back on Saturday morning for the breakfast.
So often authentic British or Irish breakfasts are advertised and when you try them the results are disappointing but at The Three Lions, it's the real deal!
Cumberland sausage, Ayrshire bacon, beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, home fries and toast...just like in the old country. There is no need for lunch after you've eaten this hearty breakfast, and the beauty of it all...it wasn't dripping in fat.
If you have a longing for the taste of some really authentic U.K. meals and atmosphere, then you won't be disappointed at The Three Lions, where the staff are welcoming and friendly.
The Tree Lions are located at 1-1 East Broadway (at Ontario) in Vancouver. For information, call (604) 569-2233.