Bayte : A Lebanese Feast !

Brunch at Bayte

I know I’ve said numerous (countless) times, how much I love brunch. But I need to say it again. I LOVE brunch! Especially since there are so many different varieties of brunch we can get here in Melbourne. The first time I went to Bayte, I went with 3 beautiful ladies (Ashley, Lee & Sofia) and as it was my first time meeting them, I was a bit too nervous and didn’t get to snap photos with my camera! haha So it was due to head back and have brunch, this time with some of my favourite and closest friends.

Beautiful Paige

Yes. This my dear readers is my favourite girl who steals my heart every time I see her, Paige. hehe Isn’t she just gorgeous? hehe She was all smiles that afternoon and couldn’t stop playing with us and have short burst of laughters! Just absolutely adorable! hehe Such great company we had for brunch that day!

Story behind Bayte

The menu is a true reflection of what lebanese food is and should be. Full of robust flavours and worth celebrating about! Chef Julie Touma came up with the menu which was inspired by her grandmother’s recipes! Just reminds me of how much I miss both my mum’s and grandmother’s home cooking and how I am constantly inspired by them too! (Can you tell I’m a little home sick?) Bayte means home in Arabic, and you definitely feel welcomed the moment you step in. I couldn’t wait to have the food again and definitely couldn’t wait to have their freshly brewed chai!

Chai soy latte

Their freshly brewed chai was with Bonsoy (my favourite) and had flavours of cardamom and cinnamon. Definitely hit the right spots! hehe If you would like an extra kick and you’re a coffee lover, ask them for a shot of espresso in yours. The combination is DA BOMB! I recommended it to Peggy as she loves both chai and coffee, and she really enjoyed it! She even said it was nicer than the chai itself! But I do love my chai pure. hehe

baked eggs

I really wanted the baked eggs as it had everything I was craving for. Perfectly cooked eggs (which were still molten and gooey), with an okra and tomato spiced stew and shanklish cheese! OH-EM-GEE! It was love at first bite! The cheese was the right amount of richness and hit of salt and had a crumbly and soft texture. The okra was so soft and the stew had the right amount of spice to leave a warm and fuzzy feeling in your mouth and tummy after! A perfect winter warmer! I couldn’t be happier and more contented with my choice! (:

Poached eggs

Peggy had the zaatar spiced poached eggs with a pumpkin and pinenut kibbeh and hummus, with some freshly made flat bread. The zaatar had a nutty flavour to it and the eggs were perfectly poached! The bread was so delicious that even our youngest foodie enjoyed it!

Paige enjoying the flat bread

breakfast mezza for one

If you’re hungry and you would want to try a bit of everything from the menu, then the breakfast mezza for one (there is for two as well) is for you! That’s exactly what the boys went for! I mean, why wouldn’t they? It’s like the best of what the kitchen has to offer all on a plate. I have to say, the lamb skewer was delicious! Even for a person who doesn’t eat lamb! hehe

breakfast mezza for one

It even came with a spiced fried egg! A celebration of lebanese food, a party in their mouths!

sumac spiced eggs with kafta skewers and baba ganoush

Melissa decided to have the sumac spiced fried eggs with kafta lamb skewers and baba ghanoush. I could have ordered a whole plate of baba ghanoush to myself! Smooth and creamy mashed eggplant and went perfectly with the spiced lamb! Nomtastic!

So the next time you’re thinking of having something different for brunch, do head down to Bayte! You will definitely not regret it! Amazing food with friendly staff and great company! There’s no better way to spend the weekend, really! I do hope you all had a brilliant weekend too!

Have a great week ahead, and remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

Bayte on Urbanspoon

Baking In New Zealand : Baklava

Sorry for the lack of posts the past 2 weeks. I just got back from a holiday in New Zealand (: So I am all refreshed and ready to keep the blog going! It was a fantastic trip; spending time with family and eating absolutely delicious food! I couldn’t believe 11 days went by in a jiffy. Time always seems to fly when we are having fun. Will definitely head back for another holiday in time to come!

We were so fortunate that we have family living in Auckland so we were able to live in their beautiful place for the 11 days. Just feel so calm and serene. Love their place! It’s really amazing to wake up to this view everyday.

When I first stepped into the house, there was just one word in my mind : WOW! The one room that I absolutely loved was the kitchen. The oven to be more specific!

Doesn’t it look gorgeous? It’s my dream stove/oven! (:

My cousin had a get together with his friends and he was in-charge of desserts so he asked me to teach him to make a Mediterranean dessert and the first thing that popped into my mind was baklava! It was quite brave of me to suggest that as I have never ever made it before. It was just always on my “to-bake” list! Thankfully, it turned out delicious and his friends liked it. *phew*

Nothing beats the combination of butter, nuts and sugar in between layers of crispy pastry. I remember when I use to live in Brunswick, we were able to buy really delicious baklava. Till this day, I would crave for one and have the urge to drive there to get it!

Making baklava was a team effort though. Needed someone to be in-charged of brushing the layers of filo pastry with melted butter, and other to place the layers of the filo perfectly in-line with the rest, another person scattering the nut and sugar mixture. Just made the whole process really fun! Loved every second of it.

Definitely making this again. Soon 😀

Baklava (Adapted from Gourmet Traveller August 2009)

250g pistachios and cashews, finely chopped

50g caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g butter, melted

300g filo pastry

Lemon Honey Syrup

150g caster sugar

75g honey

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Steps :

1) Combine the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a tray with baking paper.

2) Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter evenly with half the nut mixture, then top with half the remaining pastry, brushing butter between each layer. Scatter over remaining nuts, top with remaining filo, brushing between each layer with butter. Refrigerate until firm (15 minutes), then cut through all pastry layers into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife. Bake until golden and cooked through (about 30 mins). If needed, cover loosely with foil partway.

3) Meanwhile, for honey syrup, combine sugar, honey, lemon rind and 150ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low, simmer until infused (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, stir through lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly.

4) Cool baklava slightly (2-3 minutes), pour over syrup evenly, set aside at room temperature to cool completely (overnight if possible). Baklava will keep in tray, covered, for 3-4 days. ENJOY!

My favourite way to have it is to pop it into the microwave for 10 secs and have it warm! How do you like to eat your baklava? (: