November 23, 2016 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Breakfast with a View at Hotel Le Vendôme Beirut

Phone Number: +961 1 368 800

Address:

Website: http://www.levendomebeirut.com/restaurants.php?id=1

Price Range: 60-80 $

RATING:71/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 24/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 1/10

Service: 3/10

Value for money: 9/10

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Sit on a relaxing chair, enjoy a finely set table, a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea and some soothing music... Breakfast at Le Vendôme Beirut has always been something I look forward to... at least it used to be... For a hotel like this one, it's a pity, and more so unacceptable, to see breakfast at its restaurant 'Sydney's' go down hill…

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I arrived at 08:30am expecting to enjoy a hefty breakfast.

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The buffet:

  • Three types of jam and peanut butter
  • Honey comb
  • Poached apricot
  • Three kinds of cheese and three kinds of labneh
  • Three choices of cold cuts, smoked salmon and ham with asparagus
  • Three choices of salads, yogurt and Muesli
  • Six choices of fruits cut into cubes
  • Fresh juices
  • Croissants and Danish pastry
  • A selection of French bread
  • Chocolate doughnuts and financier
  • Cereals, cakes and dried fruits
  • Hash brown and grilled vegetables
  • Sahlab and foul

You can order from the kitchen:

  • Hummus Balkis
  • Traditional Knefeh
  • Selection of manakish
  • English cake
  • Eggs of your choice
  • Any preferred garnish with your eggs

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Expectations: 

  • Where is the starters tower sent to every table?
  • Where are the manakish we used to receive at the table?
  • Where are the eggs on display at the buffet?
  • Where are the endless choices of nuts?
  • French toast?

The buffet:

I enjoyed the food and the way items are presented as well as the desserts, bread and croissant section. I had a selection of cheese and labneh with some in-house freshly prepared bread. It all seemed fresh, but I can't say the same for the salmon platter. It was obviously prepared the day before, it was hard and dry. Some of the things I tried:

  • A thick piece of English muffin, soft with lightly toasted sides, a thick slice of ham and a poached egg... on top is the sauce, the famous Hollandaise, creamy and intensely lemony and decorated with fresh greens. Good bread, soft eggs with flowing yolks and a beautifully done Hollandaise creamier than I had expected but still memorable. If you feel like having a good Eggs Benedict in Beirut, this is one of the top 3.
  • Eggs Florentine is as good as ever and indeed even better.
  • Knefeh - is good - melted cheese that has hardened, crispy bread crumbs, enough sweetness and a super chewy bread kaaka.
  • Waffles are thin and crispy, they absorb the maple syrup and become juicy on the inside, and biscuity on the outside. But they're not as good as I expected them to be.
  • Pancakes... an acceptable taste, fluffy but cold and the plate looks dull and un-appetizing.

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Service:

  • Let's talk about service at Le Vendôme... The only professional treatment they offer is the lady at the welcome desk. A classy lady welcomes you with a smile, greats you with gentle words and accompanies you to the table of your choice to have a pleasant meal. She makes sure to hand you a candy for the road following you to the elevator on your way out. Other than that, I'm sorry to tell you that Le Vendôme has lost its Savoir-Faire.
  • After visiting in 2012, I came back in 2013 and decided not to publish the review made then of the sub-standard breakfast. Today, visiting again, all I can remember are the plates left on the table during breakfast, a dirty table cover, a coffee taking time to reach me, waiters you have to search for hiding around the place... What you expect at Le Vendôme is a luxurious service in a five star hotel. I expect plates to be changed every fifteen minutes, coffee to be refilled without asking, a menu showing the available orders from the kitchen, more attention and more professionalism... and better looking black suits.
  • You expect pampering but you get nothing more than a normal buffet breakfast with a gentle staff up to the standard of a French bistro.

The good part: Breakfast is still at $30 while other hotels serve breakfast for more...

Verdict: It used to be one of my favorite breakfasts in town... but not anymore.

Lazy valet parking, a not so joyful reception staff, waiters lack know-how... I hope things will get back on track and up to the standard expected of such a fine establishment.




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been there? what was your impression? (4.5/10)

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happy
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good
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euhh
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meh!
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nah!
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never again