Zamalek isn't short on cafes and restaurants, but that hasn't stopped the island being a desirable spot for the coffee houses and eateries to call home. The venues at Abu El Feda Street's Club 33 haven't had a good start to the year, but the Nile-side road is still largely defined by the number of venues sitting along it, the latest of which is Ampersand.

As a restaurant and café, The aesthetic is all very simple, with outdoor seating in a fantastic little enclosed garden of light, natural wood and greenery and an indoor area boasting white walls and plenty of natural light on account of the glass walls, as well as a fussball table.

The menu at Ampersand brings together a wide variety of dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, but the sandwiches and desserts were rather tempting during a morning visit – the former of which you can customize to your heart's desire. You pick a bread (10LE), cold cuts/protein (15LE), cheese (18LE, vegetables (4LE) and a dressing (2LE). This is where we encountered a problem, though. The menu doesn't state the options available and, at the time of our visit, the waiter was unable to recall what was available. In the end, we decided to rely on luck and go for a roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise – and luckily all the ingredients were available.

Arriving in no time at all, said ingredients were noticeably fresh, with the beef in particular being tender and finely cut. Served with a side of solid French fries, the only issue with the sandwich was the baguette, which, already brittle from the outside as it is, was just a tad stale.

We also tried a fresh orange juice (24LE) which was, indeed, very fresh and served in a very generous amount, while Ampersand's latte (27LE) was spot on.

Continuing with the drinks, we also ordered a cappuccino (24LE) alongside a hearty slice of chocolate cake (45LE), which comes in a jar, as is the trend these days. Made of layers of cream and cake and topped with crushed biscuits, the cream and cake layers were outstanding. Boasting a balance of sugar that let the chocolate flavor shine, the cake layers were soft and moist, though the biscuit was an unnecessary addition and tasted stale while not retaining much crunchiness.

While our visit to Ampersand wasn't without fault, there's a settling in period that every venue has a right to. As a venue, Ampersand is airy, pleasant and takes full advantage of its location, offering a good spot for lunch brunch or a quick coffee. All that's left is a little bit of tweaking in kitchen.