Breakfast is served…
Ever since her travels to Egypt, Chef Clara has had a flirtatious relationship with the Mediterranean cuisine. If you have been to the bakery recently, you will have noticed a few new dishes coming out of the kitchen. Our new breakfast menu includes the spicy Shakshuka, best Pita Scrambles, Ka’ak served with homemade jams, a traditional Mediterranean plate and our very own breakfast Manakish.
A Lebanese breakfast is quite different to your Western fry ups. What makes it unique is its use of herbs, spices and fresh, seasonal ingredients with lots of olive oil and nibbly bits that you can eat with your hands – the best way to eat any food. Fresh slices of tomato, olives, mint, rocket and cucumbers, and an essential yummy side of labneh are some of the flavours you can expect to taste.
Everybody loves breakfast. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day. We thought it best to get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Check out what Chef Clara has to say about her first experience and the inspiration behind the latest breakfast menu.
What is a Mediterranean Breakfast?
It’s completely different from what we know as South Africans. The typical Lebanese breakfast will have boiled eggs, rocket, tomatoes, cucumbers, flat bread, olives and labneh. Served with some good olive oil, za’atar and tea. The other option would be to have fuhl – fava beans cooked with sautéed onions, spices and fresh tomatoes. It’s delicious and is served with fresh flat bread. Fuhl variants will change with each area and region, yet the base concept remains the same.
When was the first time you encountered a Mediterranean Breakfast?
The first time I experienced this kind of breakfast was in Luxor, in southern Egypt. It was served on a rooftop of the accommodation we were staying at and consisted of fresh flat bread, rocket, tomatoes, small cucumbers, boiled eggs and some yoghurt. I remember it well because I had to rethink the concept of breakfast. It was light yet filling and I loved the idea of it.
What was the first thing you ever tasted?
My mothers breast milk. Sorry. I had to.
What are your and Khaled’s favorite dishes?
Khaled loves Fuhl. He also remembers his mothers scrambled eggs which she made with tomatoes and fresh peppers filled into a pita. It’s what our Breakfast Scramble was inspired by. Khaled also LOVES yoghurt. When we make it, Sisipho will always keep a bowl for him aside.
I love Labneh and olive oil and za’atar. Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers….. that’s my best thing!
What flavours are most prominent in Mediterranean breakfasts?
The usual suspects of olives, labneh and za’atar. However, I think it’s more about what is available. One buys what is in season, so the tomatoes and the cucumbers are tasting amazing because they’re ripe and ready.
The concept of breakfast is not as strong as a traditional South African breakfast – I think things can be changed and supplemented easier than with our brekkies. So if corn is in season, then it will be on the table. Also, labneh is a whole love affair on its own. Labneh balls are made using thick labneh, rolling it and letting it “dry out” in the fridge. These are then rolled in herbs or spices and will then be dropped in olive oil to preserve them. They’re amazing. And whilst I am writing this I am excited to make them next week!
Tell me a bit more about the Mediterranean Breakfasts at Lebanese Bakery?
Cape Townians love breakfast and it was just a matter of time until we served ours. It would be silly not to if we have fresh bread , proper labneh and all the mezze to go with it.
My personal favourite is the Mediterranean plate with all its little bits and bobs. Grazing like this has always been my favourite way of eating. I don’t need sweet things for breakfast, but we also have Ka’ak and jam. I make the jam with 50% less sugar using natural pectin. This reduces cooking time of the fruit and allows for the colour to remain bright without making the jam too sweet. I get to be creative with the flavours. I love using the almond in the apricot stone in the jam. It’s like eating pure marzipan.
Tell us if you have any other ideas in mind.
As always, I prefer to have less on offer and make what we have really good. As soon as we have found our breakfast feet we will see what the customer wants to add to this selection. Let’s see – I’m always open to suggestions and new ideas!
Shakshuka, Best Pita Scramble, Ka’ak with Jam Joy, Mediterranean Manakish and Mediterranean Breakfast are available all day long at The Lebanese Bakery. Read more about each delight here or visit our Instagram and Facebook pages for more information.
Hope to see your lovely faces soon.