October 02, 2013 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Cafe Diem: A Classy Cafe with Rich Offerings (Restaurant Closed)
Non-smokers friendly

Phone Number: +961 1 333608

Address: Sodeco, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon

Website: http://www.cafediem.fr

Price Range: 20-30 $


Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 23/30

Architecture / Interior: 10/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

There's a new address in town, more specifically in the heart of Achrafieh. Reach the popular Sodeco street, just few meters from Classic Burger Joint, and find the new Cafe Diem - a cafe like no other in town. A white wooden door on the street hides the story of a man, Donald Battal, who decided to share a passion he has kept inside for long: A simple cafe, where you can come in to enjoy homemade recipes, created with love with no sophistication whatsoever. Cafe Diem was born to cater to the connoisseurs and amateurs of fine cuisine and tasty bites in a cozy yet refined atmosphere.
The place's little secrets:
  • Pass the wooden door then enter a white space that soothes all your senses
  • The first thing that embraces your eyes is a conical display of colorful meringues that are unfortunately not for sale
  • Five pending lights behind the glass vitrine make the place look typically French
  • To the right, a long bar that divided the long corridor in two
  • To the left, six round tables in front of a long bench placed under a mirror that makes the place look twice the size
  • Design chairs by Surpil. France's signature since 1927
  • Seven lamps add the needed amount of light over each and every table
  • White tiles cover all the walls and bar, adding finesse and reflection, making the space look wide and relaxed
  • Behind the bar is a series of unique items especially imported from Italy for your ultimate satisfaction: Kees Vander Westin design Espresso machine, a salad bar, a cold cuts 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 all you can eat is sold in here
  • The bar is lit by four pending lights adding more whiteness and purity to the design
  • Breaking this ultimate whiteness, a black vinyl floor blends perfectly and adequately
  • 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
The details I enjoyed:
  • Peugeot salt and pepper mills are placed on all tables
  • Blue and white table napkins with different designs support the cutlery
  • A large wine choice is proposed by Enoteca
  • Sometimes, the salad bar offers organic products, as mentioned on the labels
Cafe_Diem_Achrafieh_Beirut14 The menu suggestions:
  • Appetizers
  • Salads and Salad bar
  • Bruschetta
  • Cheese platter
  • Cold cuts
  • Sandwiches
  • Hot dishes
  • Galettes de Sarrasin
  • Beverage menu
The Breakfast menu: (Served from 07am till 11:30am)
  • Coffee menu
  • Fresh juices
  • Tea selection
  • Formule Le Diem
  • Bread & Croissants
  • Eggs
  • Sandwiches
  • Cereals, yogurts & Fresh fruits
The idea behind Cafe Diem is to have a simple open kitchen with no smell and no hood where the chef prepares the dishes live requested a-la-minute. Fresh sandwiches and cold cuts along homemade desserts are all part of the rich yet simple menu. In here, the bread is not to be missed. Produced by The French Bakery, Cafe Diem's bread is really out of this world. Each piece is soft, tender, fresh and crunchy at the same time. It's been a while since I enjoyed such a premium quality of bread. It's the same as the ones found in France.
We tried today:
  • Edamame coated with a hot sauce 10,500L.L: That's a good appetizer to start but don't forget to add a hint of salt to make their taste even better. The signature Cafe Diem spicy sauce will make put a smile on your face
  • Fresh Asparagus served with lemon oil dressing 13,000L.L: Wow! The simplicity is what's unique. Served warm with a simple hint of lemon sauce, every crunch is the start of a passionate journey
  • Beef Carpaccio served with rucola, lemon oil and shaved Parmesan cheese 24,000L.L: Even though a bit soggy, the beef carpaccio's quality is premium. This dish is tasty
  • Parma ham bruschetta served with aged cheddar and figs jam 14,000L.L: That's a superb plate. Two thumbs up to the creator who decided to add fig to jam and another two thumbs up to the French Bakery for providing such a premium bread quality. Pure bread that just tastes bread, with crunchy borders embracing some premium parma ham and a sweetness that transforms each bite into a fine dining experience
  • Ham and Cheese Galette de Sarrasin. Smoked ham, Edam cheese, fried egg and mesclun leaves 15,000L.L: I was happy to know that Lebanon now has Galette de Sarassin even though the dough should be less chewy and more crunchy in my opinion. I would love to hear your opinion about it
  • Valrhona 70% Dark chocolate crepe with diced strawberries: Simplicity is key to make this plate the dessert of choice. A thin crepe hosting a strong chocolate that connoisseurs love. This is yummy with a cup of coffee after work
After lunch, an Espresso was waiting, but not just any Espresso. Vascobelo, Belgium's finest coffee blend for the true coffee lover, served with a delicious homemade biscotti.
"If you were to savor this very moment, would it taste like a freshly baked muffin or a sizzling beef teriyaki? Maybe a green healthy wrap or an overly chocolaty crepe ? Don't settle for drooling, bite into life fully and passionately and embrace every beat of every moment of your day. Cafe Diem is here for you when you wake up or later for brunch, for a formal business lunch, an afternoon coffee break with a friend or for a romantic dinner with your loved one. Carpe Diem! No two moments taste the same and no two meals ever should!"
I enjoyed Cafe Diem so much...





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