July 04, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Cavalli Cafe: Beirut's 'Lost' Bread (Restaurant Closed)


Welcoming: 2/5

Food Temperature: 4/10

Ambiance / Music: 1/10

Menu Choice: 2/5

Food Taste: 9/30

Architecture / Interior: 1/10

Food presentation: 4/10

Service: 1/10

Value for money: 1/10

Every once in while I focus on a certain type of food or dessert and go all the way out to search for the best of what this country has to offer. It’s Pain Perdu’s turn, a sweet, spongy, juicy, caramelized dessert most of us love… yum, just thinking of it makes some of us drool…


Starting the search I decided to try well-known places, where some guarantees are expected. Trying the Pain Perdu at Cavalli Café was next on the list. We reached Cavalli, located in the heart of the capital. Facing Beirut’s Waterfront, this international chain is well located. We walked in and the waiter, who was obviously unenthusiastic about his job, asked us to choose a table. Ok, so let me start with a few things that caught my attention the minute we walked in. Other than the fact that I felt that the place required a huge revamp, the waiters need major training, placemats and coasters should be added on all tables...


The smoking issue was what drove me mad. Yes smoking is allowed indoors, in a completely closed space where no windows are found. The smell as you walk in is repulsive. I couldn't think of anything else to be honest, I was so disappointed… What about the law? I would have expected an internationally branded chain to -at least- follow the law… But sadly that’s not the case here in Beirut. I thought to myself, I came here for a reason and that was to try the pain perdu. Let me just focus on that. I ordered it and two minutes later, the plate landed in front of me. That’s a first, I though! We usually wait for at least 10 minutes for this dessert to be prepared and we are usually notified by the waiter that this order will take some time to finish. Well, the one at Cavalli took less than 5 minutes.


On a round plate came a rectangular shaped bread with a vanilla ice cream scoop, a quarter of a pear confit, some red currant for decoration and some caramel sauce on the side. The bread was thick and condensed with butter, yet lacks that soft feel that comes when the bread is soaked enough in milk. The taste of butter and eggs linger on for a while after you eat it… The strong burning flavor finds a comfortable place on your palatal buds… which made me stop eating after the first bite. As for the caramel served, it lacks consistency, as it’s too watery. The whole thing was not working for me. The whole thing just felt like a brick of calories in my stomach. Deceiving to say the least. Or should I say disappointing... I was expecting more. Leaving the plate as is with only two bites consumed, we were not even asked for why the plate was left 3/4 full.

In my opinion, Cavalli needs an urgent revamp starting with the decor, the service and I guess the food. I will wait until the heat wave breaks until I will come again and sit out on the terrace to avoid the smell of smoke around.

Categories: Spotted Stories





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