The Deli Counter Makes Way For Lemoni
Bedfordview has recently welcomed a new foodie haven into the neighbourhood - Lemoni. Taking over from the well-loved Deli Counter, sisters Alexia and Dina Damianou are bringing classic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine back into the suburb. Greek meze is currently the ‘in thing’ in Bedfordview. With Soul Souvlaki just a block away and the super popular Mythos at Bedford Centre, Lemoni has had to ensure that they stand out from the rest. I visited them one month after their official opening to sample a little Mediterranean medley and some delicious sweet treats.
Pretty Peonies and Lemon Trees
Before I delve into a description of Lemoni’s decor and style, I must make a disclosure. I am a sucker for any restaurant with a garden. Living and working in the concrete jungle makes one appreciative of nature and its flowering beauties.
As such, I believe that Lemoni is aptly named. Bright lemon trees, blossoming bougainvilleas and lavender bushes border the entrance. I am glad to have visited Lemoni during the first weeks of spring, because their garden was in full bloom. Pansies, petunias and scattered rose bushes greet you as you make your way into the dining area. I chose to sit inside as there was a slight chill in the air, but I am sure that on a sunny day the outdoor seating would be a delight.
The inside of the eatery is bright and welcoming. Distressed wood, casual lighting and unique fixtures give the place a sense of suburban modernism. However, there is also a family-friendly atmosphere here. On the day of my visit, the restaurant was fairly quiet, but the few occupied tables were populated by patrons of all ages. There is a separate menu for kids, so you can bring them for a bite to eat after school or over the weekend.
A second disclosure, I do not adhere to a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. I am what true plant-based eaters call a ‘flexiterian’. Basically all that means is that I am consciously trying to include more plant-based items in my diet, eat less meat and do my part in saving the environment. So far, I have managed to wean myself off of dairy milk, choosing to rather dash my tea with soy or almond milk. That’s why whenever I see these milk alternatives on a menu, I breathe a sigh of relief. So, Lemoni gets a thumbs up for offering almond milk in their frothy cappuccino. The vegans of Bedfordview thank you.
In keeping with my 'flexitarian' efforts, I opted for the falafel salad bowl as a main. Falafel, rocket, quinoa, beets, cucumber, carrots, avocado, red onion and cherry tomatoes are dressed in a red wine vinaigrette. Needless to say, I ate feeling quite proud of my healthy choice. That is not to take away from the flavour and care put into this meal. Each vegetable was treated as its own special entity in the salad and given just the right amount of seasoning. The quinoa was light and nutty and the falafels were crisp on the outside and filled with herbs to add an extra kick. This was filling and flavourful enough to make me forget all about the meat I wasn't eating!
A Little Cheat
While my meal was wholly satisfying, I had to try the little sweet treat that I had been eyeing since I sat down, a perfectly piped lemon tart decorated with dried rose petals. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite conquered the temptation to eat dairy laden desserts, and this time I gave into the siren call of the custardy tartlet. The crust was crumbly, the filling generous, tangy and creamy and the cheat, totally worth it. I will definitely be back for more of Lemoni’s bakery table. Laden with Cheesecake Brownies, Scones, Golden Crunchies and Gourmet Cake Pops, this table is a sweet tooth’s dream. Lemoni offers bakery requests too, so look no further for your next special occasion. You can book out the restaurant for events and functions as well. I think I know where I will be hosting my next birthday tea party.
For More Information
Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Details: 11 Park Street, Bedfordview, Johannesburg.