Sign in using your account with
Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
The Garden: Breakfast or Lunch in Maadi's Great Outdooors
There are restaurants in Cairo that simply go beyond the food. One such case is the Garden in Maadi. A serene combination of greenery and the sunny outdoors, with delicious food and juices suitable for breakfast or lunch, provides a much needed break from an otherwise very stressful city.
Sharing its premises with its sister venue, Crust, on Mostafa Kamel Street, the Garden offers a number of milkshakes, smoothies and seasonal juices and cocktails, in addition to breakfast omelettes, fresh sandwiches, breakfast desserts and snacks.
The garden area in the back is spacious with comfortable table and chair sets, wooden benches and a kids' play area; perfect for families, couples, and anyone who favours a quiet, sunny breakfast.
Intrigued by the not-so-heavy menu, we opted for a Go Mango (19LE); a mixture of mangos, vanilla, banana and orange. While cold, refreshing and sweet, the mangos easily overpowered the orange, so maybe a little ratio adjustment could've been in order.
Next, surprised by the availability of burgers, we opted for the Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Burger (44LE) and, from the sandwiches section, a Goat Cheese Tartine (26LE).
Probably not the best judge of the restaurant, the burger, served with disappointingly soggy Fench fries, tasted average as a patty but decent as a sandwich. The seasoned mushrooms and caramelized onions were plentiful, which made up for the patty to an extent.
The Goat Cheese Tartine, however, was an entirely different story.
Foodies pay attention.
Consisting of two good quality slices of brown toast, topped with goat cheese, caramelized onions, candied walnuts and arugula, and garnished with lettuce and slices of cucumber, the sheer mixture of flavours and textures is delicious, as you go between the zestiness of arugula, the slight tang of goat cheese and the sweet crunchiness of walnuts. While the sandwich is not particularly big, it packs quite the punch of flavour.
It would seem the Garden is a restaurant of delicacies. Don't bother with burgers; go for the good stuff – the Spanish Omelette, the Aebleskiver, or the Tartines. You won't be sorry.
Combining great atmosphere with food meant for foodies is an awesome formula, and one that brings customers back to enjoy it. If you haven't already, stop by the Garden this weekend!
Over the last year or so, new restaurants in Cairo have been introducing more and more exotic cuisines to the dining scene, be it Mongolian or even Peruvian with a Japanese twist, leaving classic favourites like Italian and Asian last week’s news. However, recently opened restaurant, Akli, has gone against the tide and specialises in not only one cuisine, but six, across everything from soups to desserts.
Located off Meccas Street in Dokki, Akli is divided into two zones; the ground floor, which has a exposed glass-wall baking room and shawerma station that wasn’t working at the time of our visit, is made for take-out orders, while the top floor is for dining-in. Besides the unfinished ceiling – which doesn’t seem like it will be finished because the AC duct has already been installed - the interior of the restaurant is on the classic side, with olive green, traditional panelled walls behind ruby buttoned couches. The setup of its tables is also pretty basic, but it actually has a cheerful view of a mini garden. If we were to compare it to another restaurant, Akli has the same spirit of everyone’s favourite, Bon Appetit.
Now let’s talk about the food. Our first flight was to Italy with Spicy Arancini Di Manzo (25LE). Starting from the spot-on creamy texture and the scrumptious golden brown crust, to the melted mozzarella cheese and minced beef, which was bursting with Italian herbs flavours, those four fried Italian rice balls were rather tasty.
Our second stop was at our beloved country with Sojouk (42LE). Lying on a bed of chopped parsley in true 90’s style, the grilled sausage was seasoned well, but it was a bit tough and dry. Overall, though, the appetiser seemed incomplete and needed some kind of a sauce or a dip with it.
Moving to the mains, we opted for the Greek Shrimp Saganaki (120LE). Made of perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp in tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese, the dish was a good one, but it wasn’t Saganaki. There was too little cheese to the flavour and the tomato sauce didn’t have any Greek flavours and tasted like Egyptian vegetable stew. One the other hand, the side of lemon rice added a good zesty flavour to the dish.
We also tried Adana Kebab (89LE) from the Turkish side of the menu. Two pieces of kofta laying on Lebanese bread and served with tahini dip and basmati rice topped with nuts, the dish didn’t capture anything particularly Turkish. Although the kofta was seasoned well and the rice was light and fluffy, the dish was overpriced – it’s almost exactly the same as Shawarmaister’s Kofta Halabi Platter which costs 45LE.
We finished our meal with the French Nougat Glace (27LE) for dessert; a rectangular slice of flawless vanilla ice cream filled with mini bits of pistachio and dried fruits. It was served with sour cherry syrup with a very sticky consistency, but the dessert as a whole was light and well executed.
There’s something about what Akli is trying to do that you can’t help but appreciate – but it’s not an easy job to perfect six different cuisines in one kitchen. The ambiance of the restaurant will take you back in time when you used to dine in a sporting club with the family and the food was, overall, good but there’s nothing remarkable about it.