September 23, 2013 Beirut Central District Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Breakfast at Le Gray: Starting Your Day in Style (Restaurant Closed)
Non-smokers friendly

Phone Number: +961 1 971111

Address: Martyrs Square, Waygand Street Beirut, Lebanon


Price Range: 30-200 $


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 10/10

Ambiance / Music: 9.5/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 10/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 10/10

Value for money: 9/10

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I thought I had visited almost all of the major five-star hotels for breakfast in Lebanon. I was actually working on publishing my verdict until I found out by pure coincidence that Le Gray has recently launched a buffet breakfast. Stop I said. This I must try!
What used to be served on an individual tray in the Gordon's Cafe is now a full-fledged breakfast buffet at Indigo on the Roof.
Reach the hotel and take the elevator up to the sixth floor where Indigo welcomes you with a fresh touch of finesse and luxury provided by its beautiful decoration and colorful flowers. Sun spells enter the space through the high window facade surrounding the place, adding just the right amount of soothing natural morning light.
The open plan of the restaurant withitsmulti dimensional quality creates an overwhelming feeling of one being in touch with the urban environment surrounding the hotel. The Grand Mosque of MohammadAlAmin is captured in picture-like precision from one angle and from another a captivating view of other modern high rise buildings in the neighboring area. The fresh transparency of the space at Indigo- On The Roof is demonstrated by the display, in clear view, of its exclusive wine collection. The 650 wines available are from many regions of the world, including: Italy, France, South Africa, Chile and Lebanon to name but a few.
I love the fine architectural details this place shows:
  • Perfectly lit and colorful
  • High glass windows give an open view on the Beirut Central District and the seaport
  • Air conditioned space indoors and a lovely terrace outside
  • A flower pot on every table; yellow for the inner tables and red for the outer ones
  • Wooden tables fill the space outside covered with grey placemats
  • Cannon table napkins
  • Relaxing beige upholstery chairs decorated with a touch of color
  • A general purple finish, relaxing to the eyes
  • Round and square tables pleasant to sit in groups and enjoy face to face conversations
  • The huge wine cellar displaying a full fledge collection
  • An open kitchen where chefs prepare the morning pieces of art with love
Some details worth mentioning:
  • I loved the service of Tea: A silver strainer and China white porcelain
  • The staff is always on the lookout to keep guests happy and satisfied
  • My plate was changed more than four times without even me asking
  • The hot plates look beautiful and appetizing
  • Leaving my coffee more than ten minutes unattended, I was asked if I would like a new hot one
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
Back from the buffet, the table was prepared to host us, with the table napkins pending on the chairs and in the middle of the table is a choice of homemade jams and honey.
The food:
  • A rich buffet filled with a wide choice of items
  • Finally a tasty, soft and crunchy croissant that will be devoured in just two bites. The cheese croissant is light and the chocolate one is dark and consistent.
  • The homemade jams are extraordinary. Yes, homemade, the jams are far from being average and synthetic.
  • The Eggs Benedict: I am not really sure which is better, this one or the other I had at The Four Seasons. With a tiny little difference, Le Gray wins this round. Two poached eggs served individually, each on a thick slice of gypsy ham overlaying an English muffin. Beautifully presented and simple, the eggs are 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 preferred the thickness and richness of the ham as well as the layer of egg white that is thinner and softer.
  • Three Egg Omelet: Beautifully presented and mouthwatering this plate is good with no imperfections. Ham, cheese, tomato, mushroom, capsicum and fine herbs all create a piece of art you can't stop contemplating. A fine texture, beautiful colors and rich flavors make this dish a unique one. Adequately seasoned, this plate is majestic.
  • Blueberry Pancake: Not the usual plain pancakes to say the least, but one single thick and round UFO-like piece of pancake filled with tiny juicy blueberries just waiting to be covered with maple syrup. Add maple syrup before enjoying it, as it definitely needs some added sugar to be appreciated
  • Knefe: A beautifully looking thin square shaped sweet served with kaak. Too neutral eaten alone so make sure to add sugar syrup before trying it. I think some sugar should be added to the blueberry pancakes and knefe recipes to make them perfect to be enjoyed alone without the need to add external sweetness
  • French Toast: Sorry but this is a big NO. The Four Seasons hotel wins big time on this one. Thick and too soggy, this pain perdu's texture is repulsive. The look of the toast is unappetizing to start with followed by a watery and milk feel you don't really want to taste. I liked the cinnamon after taste but surely not the taste and texture. Improvements needed here!
The things I would improve:
  • Remove the (One dish is included within an open cold variety set on the buffet for 45,000L.L) off the menu. It looks cheap and stingy. Increase the price and give us the choice to choose as much as we like. Won't you like to start with some eggs and end with French toast?
  • A "light section" on the buffet is missing
  • The buffet itself can be richer
  • The French toast (pain perdu) is to be reconsidered
"One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast"
The reasons you should try Le Gray's breakfast:
  • An amazing ambiance in a beautiful setup
  • Impeccable service and pleasant staff
  • The hot dishes are delicious
  • The price is reasonable and affordable
  • The feeling of being pampered is nice at the beginning of the day...
I was definitely impressed with Le Gray's morning feast. I would consider this breakfast as part of my top three breakfasts at a five star hotel in Lebanon - although some minor improvements must be made...





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