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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Orangette: Lively Patio & Dining Room in Zamalek
Feel like having a nice breakfast after an early workout session at the Gezirah Club? What about a cup of tea and a shisha on a relaxing, quiet patio? Even though it is a bit far from the centre of Zamalek, Orangette is very easy to find and to recognize. Situated across from Gezira Sporting Club’s back entrance and next to what was once the Four Corners building (keep going straight after TBS and Fauchon), its bright orange colours make the venue hard to miss.
Open early in the morning until late at night, Orangette offers a wide range of food and beverages, and a breakfast menu that is served until 1PM. This reviewer’s favourite breakfast items are the sweet honey waffle (waffle topped with honey sauce for 19LE), and the salty Spanish omelette (with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, peppers and onions for 21.95LE).
If you feel like a coffee treat, you can opt for an ice berg (coffee, ice cream, cream and nuts for 15LE), a latté, mocha, or coffee frappé (20.50LE). Furthermore, you can enjoy a glass of fresh juice (normal juices for 15LE, mixed juices for 16.95LE) or a milk shake (16.50LE), while smoking a shisha or playing backgammon with a friend. The large trees shade you from the sun, and enormous fans produce a cooler breeze.
Once in the café, you can have a seat on the patio or in one of the two rooms. This reviewer prefers the livelier ambiance of the patio, as the other rooms are a bit dark during the day. Each room has its own atmosphere: the dining room has a kind of Japanese minimalist twist to it, perfectly hosting its sushi corner. The sushi corner faces Om Kolthoum Street and its menu proposes, amongst others, the classical nigiri served in two portions (16LE for salmon, eel-avocado, octopus, shrimps or shrimp-avocado). Sashimi served in nine or a mix of three variations (140LE), and maki rolls are also offered. And if you want to share and taste a bit of everything, you can order one of the sushi selections: 30 pieces for 190LE, 40 pieces for 235LE, and 50 pieces for 290LE.
For dinner, this reviewer sampled the mushroom soup (20LE) and Chinese chicken salad (26LE). The service is quite fast and a selection of warm bread is offered before the meal. For our main courses, we tried the pizza margherita (29.95LE), which was quite greasy and heavy, and the rosemary fillet (66.95LE). Portions were generous but side dishes were not the best. Even though we felt like trying their Nutella crêpe (28LE), our stomachs were already full enough.
At the time of this reviewer’s visit, the atmosphere was quite noisy and strange synthesized music was played. We were surrounded by pictures and paintings of food, giant vases with green plants, big wood forks and bamboo canes. In the end, the patio remains the most enjoyable part of Orangette.