Sign in using your account with
6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt.
Cafe Supreme: Mall of Arabia Branch Does Justice to Consistent Restaurant & Cafe Chain
When it comes to the success of emerging restaurant or café chains, consistency is key and, more often than not, it's difficult to come by on Cairo's dining scene – even between different branches of the same chain.
When we headed to Café Supreme's 6 of October City branch, located amongst the outdoor restaurants and cafés across the fountain, we had our fingers crossed that it would be just as impressive as its counterpart branches, which we had previously visited.
As soon as we were seated in the indoor area, menus, boasting the café's usual line-up of risk-free dishes and beverages, were presented to us. Going for the Chicken Caesar Salad (40LE), Fungi Pizza (43 LE), Supreme Signature Pasta (49 LE), and the Pesto Chicken Sandwich with a side of Caesar salad (39 LE), along with sodas, we awaited our order patiently.
The drinks made their way to our table within a couple of minutes, with slightly dusty-looking cups, which our waiter instantly proceeded to exchange with cleaner ones. The food arrived about fifteen minutes later and we didn't look back from there.
The Chicken Caesar Salad came in quite an ample portion with heaps and heaps of lettuce topped with strips of well-cooked and well-seasoned grilled chicken, croutons and shredded cheese drenched in Caesar dressing. It tasted quite fresh, but it was very short on dressing making it a little dry at times.
With a thin crust holding a layer of fresh tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese, fresh mushrooms and black olives served on a wooden peel, the pizza was quite light and delicious – the fact that the mushrooms were fresh and not canned added a nice touch.
The pasta, which came in penne form as requested, boasted a delicious, albeit too-heavy, cream sauce and grilled chicken strips, while the pesto chicken sandwich came in brown baguette, also as requested, with grilled chicken strips topped with tomatoes, lettuce and pesto mayo sauce that a little more of would've been appreciated.
All in all, Café Supreme's Mall of Arabia branch does the chain justice in maintaining its consistency. We could speculate all day long what their trick is – but with excellent service and simple but well-executed dishes, why question a good thing, right?
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.