August 26, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Phoenicia Hotel: A Five Stars Breakfast I Recommend
Non-smokers friendly


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9.5/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 24/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 10/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: Soon

My quest continues, searching for the best breakfast you can have at a five star hotel in Lebanon. Le Gray, Le Royal, The Four Seasons, Hilton and now its time for Phoenicia Hotel. Today's experience was the closest I have had to the big hotels I've stayed at in Europe and Dubai - A huge buffet with everything imaginable. This was truly a real five star breakfast that started as soon as we arrived at the door of Mosaic restaurant and continued all the way through until 11am. Two hours passed in a glimpse.
Najy, the assistant manager, with an experience in Australia welcomes you with a perfect accent as he walks you towards the hostess who led us to our table. Tsoline, the hostess, took over and toured us around the islands explaining each and every corner with its content. Afterwards, Median our waiter today, welcomed us with a smile and a coffee.
Mosaic, which I reviewed a couple if weeks ago is known to serve buffets all day long, all year round. Breakfast, followed by lunch and dinner. Facing the entrance is the desserts' islands proceeded by the croissants section. To the left you will find the light section, juices and cereals area. As for the right, along a long corridor is a bread section to the right and a salad bar to the left. A bread corner where two live cooking stations are available to prepare the best breakfast items made from the freshest ingredients, like manakish and saj... a display of knefe and pork items. To the left is a long decent salad bar, which includes some of the vegetables imaginable.
Continue ahead to reach the hot sections filled with chicken, ham, turkey, potatoes and sausages. In the middle of the island is a chef preparing eggs, just the way you like them.
Dozens of tables are all perfectly set up with their cutlery, and surrounded by light green leather chairs and their arm rests. I liked the little details like having a box filled with your table number. Walk around, order your favourite plates and leave a number and have your craving delivered to your table in few minutes.
Six islands filled with any imaginable breakfast item you may desire:
  • Fresh honey and halawa cubes
  • Foul, balila, chicken fatte
  • 12 choices of dried fruits displayed in pots
  • A wide choice of bread
  • Baked beans, kishek, soujouk, hash brown potatoes
  • Live eggs section
  • Kaak and Zaatar
  • Makanek, steamed vegetables, veal sausages, marinated potatoes, turkey bacon
  • An olive section with more than 18 different choices filled into pots
  • A salad bar on ice
  • Knefe cheese and ashta
  • Live markouk
  • Baked manakish
  • Fresh smoked salmon in a fridge
  • The Danish pastry: Cakes, two donuts trees, Oum Ali, muffins, assorted donuts, brioche, Danish cakes,
  • Croissant; cheese, thyme, almond, feta cheese, plain, chocolate
  • Fruits on ice
  • Light section: Cheese, yogurt and labneh
  • Milk shakes
  • Juices: Orange, carrot, grapefruit
  • Cold and low fat milk
  • Cereals: Muesli, multiple cereal crackers served in large wooden bowls
  • Kelloggs mini boxes
  • Mouhallabie: With five different toppings
  • Hummus and moutabbal
  • A complete section of cheese (white and yello): Shelal, labne, halloumi, feta, halloumi, balls labneh, mozzarella...
Everything was just great. The welcoming, the service, the speed and effectiveness of the staff, the choices and quality of food.
The pluses:
  • Coffee was changed and refilled several times
  • Everybody in here is happy smiling and welcoming
  • Salmon is fresh, not oily,  not salty and not fatty
  • Labneh and dairy products are fresh and tasty
  • Choose any of your cravings: Chicken, turkey or pork sausages
The things I liked and enjoyed:
  • Scrambled eggs are extraordinary: Non oily and non shiny with beautiful colours and a great taste. I ordered a vegetables omelette that was served with a mix of beautiful colors. Red yellow capsicum, mushrooms and cheese. Markouk bread is served with the sunny side up eggs
  • The chocolate milkshake, created with Haagen Daz's ice cream is light and tasty. Don't forget to ask for one the next time you visit
A special request made by the manager - produced and delivered to our table:
  • Cheese Saj: The saj is made on corn bread without yeast: Simply great. Generous, slightly crunchy dough, non oily and perfectly layered filling
  • Zaatar is concentrated and tasty
  • Keshek is good
  • Ashta and honey with melon: That's a mouthwatering plate
The must change: These do not fit the positive experience enjoyed here:
  • Croissant, although fluffy, are a bit commercial. They are acceptable but not great. I liked the feta croissant idea stuffed with black olives. Almonds croissant are too dry on the inside. Chocolate croissant hardly has any chocolate inside...
  • Pastries: A disaster. This is really one of the few times I actually eat something and want to spit it out. I think the chef needs to take an intensive course in pastry making to get some improvement. The quality and taste is mediocre. The one's at Pain D'or are better. They are chewy, the filings are stingy, they are messy and they cause heartburn. They are a big NO.  "Sorry for being that direct."
I really enjoyed my breakfast experience at the Phoenicia Hotel and I recommend that you try it. You can conduct a nice impressive breakfast meeting there or just go for the sake of having a good and hefty breakfast. With a bit of improvement on the dessert part, the breakfast at Phoenicia can become an international hot spot.





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