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.
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!
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.
Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Details: 11 Park Street, Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Checkers want you to live better, so that you can live longer. That's why they have developed the Simple Truth Range - a variety of health food and cleaning products which are free of artificial colourants, flavours, sweeteners and have no added MSG. Featuring pantry essentials, cooking oils and tasty snacks, this range is ever growing to include more of your favourite food goodies. Checkers Simple Truth cleaning products are eco-friendly and biodegradable. So, hop on the Simple Truth band wagon if you are serious about kicking sugar, wheat or dairy to the curb and helping the environment.
Reduced sugar, gluten-free and vegetarian friendly, what more could you want in a sticky dark chocolate fudge brownie? Next time you have a hankering for chocolate, pick up one of these. It's an almost guilt-free indulgence. But, beware these are super rich, so pace yourself!
We know that some people prefer crunchy peanut butter to smooth, but there is just something so satisfying about the Checkers Simple Truth smooth roasted peanut butter. With no added sugar or salt, this preservative free sandwich spread is super healthy. With its natural fat and high protein content, this is the perfect snack for kids and adults. Spread over apple slices with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and you're in peanut butter heaven.
Unsweetened almond milk can be hard to come by. But, not at Checkers. Their UHT unsweetened almond milk is suitable for vegans, or anyone looking to start increasing their plant-based consumption. As it's locally made, Checkers Simple Truth almond milk is less costly than imported versions. So, get yourself on the organic bandwagon and drink up those almonds.
Not a fan of zucchini noodles? Neither are we. We much prefer Simple Truth's vegan sweet potato noodles. Egg-free and vibrant with colour, these noodles go well with a hearty lentil bolognaise sauce or veggie stir fry. If sweet potato doesn't float your boat, they also have turmeric noodles and Moringa noodles to get you slurping.
The health benefits of raw honey have been proven time and time again. A natural anti-inflammatory, honey is nature's cure to the common cold. Checkers Simple Truth honey is locally sourced wild blossom honey. 100% pure, unfiltered and unheated, this is the ideal pantry staple. Spoon a little into your tea or pair with one of the famous indulgent cheeses at Checkers. Yum!
Cooking healthy meals for the kids day in and day out can be tedious to say the least. That's where the Checkers Oh My Goodness! range comes in. Endorsed by Gordon Ramsay himself, this range of pre-made meals and snacks are free from MSG, added sugar and salt, and contain no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. However, there is no skimping on flavour here. The kids will love the natural sweetness of berries included in their fruit rolls, yogurts and gluten-free cereals. Get rid of all the usual nasty stuff and feed the kids natural goodness instead.
Banting took over the food world a few years ago. While most of the hype has died down, there are still a good number of Banting devotees out there. To help you keep your carb intake down, Checkers developed a range of Banting friendly salad dressings, marinades, cured meats and seeded breads. No need to worry about hidden sugars in your condiments or snacks!
If the Simple Truth range, Oh My Goodness! and Banting Revolution weren't enough to kick start your journey to the healthy life, then check out Health Connection Wholefoods on shelves at Checkers, which includes rolled oats, quinoa, chia and pumpkin seeds and almond flour. These are all you need to perfect your gluten-free baking. These healthy alternatives also make breakfast a whole lot easier. So, rather than picking up that sugar loaded petrol station muffin, prepare yourself a jar of overnight oats or chia pudding.
So, there you have it! All of the essential Checkers Simple Truth health products you should add to your shelves. Happy, healthy eating!
Click here to find your nearest Checkers store in Johannesburg.