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Stiletto Style Lounge: Dance Floor on the Nile
Most of us are used to hearing complaints about nightlife in Cairo– this could be due to limited choices, as well as the fact that venues often struggle to outlast the hyped-up, oh-so-fabulous launch party. So you would forgive us our initial scepticism upon hearing that Nile-side night spot Stiletto Style Lounge was undergoing a face lift and new management.
Our first visit proved our scepticism was not entirely ill-placed. The venue itself is impressive and spacious, with its graceful ascent into a patio area, central indoor bar and ample dance space. The lounge lets you take in an unadulterated Nile view, from where you can sip a cocktail and watch the twinkling lights of the Cairo skyline.
The doormen are courteous and known to crack a few friendly jokes as you pass through the metal detector before you carefully make your way down the front steps, made all the more difficult to navigate if you’re sporting four-inch heels, of course. You can expect a relatively chilled out atmosphere before the wee AM hours, when the lounge is kicked up a notch for the late-night revellers.
Aside from its drinks menu; Stiletto also serves up several Asian appetisers, a few sushi rolls, satay skewers and some mezzas; which are priced in the range of 20LE to 50LE.
Arriving with a hungry party fresh out of the office, we ordered vegetable spring rolls (around 20LE), spicy salmon sushi (expect to spend upwards of 65LE on an eight-piece sushi portion), baba ganough, tehina and more. The bread basket that accompanied our order was full to the brim with small loaves, baladi bread, crackers and breadsticks; making us quiet excited to tuck in. However, after the first bite, we discovered that the loaves were so stale; they were bound to give us a few dental woes, and we had to request a fresh basket.
After being apologetically asked to relocate from our table near the dance floor to one directly behind the DJ’s booth, (we joked that this was the VIP upgrade we deserved) we spent a good portion of the evening trying to peg the spry DJ’s taste. The evening’s eclectic mix included Michael Jackson remixes, classic rock, with some Desi Funk and pop tunes peppering the increasingly louder evening of festivities.
The 150LE-minimum charge barely covers the cost of food and drinks per person; meaning we left with a large bill and feeling a bit beleaguered by the loud music.
Leaving the celebrating to a crowd that showed no signs of stopping by the early morning hours, we agreed that Stiletto offers an adventuresome night of dancing, and a break from the habitual string of lounge and shisha-filled evenings. We were duly impressed by Stiletto’s stamina, even if the experience felt a little rough around the edges.
We opted to sit in the outdoors area; not only was it warmer but it was slightly less crowded. Curiously, there was a shiny, Amici Vespa parked in the middle of the dining area which kick-started some lively chit chat amongst our group.
If not, along with a large list of alcoholic drinks, they also serve a range of non-alcoholic cocktails so you don't have to miss out on anything exotic.
Most of these were repeated a couple of times throughout the evening, excluding the Amaretto sour which, although it had a smooth, almond foundation, was slightly too sharp for our taste because of the lemon and orange juice – doubtlessly the wrong choice for someone who prefers sweet to sour. The pink panther was better due to the sweet, fresh strawberry and banana mix but still had a strong, bitter kick from the vodka and lemon.
The piña colada, however, was a work of art with the perfect pineapple bite, creamy coconut milk and real coconut shavings. The non-alcoholic cocktails were also delicious, fresh and fruity, despite having excessive amounts of crushed ice.
Leaving the sushi for another night, we ordered a selection of appetisers; crispy shrimp and basil spring rolls (42LE), which were crunchy and fresh, with the added basil making a nice change from standard spring rolls. The shrimp konafa (62LE) was everybody's favourite, complete with a sweet chilli sauce.
We were let down by the beef teriyaki (80LE) which was particularly expensive for two, chewy, peppered beef steaks. One thing that should be noted, however, is that the kitchen shuts at 12.30AM – we'll keep that in mind for next time.