Mohandiseen’s latest addition, Cortado, teases us with menu items still unavailable. The carte lists a smorgasbord of continental - mostly Spanish and Italian - classics, surf and turf, full salads, pizzas, pastas, burgers and sandwiches, but since its pre-Ramadan opening more than a month ago, Cortado’s options are limited.

Despite the initial setback, we tasted what they had to offer. For appetisers, we sampled the spring rolls (19.99LE) and the stuffed mushrooms (22.99LE), while for mains, we settled for the Philly steak sandwich (34.99LE) and the Napolitan pizza (44.99LE).

For a new dig typical of mainstream supper clubs and restaurant lounges, complete with duotone themes (in this case, Princeton orange and chocolate brown) and a cheesy fountain display, Cortado surpassed our gourmet expectations.

The spring rolls were light and crunchy, but not too oily and not too chewy. The stuffing of julienned mixed veggies was a bit faint, but the wrap held together well and came with a delectable tangy dipping sauce made from a sweet, spiced mayonnaise.

The highlight of our tour came early on with an order of stuffed mushrooms. Button mushrooms are lightly coated with a crispy, golden batter and packed with minced onion and spinach, then swathed with a blanket of real, melted Parmesan. The appetiser makes the review.

Perfect for a hungry businessman (or woman) on lunch break or on the go, the Philly steak sandwich takes a toasted sub and folds in a generous helping of beef and white cheese and is served with a glove of fries and a soupcon of Russian salad. The tender cuts of meat were well-marinated; condiments are gratuitous.

The pizza, however, could be improved. The toppings of beef ham, olives, mozzarella and marinara sauce met our standards, but the crust fell short. The perfect pizza dough is a balance of sweet and savory, golden with the occasional air pocket and a light, fluffy texture that still retains its form. Cortado’s pizza crust held but was heavy and pale, requiring a few more minutes in the oven.

What's in a name? A cortado is a coffee concoction popular in Spain and Portugal that blends a shot of espresso with tempered milk poured to its rim. So expecting a cortado or a special coffee selection, we decided to wash down our lunchtime review with a choice from its coffee bar. But much to our disappointment, no such drink exists. Instead, we went with a latte (12.95LE) and a marshmallow cappuccino (14.95LE). Both were just fine.

All in all, Cortado makes an acceptable lunch in class. And at least for now, the service is all smiles and shortcuts on quality beef and real cheese are far and few. A dinner review in a month or so is well in order.