August 14, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Having Breakfast at Indigo on the Roof

It's been almost a year since I last had breakfast at Le Gray, and because of Arina’s feedback, I went to check on the improvements she mentioned in her comment.

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Walk into this colorful space enchanted by light jazz tunes and choose to sit inside, or on the terrace overlooking Beirut's Central District. Indigo welcomes you with a fresh touch of finesse and luxury provided by its beautiful decoration and colorful flowers. The sun’s rays enter the space through the high glass facade surrounding the restaurant, adding just the right amount of soothing morning freshness. The open plan of the restaurant, with its multi-dimensional quality, creates an overwhelming feeling of being in touch with the urban environment surrounding the hotel. The Grand Mosque of Mohammad Al Amin is captured in picture-like precision from one angle, and from another a captivating view of modern high-rise buildings in the neighboring area. The fresh transparency of the space at Indigo On The Roof will put a smile on your face before you even start to eat.

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A hostess showed me to my table before the waiter on duty asked what I’d like to drink. Earl Grey tea, which arrived a few minutes later in porcelain chinaware with a silver strainer serving one of the most aromatic teas I’ve ever had, one that activated all my senses at once. The dining concept is simple, for only $30/person you can choose any of the dishes offered, as well as items from the open buffet display. The menu:

  • Lebanese corner (foul medammes or Kenafeh)
  • Oat porridge (honey, banana, cinnamon)
  • Plain or blueberry pancakes
  • French toast (cinnamon sugar, Canadian maple syrup)
  • Eggs Benedict (two poached eggs, gypsy ham, English muffin, hollandaise sauce)
  • Eggs Florentine (two poached eggs,
  • Three egg omelet
  • Egg white soufflé omelet with fine herbs
  • Two free-range eggs

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The buffet selection:
  • Kellogg’s corn flakes boxes
  • Granola mix
  • A selection of yogurt displayed on an ice bed
  • Yellow seasonal fruits cut in slices
  • Muesli, Lebanese cheese, labneh on ice
  • Smoked salmon
  • Black and green olives
  • A beautiful vegetable platter
  • Pickles
  • Five choices of fruits
  • Dried apricot
  • International cheeses platter
  • Dried
  • Cold cuts plate
  • Ham
  • Croissant (chocolate, zaatar and cheese)
  • Manakish
  • Chocolate and milk cake
  • Four kinds of square bread with their hot toaster
  • Lebanese bread and French baguette

I wanted to try exactly what I ate last year, to see if there was an improvement.

  • The Eggs Benedict: Two poached eggs served individually, each on a thick slice of gypsy ham overlaying an English muffin. Beautifully presented and simple, the eggs were half cooked and covered with a rich and tasty Hollandaise sauce. As soon as you cut into them, the egg yolk flows around making your eyes water. I loved the thickness and richness of the ham as well as the layer of egg white that is thin and soft with the slight crispiness of the English muffin and its spongy after note. A sprinkle of paprika on top adds a perfect touch of finesse. Just make sure to serve it hot next time.

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  • French Toast: Sorry but this is a big NO, again. Thick and too soggy, the texture is a bit repulsive. The toast looks unappetizing to start with and is followed by a watery-milky sensation that you don’t really want to taste. I liked the cinnamon, a fresh smell, but surely not the taste and texture. Far too milky, with a strong aftertaste like I was eating Corn Flakes and milk, and the maple syrup, that should add a little of the missing sweetness, slides off the bread to find refuge on the plate.

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  • Blueberry Pancake: Not the usual, plain variety, but two round pieces of thick UFO-like "muffins", filled with tiny juicy blueberries just waiting to be covered with maple syrup. Add syrup before enjoying it, as it definitely needs extra sugar to be appreciated.

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The best part of this breakfast is that I confirmed the consistency of Le Gray's kitchens. The same issues I remember talking about before (a lack of sweetness, an overdose of milk...) are still the same. As for the buffet, I believe it's perfect for the $30 price tag. There’s a reasonable choice on display and it’s produced fresh every morning. Start with the cold selection then ask for the hot plates to be prepared. Have a meeting, or start your day in style, breakfast at Indigo is a fine, recommended choice.




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been there? what was your impression? (2/10)

0
happy
0
good
0
euhh
0
meh!
0
nah!
0
never again