There is something rather bohemian about brunch. As far as I’m concerned, a meal that does not qualify either as breakfast or as lunch needs to be surrounded by an interesting ambience, as the locale’s aesthetics becomes central to the customer experience.
Too much attention on anything other than the food would greatly bother me at a ‘normal’ restaurant, whereas I find it perfectly acceptable, if not required, at an establishment that mainly focuses on brunch.
That said, D.O.T. in NIcosia, ticks all the right boxes if it’s too late for breakfast and you think lunch at midday should not be enjoyed in southern Europe.
Located in one of my favourite areas of the capital, a stone’s throw from Famagusta gate and the architecturally quirky Spel Gallery of Contemporary Art, the place is a must, even more so on a sunny Saturday or Sunday as part of a stroll around old Nicosia.
The thing about brunch places is that, bar some variations, the customer expects to be able to choose from some old time classics, such as eggs Benedict, avocado on toast, pancakes and, in some places, a few bagel options.
Where consistency is key, attention to details is even more important and D.O.T. passed the test.
I had a go at the eggs Benedict, a personal favourite and my go-to choice for brunch. The hollandaise sauce was perfectly executed and not too lemony, which often spoils the flavour of the eggs.
However, the real twist was the exceptional English muffin, the base of the dish. More often than not, it is simply overlooked and gets served either too soft, which then makes the dish too soggy, or too crispy, which overpowers all its other components. None of that happened at D.O.T.. The sourdough muffin was perfectly toasted, buttered and a great complement to the eggs.
My brunching companion opted for the avocado and eggs on toast, an option that never appeals to me, but that nevertheless I tried, as the avocado had a paste-like consistency that inspired me and the dry chillies drizzle on top ended up enhancing the flavour of an otherwise traditionally mild dish.
Onto the the sweet entries, we shared a chocolate, banana and hazelnut pancake. Nothing wrong with the execution of the dish, but I find banana to be way too exploited an ingredient when it comes to brunch. A more original option alongside it would have been perfect, but pancake is pancake and, it goes without saying, the dish was devoured in minutes.
By gazing at other tables, I felt like the next visit should be for lunch, as I will have to try the ravioli stuffed with cheese and pistachio smothered in a light tomato cream.
Last but not least, the decor deserves praise. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount of quirkiness and design, as you would expect at any decent brunch place. But for the real treat and weather permitting, I recommend you book one of the many tables outside under the tall trees overlooking one of the quietest, youngest and frankly hipsterish areas of the capital.
WHERE Athinas 6a, Nicosia
WHEN Tuesday to Friday 11am-4pm, 6-11:30pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm, 6-11:30pm. Monday closed
CONTACT 22 101228
HOW MUCH Brunch entries from €9 to €15, starters from €9 to €12 main courses €15 to €25