Middle-Eastern Haven

I was starting a 3.5 month placement as part of my Masters degree in the Heidelberg/Ivanhoe area so I decided to scope out a few cafes in the vicinity because y’know… #foodislyf. I like to go into a new environment well prepared and familiarise myself with my new surroundings for sustenance purposes. Brit willingly followed along on this little adventure to The Foreigner and boy, we returned home that afternoon with beaming smiles on our faces.

It’s humble exterior was not particularly inviting – tucked away and camouflaged in a small row of shops off the main street. But don’t let this deceive you, because one step into the door will transport you into a different world. Its bright and warm interior, with a blend of modern and rustic elements will instantly get you intrigued about what this place is about. On the right hand side of the cafe is a captivating, but not necessarily obvious, multi-coloured map of the world painted on the wall (Brit thought one of the paint blobs looked like Australia and that’s how we figured it out). Their menu boasts middle-eastern infused flavours which immediately got Brit very excited.

No surprise Britt ordered the Foreigner’s breakfast – The toasted flat bread was smokey (like bread toasted in a tandoor), accompanied by silky smooth eggplant and poached eggs and dowsed in glorious sage butter. The sharpness from the labne provided sweet relief from the rich garlicky liquid gold flavours, but like Pringles, you can’t stop once you pop anyway (it’s that addictive!). Just don’t schedule a date for after without some serious Listerine treatment.

I ordered the breakfast HSP, although very apprehensively. I’ve never had a HSP before due to the vivid imagery of my arteries clogging up with every bite, but I was too interested in how this cafe was going to turn a sickeningly greasy fast food into a brunch appropriate dish. This more refined version of the HSP had braised pulled lamb that was tender and juicy af, toasted soldiers (hand cut & thick cut fries) that were a beautiful texture and garlic, smokey bbq & chilli sauce that strongly resembles the original but doesn’t make you want to spew. Was it still rich and heavy? Yes, but still enjoyable. Did I finish it? No, because I guess a HSP isn’t a HSP unless you reach a point while eating when you have to question yourself whether or not to exercise some self-control.

On a later occasion while on placement, the whole department gathered here to bid farewell to 2 beloved staff members. I will admit, I put in a good word for The Foreigner in the restaurant selection process because its a dream of mine to brunch on the job. This time, I ordered the breaky burrito. I didn’t know middle-eastern mexican western food existed until this day but I was thoroughly impressed when I did. Here’s what I mean – cumin scrambled eggs, spiced beans, mushrooms, avocado, salsa, rocket drizzled with salsa and aioli – doesn’t that hurt your brain a little? I wasn’t quite sure what it was from reading the menu, so I risked it for the biscuit and the risk definitely paid off.

See ya in the next post 🙂

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