cafe • restaurants • shopping
posted in Legendary Eats in Melbourne
Zein’s Authentic is a cute Lebanese-inspired cafe/restaurant that’s pretty new to the brunch scene. Located on the busy streets of Heidelberg, the venue isn’t big, but it’s got a very rustic, home-y feel to it. On this occasion we came for breakfast, but they also offer lunch and dinner options. The menu consists of some unique Lebanese dishes, and some of your regular brunch dishes with a Lebanese twist. We ordered a dish each and a sweet dish to share. I decided on the Shakshuka, which was vegan! Instead of eggs, it contained chickpeas and a delicious vegan cheese on top. The chickpeas added a nice, soft texture to the dish and it was so flavourful. It’s served with grilled tilma bread which is amazing - it’s light and crispy and I do prefer it over sourdough! The famous Zeins Fritters tasted as good as they looked. They were crispy and moist, cooked to perfection. It came with a dipping sauce which had a balsamic-like sourness taste to it - but I LOVE sour flavours and I found that it complimented the dish nicely! It made the dish very unique and I’ve never tried anything like it. The Smashed in Beruit is Zein’s take on the classic smashed avo, and it’s a stunning dish! It comes with a beautiful vibrant beetroot hummus and topped with crumbled falafels. The Way It’s Done In Lebanon is a feast in a plate! With eggs, yoghurt, sausages, halloumi, olives, and zaatar bread - you get the full experience. Definitely try it if you’re hungry! Finally, we ended off with Zein’s Pancakes (vegan!) - and boy were they good! With caramelised banana and walnuts, and vegan coconut ice cream which was delicious. Not too sweet nor heavy, and the pancakes were fluffy and tall. A nice, light dessert that left us content but not sickly full! Loved every bite. I also got the Tropical Romance juice which was lovely and refreshing. A slight sweetness and a super fresh taste from the mint. A great drink on a sunny day! Lastly, the staff here were so friendly and service was so quick and accommodating. We loved our experience here! Thank you for having us!