Sign in using your account with
Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Café Riche: Historically Rich, Real Cappuccino
Built in 1908, Café Riche boasts a casual atmosphere laden with nostalgia and deeply entrenched with Egyptian historical significance. Long-time patrons have said that back in its bustling beginning, the café was quite the happening place for intellectuals and artists alike; mulling over endless cups of coffee as they discussed life’s philosophies and politics. Rumour also has it that in 1952, Café Riche was where Abdel Nasser’s regime planned their coup that would soon overthrow King Farouk’s rule.
With history in tow, the café itself is a historical landmark among many in the area, located between Tahrir Square and Talaat Harb Square on Talaat Harb Street. Once you scurry off the busy street and slide through its humble entrance, you’re quickly greeted by friendly staff dressed in traditional garb. Enjoy the café’s eclectic mix of patrons engaging in different activities like reading books, holding meetings, or catching up with friends.
In the narrow main corridor, local artwork lines the walls while the charming table arrangements are composed of the ever-common tiny wooden chairs, checked red and white tablecloths, and as a plus, high quality cloth napkins. Simple, glossy flower vases grace the centre top, complete with one single, fresh flower; tying in a cosy, personal touch. While an adjacent room is just next door, its green fluorescent lighting gives off a strange feel.
They offer a full-scale menu including a variety of espressos, coffees and fresh juices. While the lemon juice (10LE) wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, the cappuccino (12LE) was satisfying with a surprisingly sufficient amount of foam. The mint tea (8LE) came as a sweet arrangement of your own kettle, providing enough water for a few cups. If mint is your thing, you should be pleased; as the mint literally filled the kettle with freshness and a powerful punch of flavour. Beers are also offered, which is rare for a café, with both Stella and Heineken available for 13LE.
Salads, including your traditional Greek, run around 7LE. Chicken platters including shish tawook and similar dishes are offered.
From its historical and convenient location to the tasty, decently priced drinks, Café Riche is definitely the place to go for a relaxing drink or two with friends, or an afternoon spent reading that book you’ve been dying to finish.
From the famous Alexandrian Brew & Chew, to El Gouna’s iconic Pier 88, Cairo’s culinary scene has expanded to include not only international names, but also local ones from outside of the capital.
Coming all the way from Tanta, Frisky Restaurant & Café is one such example, and has opened its second Cairo branch this year in Heliopolis near Tivoli Dome.
With a small, country-like, farmhouse indoor seating that has exposed brick walls, hanging frying pans, plant pots and wooden cutting boards, Frisky’s more modern designed outdoor area is just as small..
Boasting all kind of traditional dishes offered by many international venues these days, we opted for Fried Mozzarella sticks (24LE) as our entrée and Chicken Sweet and Sour (55 LE) and Jumbo Cheese burger ((37 L.E) for our mains.
Served with freshly-made and room temperature marinara sauce that had a sweet aftertaste, the mozzarella sticks comprised of five large pieces of deeply fried sticks with a heavenly melted mozzarella cheese – a good start to our meal.
Our chicken sweet and sour main was more of a grilled chicken dish that was comprised of three medium-sized pieces of well-seasoned and tender grilled chicken breasts. With a slightly sweet taste and extremely spicy flavour, the sweet and sour sauce had too much jalapeno in it, which made us abandon the entire dish after two or three bites.
The only perk to the entire ensemble was the two sides of perfectly spiced French fries, as well as crisp and fresh sautéed vegetables.
Unfortunately, the second main was equally disappointing. The Jumbo Cheeseburger’s patty was overcooked, dry and crumbly, while the bun was almost certainly was supermarket-bought. The side of coleslaw was creamy but otherwise bland in flavour, though the French fries were, once again, the only saving grace.
Hoping to end the evening on a better note with dessert, we were disappointed to find only two desserts available, of which we chose the red velvet cake (29LE).
Boasting a metallic aftertaste – a possible side-effect of sodium carbonate and the lack of an acidic element – the dessert was in fact the worse course of our meal, with the cake being firm and stale.
Washing away this less than average meal which a Blueberry flavoured shisha (42LE), it was small glimmer in an otherwise disappointing visit, thanks its bold taste that lasted long enough till the end of our evening and was promptly tended to.
Even though the ambiance was extremely ladiback and the service was fast, Frisky’s execution when it came to the food was incredibly disappointing – something that won’t sit well on what is one of the most vibrant and compeitive areas in Heliopolis.