CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Cafe Diem: A Classy Cafe with Rich Offerings (Restaurant Closed)
Cafe Diem: A Classy Encounter with Coffee (Restaurant Closed)
Cafe Diem: It's All About A Dark Chocolate Valrhona Crepe (Restaurant Closed)
An agreeable and good breakfast can easily put a smile on your face, while preparing for the day ahead... My "Diem" started at 9am, at the "Cafe" at Sodeco, which offers up a selection of croissants, omelets and crepes.
Nestled on Sodeco's main street, a few meters past Classic Burger Joint, Cafe Diem welcomes you from the very early hours of the morning until late at night, serving all three meals and everything in between. The menu is printed on a two sided paper, covering breakfast and lunch. So the easiest way of choosing it is to take the Cafe Diem formula which includes a coffee, orange juice, a croissant, bread basket, butter and jam.
The Breakfast menu: (Served from 07am till 11:30am)
- Coffee menu
- Fresh juices
- Tea selection
- Formule Le Diem
- Bread and croissants
- Cereals, yogurts and fresh fruit
While sipping the beautifully designed cappuccino, we waited to be served... Cafe Diem uses bread from The French Bakery, a producer I respect, and serves a wide selection of freshly baked goods a la Francaise.
The place’s little secrets:
- Pass the wooden door and you enter a white space that soothes all your senses
- The first thing that catches your eye is a conical display of colorful meringues that are unfortunately not for sale
- Five hanging lights behind the glass vitrine make the place look typically French
- To the right, a long bar divides the long corridor in two
- To the left, six round tables in front of a long bench are placed under a mirror that makes the place look twice it’s size
- Design chairs by Surpil. France’s signature since 1927
- Seven lamps add the just the right amount of light over each and every table
- White tiles cover all the walls and bar, adding finesse and reflected light, making the space look wide and relaxed
- Behind the bar is a series of unique items especially imported from Italy for your ultimate satisfaction: a Kees Vander Westin-designed Espresso machine, a salad bar, a cold cut and cheese display fridge, a desserts display (carrot cake, chocolate cake…) and a manual ham cutter from Berhel
- On the many shelves filling the walls, Mariage Freres tea and Zejd oil are available for sale as everything you can eat is also sold here
- The bar is lit by four hanging lights, adding more whiteness and purity to the design
- Breaking this whiteness, a black vinyl floor blends perfectly with the environment
- At the very end of the shop, a vitrine displays a large variety of unique tea mixes imported directly from France
- Square paintings and design items decorate the white wall on the left
Let's have breakfast:
- That day’s croissant was not as I expected it to be, lacking crispiness and lightness. The bread was too condensed, which made it hard to bake the inside correctly. A minor issue, which I'm sure was accidentally left unaddressed. Pick up a slice of bread, spread some Echiré butter, add some Bonne Maman jam and enjoy those sandwiches with your coffee before receive your eggs.
- The eggs are worth the wait. Beautiful-looking shining eggs filled with melted cheese and your selection of ham, mushrooms and maybe bacon. A thin layer of scrambled eggs, light in color and fresh-looking are filled with a generous portion of ham, cheese and mushrooms and laid majestically on a round plate. A fine, juicy creation perfect in texture and flavor, it will just make you moan. A bit oily for my taste but surely enjoyable as it is.
- A crunchy fresh French baguette, filled with warm goat’s cheese and smooth fig jam with some black olives and a leaf of green lettuce... That's the delicious goat cheese sandwich at Cafe Diem. A perfect blend of French flair, where every ingredient is just perfect alone, mixed together they put a smile on your face.
- The most important part was when we tried the galette again: Last time it was not up to our expectations and nothing compared to what you’d find in France. Today's was exceptional, thin like paper, crunchy like a biscuit, flavorful as you’d expect to embrace the layers of premium ham, melted cheese, grilled mushrooms and cooked egg. I've had hundreds of galettes in Paris and this is one compares to the very best. Bite into this cocktail of flavors while you enjoy the different textures caressing your taste buds in style. Feel it crumbling under your teeth while the juiciness of the filling melts smoothly... That's a crepe to try.
Breakfast for two, in a fine setup close to the capital's businesses is $20/person, all inclusive. Passing by Achrafieh, Cafe Diem is a place to try.