The dodgier end of Road Nine in Maadi is undergoing a change: chic new venues are popping up, including Pasta Republic, which provides an airy but rustic Italian inspired atmosphere. While many of us never venture past Diwan on this side of Road Nine, this hidden venue is starting to attract a new crowd. Located across from Ceramic Café, Pasta Republic doesn’t offer light Italian fare but hearty portions that are perfect for the very hungry.

Pasta Republic has modern décor and a glass exterior; and although it is new and not yet bustling, it seems to be attracting a growing clientele.

While the space is open and well-put together, the couch-like seats have awkward backs and don't let you recline at all; instead, they dig uncomfortably into your back. Despite the odd seating, the overall atmosphere is pleasant, and the service is attentive and efficient.

The food is truly heavy, yummy comfort food with rich, creamy sauces and heaping portions. While extremely tasty, be warned that it will be a heavy meal; perhaps schedule a nap into your post-dinner plans. It’s still uncertain if this place will have as much appeal come summer; so be sure to get there before the July heat hits Cairo .

The menu boasts a full range of dishes, from appetisers like an extremely fresh and zesty bruschetta to full courses of chicken and meat with side portions of steaming pasta to thick, warm though somewhat sauce-less pizzas.

The speciality is by all means the pasta, and all kinds of it. Here you can make up your own pasta dish. The waiter brings out a plate to demonstrate the different kinds, from corkscrew fusilli to bird nest tagliatelle; there is a broad spectrum of choices. There are a range of sauces but the cream or rose sauces are highly recommended. Then come the toppings, with the sundried tomatoes adding a sweet smoky flavour, perfection with a topping of grilled chicken. Whatever your pasta fancy, you have a vote on the type, the sauce and even the topping; so if it is control you crave, it is control you get at Pasta Republic.

The watermelon and strawberry juices were both icy cold and fresh-tasting. The only dessert we sampled was similarly refreshing: a bowl of two scoops of ice cream from their sweets section. We chose strawberry and chocolate from the line-up of vanilla, mango, chocolate and strawberry. The strawberry was a tart sorbet while the chocolate was rich and contained pieces of genuine chocolate. The moderate portion made a delightful conclusion to the steaming pasta meal.

Prices start at around 40LE for a pasta entrée, with different accents– such as chicken cubes, beef bacon, sun dried tomato, mushrooms, seafood and more– each accruing an additional 10LE to near 22LE to the total. Depending on how many flavours you crave, the price therefore varies, but is generally well worth it for the generous portions. Overall, this is the perfect place for those wishing to tailor their meal; but do come ravenous and ready to feast.