Sign in using your account with
Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Pomodoro: Possibly the Best Seafood Pasta in Downtown Cairo
Delicious spaghetti in clam sauce is but wishful thinking in Cairo, right? Think again. A hidden restaurant inconspicuously located off Bab El Louk and nearby El Horreya serves the best seafood pasta south of Alexandria. Two years ago, Cairo 360 visited Pomodoro when it was just a baladi street eatery barely occupying more than a hole in the wall. Since then, the restaurant has changed, but it still serves up one of the best seafood meals money can buy in Cairo.
After buying a much more spacious adjoining storefront, Pomodoro shed the tiny plastic chairs and miniature ahwa tables for much more trendy leather chairs and glass tabletops. The red and black colour scheme, warm atmosphere and enticing aromas combine to make an ambiance that is not altogether unlike an upscale pizzeria. Word on the street is that the owner studied culinary arts in Italy, and furthermore he insists on hand cooking each and every plate that comes out of his kitchen. Whatever the truth may be, the attention to detail in the kitchen has certainly satisfied many hungry patrons.
As one can only expect with the burgeoning of a successful business, there have been some modifications to the menu and prices over the last two years. The simple menu contains pasta dishes with either seafood or meat toppings in addition to offering a few sandwiches. The seafood pasta plate starts at 25LE and goes up to 50LE depending on size as well as your choice of ingredients which include calamari, crab, shrimp and clams. We ordered the 35LE shrimp pasta and it was delivered piping hot with shrimp scampi smothered in rich, peppery tomato sauce complete with four good-sized crawfish on the side. The generous portions, herbs, spices and fresh vegetables make for nothing less than seafood heaven. If you cannot decide on ingredients, simply order the seafood pasta combo, and you will receive a smorgasbord of seafood cuisine.
Operating within the same price range, chicken and meat pasta combos are available for those patrons who may not be in the mood for fishy plates. Those looking to avoid meats altogether will enjoy the hearty vegetable pasta (25LE) comprised of carrots, peas, onions, zucchinis, and tomatoes. Still others looking for lighter orders or lunchtime options will find seafood (20LE), shrimp (20LE) and chicken (15LE) sandwiches.
Though the heaping portion of seafood pasta for 15LE that could be ordered two years ago is no longer available, this should by no means discourage you from visiting Pomodoro. You may have to fork out a few more pounds, but you will not have to eat in the street nor use your shirt cuff as a napkin. With a comfortable atmosphere, plenty of napkins, and most importantly scrumptious seafood pasta, Pomodoro remains in a league of its own when it comes to seafood in Cairo.
More often than not, Italian food in Egyptian restaurants ends up only remotely resembling the real thing; bready pizzas, pastas with questionable sauces and caprese with the wrong cheese. We did, however, manage to find one that ticked all the right boxes for us when it came to the authenticity of its dishes in New Cairo: Fratelli La Bufala.
Overlooking Cairo Festival City’s dancing fountain, the spacious restaurant offers both outdoor and indoor seating; both of which are equally tempting. The indoor décor is Mediterranean-inspired - more Spanish than Italian - with soft lighting and wood and iron panels that gave it a modern, yet nostalgic, air. We opted for the outdoor seating.
The menu was filled with pages of traditional Italian treats. The appetisers included some Italian salads, including La Bufalata and La Mozzata, which is fit for a large group wanting to share, as it features a large 500 gram piece of Mozzarella cheese. We also spotted some Bruschetta and Carpaccio. The main courses ranged from pastas and pizzas, to meat-based dishes, Risottos and, surprisingly, burgers.
As soon as we placed our orders, our table was garnished with a hefty bread basket. We immediately started munching on the doughy delights and used the olive oil and balsamic vinegar already. Our food arrived a little while later and to say it was pure eye candy is an understatement.
Our Caprese (65LE) - layers of tomato slices and mozzarella cheese sprinkled with basil and oregno - was delightfully light with, perhaps, some of the most delicious tasting mozzarella cheese we have ever had in Egypt. Our just-out-of-the-oven Neapolitan pizzas were just exactly that; thin-crusted, covered in real mozzarella cheese and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. We had opted for the Margherita DOP (67LE), a simple, traditional margherita pizza topped with some porcini mushrooms. We also went for the Diavola (60LE), which is topped with beef salami and fiery spices, which was pleasingly spicy and absolutely scrumptious.
Our pizzas were so dense and satisfying that we couldn’t even glance at the dessert menu, which featured quite an array of alluring options. We spotted some tiramisu, cheese cake, fruit platters, graffa, apple tarte and ice cream.
Fratelli La Bufala satisfied all our Italian cravings with its quality dishes; we fell in love with their mozzarella cheese and mouth-watering pizza dough. Our waiter was exceptionally helpful and quite fun to talk to and the whole place was impeccable. Sure, we paid a little extra for a simple salad, but it was absolutely worth every penny. Next time, though, we’re leaving room for dessert.