FACT’s Asad Khan headed to Le Colonial Restaurant with a friend to kickstart the weekend with a wholesome breakfast, where conversations took place on a table of waffles, pancakes and Eggs Benedict.

If you think breakfast in Doha is still shakshuka and tea, think again. For the past few years there has been a rise in breakfast-centric establishments all over the city and menus are packed with international and local cuisines, even healthy choices, like avocado toast and oatmeal. In Doha, breakfast is everything and everyone takes it pretty seriously. It’s the first thing, the beginning and a commitment to a new day. And, especially when it’s a weekend, you ought to have a hearty one, to really enjoy a laid-back day later.

Remember breakfast at a restaurant? The reason one would wake up, dress up, and head to a favourite eatery early in the day, spending hours on a big spread with friends and family? It felt like another lifetime until recently.

We were welcomed at Le Colonial Restaurant at Alwadi Doha – MGallery Hotel Collection for the quite hyped Colonial breakfast. The space was bright, with lots of pale wood and muted colours. The large glass windows provided a perfect landscape to expose the restaurant to glittering sunlight and the feeling of warmth. I knew it was going to be a wholesome Friday morning, even before going through the menu. I have this thing that if I like the ambience of the restaurant, the lighting, the interior — then it’s pretty much a matter of minutes before I fall in love with the place, even before I get settled in.

The Colonial breakfast has an elaborate menu to choose from. From organic eggs and stuffed parathas to pancakes, muesli, oats and Eggs Benedict — they serve it all. And with nothing but love! We started our Friday breakfast with Cappuccino and Spanish Latte, followed by two different kinds of Eggs Benedict: The Luxe (smoked salmon, lemon scented arugula and truffled Hollandaise sauce) and El Mexicano (guacamole, and tomato salsa paired with chilli Hollandaise). While both had their own bursting flavours, it was the El Mexicano for me that was really wholesome. It was spicy with just the right dash of crunchiness. I absolutely loved this recipe because it was balanced, filling and provided me with sustainable energy for hours. Also, the poached eggs on top of each of the Benedicts were perfectly done.

We took a little detour from our classic English tea and opted for some healthy drinks. ABC (a blended smoothie of green apple, carrot, celery, lemon, ginger and beetroot) and Proper Lemsip (carrot, orange, ginger, ground turmeric and honey). Carrot and orange with a combination of ginger has always been my all-time favourite, when I’m not having a soda or something along those lines and trying to be healthy. The take-away from Proper Lemsip was just the right amount of ginger and honey. Not too peppery and sweet, deviating you from the original mesh and flavours of carrot and orange but still making the presence felt with a nice punch of aroma and acute bitterness.

We started off with savouries but ended our breakfast with something sweet: Gaianduja Belgian Waffles and American Buttermilk Pancakes. You can never quite go wrong with chocolate. The waffles had a twist of orange chunks drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and crushed hazelnuts: nothing too sweet for the palate. The orange with the chocolate and crispy base of waffle made a delightful combination, as they complemented each other perfectly. The sharp and sweet citrus tone balanced the rich velvet intensity of chocolate whilst hazelnuts added to the overall texture of the bite. For pancakes, the fluffier the better, right? But what was even better was the perfect balance of crispiness on the outside with softness on the inside, loaded to the brim with maple syrup without being too thick or greasy. I can still remember the feeling of cutting through that buttery pile of pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and walnut butter.

For people who are trying to eat healthier food, embracing good old-fashioned flavours — which are definitely childhood memories for many — Colonial breakfast is a place to be. ✤