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.
Last night we were invited for a Zomato Meet Up at The Eyrie along with some of Joburg's top Foodies. The restaurant venue is very well positioned so if you go there in the late afternoon, you will be able to capture and enjoy a gorgeous sunset. The restaurant's atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming as you walk in, with cheerful staff ready to assist.
The décor consists of light greys, white and accents of green and blue all complementary of each other. There's even a fire place to keep you warm on those exceptionally chilly days and evenings. The photography artworks on display are absolutely stunning! The photograph of the tree shown in the image below was one of my favourites - something you need to go appreciate in person.
Once seated the table was served with an intro of the Eyrie Table Mezze Platter. This consisted of Mediterranean delicacies such as golden calamari heads, pan fried chicken livers, grilled halloumi, and more. Almost everyone, including myself, was beyond impressed by the calamari - after eating this calamari you won't want to eat calamari from anywhere else! I usually don't enjoy halloumi even on a good day, but this grilled halloumi was superb.
After the snacking and mingling, it was time for starters. Choices were between the Ceres Pear and Biltong Salad versus the Crispy Duck Salad. Initially I was leaning towards the Ceres pear because you know, pears are divine. But eventually I got sold on the duck when I noticed it had puffed glass noodles, yum! I was more than happy with my choice and secretly judged myself for wishing I could lick the plate. Oh yes, the Crispy Duck Salad is that decadent.
While the intro and starters settled into everyone tummies, we all patiently waited for our main meals. With a choice between Pichana Steak, Kingklip and Penne Primavera, I opted for the Kingklip because it came with a sautéed duo of prawns splashed with a Mariniere sauce. I paired this with a super side of caramelised sweet potatoes. The prawns were so good I wanted more, way more! If you prefer the natural taste of sweet potatoes without the added sugar, I warn against the caramelised sweet potatoes, try the mashed sweet potato option instead.
Then it was my favourite part of any meal, dessert time! Now, in what world do you make a sweet-toothed-dessert-lover choose between Dulcey Caramel and Chocolate Tart versus a Chilled Strawberry Cheesecake? As one of the other foodies expressed, it was like being forced to choose which one of my children I loved most. Ultimately though, I chose the cheesecake because let's be honest, I always get chocolate anything. The Chilled Strawberry Cheesecake is simply delightful - not too sweet, perfect texture and portion, subtly zesty, and magical - yes I just took it there. Just to be sure I wasn't being as dramatic as I seem right now, I had a bite of the chocolate option from a fellow foodie, it was a risk which only validated how amazing the cheesecake is!
Overall, I had a great experience at The Eyrie and recommend everyone to give it a try. So if you had nowhere to go for dinner tonight, now you know where to go!
Review & Images by Cleopatra Shava
For more information about The Eyrie, see contact info box above.