Looking for a quiet getaway breakfast place for a simple yet delicious meal? Look no further. This month, Amal Sarhan headed to Lemon on the Budaiya Highway, and boy oh boy are you guys going to love this!
Coming into the block where Lemon is, I could feel that lazy Sunday feeling already coming on. The restaurant itself is both elegant and relaxed and I could imagine anyone being comfortable there, be it a young crowd, older visitors or a large family gathering.
As we sat down on the soft sofas, we instantly felt at home. The first thing we were served was tall glasses of warm karak tea, just cool enough to drink and hot enough to feel amazing. I could instantly taste that lovely cardamom and a hint of saffron. Not too milky and smooth on the tongue, it provided us with the gentle calm we needed to begin our meal.
We started off with Zaatar and Halloumi Manaeesh, freshly baked, warm, and topped with cherry tomatoes, black sesame seeds and fresh whole basil leaves. After taking a minute or two to decide which I wanted to try first, I went ahead with the halloumi. Upon taking a bite, the pungent flavour of the cheese instantly invaded my mouth, enveloped by the soft texture of the bread and injected with the sweetness of the cooked tomatoes. Then came the Zaatar Manaeesh. Now, when I heard I was going to get Zaatar Manaeesh, I was slightly worried there would be a lack of zaatar, as is often the case. But to my delight, the bread was soft and crispy and laden with a more than generous helping of the perfectly blended spices and black sesame seeds.
Next came the Breakfast Platter, with a selection of hummus, labneh, eggs and potato, mixed beans, ful mudammas and chicken liver, as well as some hot fresh bread.
The labneh was tantalisingly good. The fresh sour taste was well balanced out with toppings of cucumber, radish and a drizzle of zaatar, as well as sumac, all of which complemented each other well. I took a bite of the eggs and potato and discovered a perfect combination of textures, the pleasant lightness of the scrambled eggs, firm and not too runny, and the slight crunch of the wellfried potatoes was really pleasing and satisfying
Tucking into the mixed beans, I was instantly in awe. Harbouring a rich savoury taste and a hint of lemon, I was left wanting more, not to mention the addition of fresh mint leaves and pomegranate, adding a peppery and sweet tinge. Hands-down my favourite of all six servings. The Ful Mudammas was next. This orangey-brown dish topped with a heavy drizzle of tahini and a sprinkle of sumac was simply to die for. It packed in so much flavour with a rich tangy tomato sauce and the chewiness of the lentils making it a good and filling starter.
Turkish Eggs were then laid on the table and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Perfectly poached eggs laid on a blanket of creamy labneh and garnished with freshly chopped coriander, sumac, pomegranate seeds and a special Turkish spicy sauce, served with freshly cut baguette slices buttered with garlic and coriander. The cheesy tang of the labneh worked really well with the runny egg yolks and the crunchy bread was perfect for mopping up this melting combination adding that elusive hint of garlic.
The avocado toast came with poached eggs and chopped fresh coriander, topped with sumac and radish. Mixed grain seeded bread gave a nice, crunchy base and a topping of black sesame seeds gave the whole mouthful a subtle nutty flavour atop the creamy avocado. A note for future visits though, I will ask for my eggs slightly more firmly cooked for this dish.
We moved on to Eggs Benedict with creamy Hollandaise sauce. This time the eggs were perfectly poached for my taste and there was a great contrast with the beef bacon cutting through the heaviness of the sauce. Sunflower toast topped with paprika spice and freshly chopped coriander gave this dish a satisfyingly chewy bite and I loved the presentation with three small, baked cherry tomatoes served on the side.
Saving the best for last, I finally dug into the tantalising pancakes. Topped with a daub of toffee caramel, slices of banana and strawberry, a twig of fresh mint and a generous helping of maple syrup, it was hard not to want it all to myself! The pancakes were not too sweet, allowing the fruit and caramel to really shine. A classic and hearty breakfast item. Crispy edges, soft texture, easy to chew and not too heavy or sweet. This alone would make the perfect breakfast.
Lemon serves a range of dishes throughout the day and its friendly, welcoming atmosphere makes it a favourite among expats and locals alike. For breakfast, the sheer range of items on the menu means there is something to suit every taste and I will definitely be going back for more. ✤
GO: CALL 1360 6880 FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION.