This Montreal All-You-Can-Eat Lebanese Brunch Restaurant Nails The Flavours Of The Middle East
It tasted like childhood!
Growing up, we spent most of our Sundays at the home of our teta — that's grandmother in Arabic — which meant a guaranteed Lebanese breakfast. We'd dive into olives, cucumbers, cheese, labneh spread over pita and of course, eggs and awarma (a type of preserved lamb).
We've chased those tastes and aromas ever since, at brunch spots in Montreal and beyond, so when I discovered that Lebanese restaurant Ô Four offers an all-you-can-eat brunch every single Sunday, I knew I had to try it.
We were greeted by the restaurant manager, Elham Lahoud, who instantly welcomed us with a warm smile and a gesture to an outside table. Since this was our first time, Lahoud went over the all-you-can-eat-concept, which is made to order, not buffet style.
First, it includes cheese, zaatar or lahme (meat) manakish, or as we like to call it…Lebanese pizzas. You can also enjoy any style of eggs you wish, which meant I was definitely about to get my eggs and awarma on, foul (bean dish), fatteh (chickpeas made with yogurt, pine nuts and freshly toasted pita bread), along with another chickpea dish known as balila.
The brunch also includes hot pita, fresh mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and olives. Oh, and any hot and cold drinks. The price? $23 per person. Mhm, $23! It was all sounding a little too good to be true, but alas it wasn't.
This is how you do it
The food came out promptly and just from the look of it all I knew we were in for a real treat. We decided to go for the awarma and bacon omelettes first, but here's a tip: you don't simply dive in with a fork. With half a pita, some olives, tomato and cucumber, I mixed the eggs into a sandwich, combining all the flavours, just as we did at teta's. The eggs were cooked perfectly, and Ô Four doesn't shy away from adding a lot of awarma.
The manakish were also a big hit. The thing about meat and cheese manakish is they can oftentimes get too soggy, but Ô Four's owner and chef Bachir Khairallah certainly knows a thing or two about the bread-to-topping ratio, keeping the dish fresh over flimsy. This bread had just the right amount of crispiness and kept its shape with every bite.
As for the zaatar manakish, the ingredients are imported directly from Lebanon and offer an aromatic blend of intense earthiness with subtle citrus-like undertones. It was like biting into a piece of home.
While balila isn't usually a favourite of mine, I found myself going for a second scoop. The texture was just right, smooth and creamy with just the right amount of whole chickpeas. Toss on some of Ô Four's high-quality olive oil and it was game over.
The brunch winner? The fatteh. The buttery texture of the chickpeas and yogurt blended so well with the crunch from the pine nuts and toasted pita. With every bite, you could taste the freshness of the herbs and chickpeas all matched with the tanginess of the yogurt.
To tie the experience together was none other than Lahoud himself, who gave off amou vibes, which translates to "uncle" in Levantine Arabic. His check-ins, quick chats and warmth radiated throughout our visit, so it really felt as if we were right at home.
Ô Four's brunch is available every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by reservation only.
Lebanese Brunch at Ô Four
Where: 3452 ave. Parc, Montreal, QC
When: Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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