Sign in using your account with
Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.
Beymen Café: No High-Street Cappuccino
There is a top-tier, not-so-secret society in Cairo that loves to insinuate that all the best restaurants and cafés are secluded inside five-star hotels. We don’t agree entirely– the capital is full of oh-so-much-more when it comes to quality dining experiences, but we admit that it can be fun to glam it up once in a while and live the high life. While impeccable service and sleek state-of-the-art décor has its appeal, many of these places are lacking character or ambiance beyond the glitz of the establishment itself. Don’t even get us started on the prices.
Cairo ’s most label-ridden department store Beymen is housed in the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. If you’re tired of ogling racks of Prada, Kate Spade and Versace, you don’t have to venture into the lobby for a coffee or a light snack. Beymen Café lets you sit among the chic clothing, tempting designer eyewear and tantalising perfumes on the mall’s ground floor.
An hour spent sipping a cappuccino at the deco tables feels like sitting in a bakery when you’re on a diet: a feast for the senses without actually indulging in the merchandise. Whether you need a respite from shopping or you simply want to live and breathe couture while nibbling on a delicate sandwich, the café sometimes proves to be more satisfying than the overpriced last-season stock in the display cases.
The coffee (well over 20LE) is excellent, whichever way you take it, and the light savoury fair is a perfect pick-me-up; but the desserts take the cake, so to speak. From a rich but not overpowering chocolate tart with a nutty rich caramelised walnut centre and a dusting of cocoa, to a light pear puff pastry or cheese cakelette; these indulgences are an ideal shopping treat. Desserts average around 40LE and upwards. Even if you don't order dessert, your coffee comes with a fabulous and ornate complimentary chocolate, decked in coloured art. Each has a unique centre and if you like what you taste; you can purchase a box with your favourite ones, be it white chocolate passion fruit or raspberry and bitter sweet chocolate truffle. Be prepared to spend upwards of 75LE on these delights.
Whether you have shopped until you drop into one of the comfy seats or you want a sophisticated gossip session with the girls, Beymen Café’s elegant seating outdoes both the hotel lobby and the subpar department store food court.
We recommend sticking to sandwiches and the menu of caprese salad and toasty baguettes (around 45LE). Dessert and a coffee are really the best way to do Beymen Café. Remember; the prices are as high end as the fashion: a coffee and dessert for two can reach over 200LE; so it’s best not to keep the coffee coming and invest instead in a new scent or pair of shades for the summer.
Coffee, Java, Joe – no matter what you call it, we can all agree that a cup of it can make or break your day. Coffee houses like Starbucks and Costa have been on the top of the coffee game with a branch on almost every corner, and people have been flocking there for their coffee every time; but now there’s a new player in town.
Turkey-based coffee house, Espresso Lab, has arrived to Egypt, at Point 90 Mall New Cairo to be exact, offering you the unique opportunity to play mad scientist in creating the ideal coffee for you.
With a rustic, industrial aesthetic, Espresso Lab offers a relaxing and inviting environment with mostly wooden seats besides giving off a friendly vibe, it’s a great place for studying, working, or just lounging around drinking your cup of Joe.
The venue is of the self-service variety, where there are two bars each with their own set of features; the first has your typical large espresso machine, with an assortment of both savoury and sweet items and some cold drinks, while the other is where the ‘lab’ part comes in.
We picked up one of their signature cold brew coffee (30LE) from the main bar, which came in a small glass bottle reminiscent of a glass whiskey flask; the coffee itself was pure concentrated coffee devoid of any additions which had a strong flavour and a slightly acidic aftertaste.
For something from the other side of the spectrum, we had some hazelnut hot chocolate (32LE), which had a sweet, rich texture with a good amount of foam on top, and hazelnut providing a nutty aftertaste.
Looking into their assortment of sandwiches, we opted for the roast beef (35LE). Heated in a toaster oven, it had warm crunchy bread that contrasted with the melted gooey cheese in the middle perfectly, which in turn complemented the earthy roast beef slices and the addition of the tangy pickles and mayonnaise.
To satisfy our sweet tooth, we ordered the chocolate (40LE) and raspberry (40LE) cheesecakes; despite the rather small slices, they both had a rich heavy texture, which made them well worth the price. The chocolate had a creamy, smooth taste, while the raspberry had a slightly tangy aftertaste that complimented the coffee flavoured crust on both of them.
We then moved to the espresso bar, where you can choose one of six different coffee beans – to be made in one of six different ways, including everything from French press and Chemex, to Aeropress and cold brew. The options allow you to adjust everything from the sweetness to the acidity of your coffee and we went for the Syphon (27LE).
With a smooth texture without the strong aftertaste, the coffee had a nice sweetness to it without being too watered down; we opted for some Irish syrup as well as some steamed milk to turn it into a latte which only enhanced the beverage even more.
Espresso Lab provides one of the most unique customisable coffee experiences you can find in the capital; as well as being great place for to grab a quick coffee and bite to eat, it’s also place where coffee snobbery is more than welcome!