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THE ROOF: Summer at The Four Seasons Hotel
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When you plan to visit the best breakfast spot in Beirut, believe me you won't be getting much sleep the night before. I dreamt of the finest eggs Benedict in Lebanon, of this long buffet filled with endless choices of eye candy items stuffed in jars or set one next to the other ready to be devoured. Welcome to the Four Seasons, welcome to the heaven of breakfasts, come enjoy the finest morning meal none can replicate or come close to... Come to the Four Seasons Beirut, where the love is.
It starts with the welcoming, it starts the minute you leave your car with the valet parking where a couple of professional men make sure to greet you and put a smile on your face. "Welcome sir, I'll get the door for you." Inside is another majordomo or security man who also makes sure you are happy. Take the elevator and press "2".
A third welcoming, positivity and good vibes, and a staff that's super well trained. Walk the couple of meters towards the buffet where you'll be stopped by the choices and beauty of it.
The concept is simple, yet sophisticated:
- Just pay 58,000L.L, all inclusive. Not a dime more.
- Choose any drink you want, including water and sparkling water.
- On the table an oriental tower is served (labneh, a cheese platter, vegetables, freshly baked bread).
- A plate of Lebanese baked bites is served.
- Choose from a wide choice of 12 cooked plates, order them all if you want.
- Plunge into a buffet of endless choices.
The breakfast menu: Eggs any style, egg white omelet, eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, Lebanese style eggs (awarma, soujok, shakshouka), foul mdammas, fattet hummus, smoked salmon, charcuterie, oatmeal, knefeh, French toast, buttermilk pancakes and Belgian waffles.
The buffet of endless possibilities:
- A choice of bread and baguettes.
- Croissants and pain au chocolat.
- Cakes and muffins with their signature sugar muffin.
- Strawberry jam, orange marmalade, chocolate spread, honey and apricot jam.
- Cookie jars.
- More than 17 bowls of fruit cut in cubes.
- More jam: Apple, fig, kumquat, pumpkin, walnut and pumpkin confit.
- Yogurt in mini pots, 5 varieties of it.
- Cereals and corn flakes and nra of all kinds.
- Dried fruits.
- Thyme, labneh balls and olives. They look so nice and colorful.
- Vegetables and salads.
- Cheese in olive oil.
The welcoming tower:
On the table landed four plates. One of labneh, another of mouhammara and a third of local cheese. A basket of bread and a plate of manakish. Set in a tower, they fill your table with joy.
- The eggs Benedict... Yummy! A large toasted muffin topped with salmon and two poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on top. White enveloping the molten yolk and the sauce, the best sauce ever, the hollandaise nobody manages to do well in Lebanon. I loved the toast, the quality of the salmon, eggs and sauce. A marvelous creation.
- Eggs with kawarma: That's not a good one at all, a failure. I expected much better from the same person who can create the best eggs Benedict in Lebanon. The eggs are pre-scrambled like a purée, which is not doable at all, the plate lacks salt and mostly flavor. Its texture is unpleasant and has a bad aftertaste one doesn't want to leave in the mouth. Eggs made the Lebanese way should keep their authenticity and not reach for sophistication.
- Croissants: Two thumbs up. A flaky and airy croissant with some yellow cheese melting on top, a unique cheese with an enjoyable, bitter flavor. That's a croissant, that's what a croissant should be like. I'm in love.
- The charcuterie plate: A generous plate of wonders, beautifully presented to amaze. That by itself would cost LBP58,000 in a French restaurant, the price of the buffet. Parma ham, bresaola and salami. That's f*%$ing awesome!
- Now wait for more amazement. A jar contains quartered tomatoes, tomatoes with a sweet taste, kind of pickled with joy, love and passion. A light sweetness explodes, an unmatched juiciness, a light and bright color, that's a premiere.
- Walnut confit: No way, no way, no f*%$ing way! What the hell is this extravagant innovation? Walnuts cooked as they are with their shells, a tender heart of joy, a sweet flavor with some perfume, cloves, something else... Something a man can't describe.
I wish I could stay here eating all day!
Now for dessert:
- A chocolate croissant served warm, flaky buttery and lightly tender and chewy filling with two sticks of dark chocolate. It doesn't have the crunch a croissant should have, but I simply love it.
- The pecan muffin is exceptional. Moist and tender muffin with pecan nuts on top. It is so finger licking good!
- French toast: Finally changed and upscaled since I was last here. Last time was not of the finest quality, but today, the pain perdu is one you could eat in a three-star restaurant. A square bread soaked to perfection in milk and topped with orange quarters while some almonds and orange confit fill its heart. Served warm, this pain perdu is simply classy and straight to the point. Leave the borders behind and plunge into its heart of gold. I would personally add an orange coulis on top, that same one that was part of this plate two years ago.
- Pancakes: Three thick layers served on a round plate and sprinkled with sugar powder. Add maple syrup, wait a couple of minutes and indulge into some delicious fluffy and airy rounds of American style bread. They are flavorful, they really are, tasty and enjoyable. This finesse is found in every plate... The strawberries on the side... I'm astonished.
What else can I mention?
- The colorful new plates from Villeroy & Boch,
- Or the superb professional service,
- Or maybe the generous buffet,
- The plates that are all so mouthwatering,
- Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino offered free of charge,
- The choice of seating inside or on the terrace overlooking Beirut's waterfront,
- And best for last is the price, less than $40 for all of the above and even more if you please.
Expect to pay LBP58,000/person for all of the above.
Re-confirming again and again, the finest of breakfasts in Lebanon is at The Four Seasons. A must try at least once in a lifetime.