It's been a long ten months, but the much-loved Victoria Street favourite The Lido Café is back, and (we think) better than ever.
Gone are the rickety but characterful formica tables, the church hall seats, and the wall of gig posters; in their place a warm, European-feeling copper and green-toned café that feels cooler, but still has the character of the old Lido. We missed those swirly windows.
On the menu you can really see head chef (and now owner) Frank De Roose's love for French-influenced, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. His dishes are more plant-based than previous menus, giving lots of space for lovely produce and local ingredients. We decided to visit at brunch time, mid-morning on a saturated Sunday.
We were all hungry (hangry from multiple laps around the block looking for a park), so opted for a range of dishes — the ricotta pancakes with poached tamarillo, biscuit crumb, mascarpone ($15); all solid choices.
rown button, shiitake and oyster mushrooms sautéed with spring onion, parsley and thyme, on grilled sourdough ($17); cauliflower cheese with parsnip-potato gnocchi, leek, and cauliflower; baked with fresh herbs, two ricottas, swiss cheese and parmesan ($21); and kedgeree of smoked warehou, basmati rice, crispy shallots, curried leek omelette, poached egg; coriander-coconut and tamarind chutneys ($23) are
Frank knows how to get all of the delicious textures right, making sure that your mouth doesn't get bored. The portions are so decent for the price, we honestly can't fault it. All delicious, all interesting. My only regret was not ordering a mezze plate, but that's only because I think two meals in one sitting may have been a bit much.
Fortified with a not insignificant amount of L'Affare long blacks made on their swish Rocket, we all agreed The Lido is the ideal spot to shack up with your mates for a long lunch or brunch on the weekends. We're especially excited to frequent the café in the evenings, especially looking over the considered drinks list ($12 Aperol spritz, heck yes) and their promise to host live bands again soon. Let the good times roll.