2015 was a proverbial volcanic explosion of a year for restaurants in Cairo, with many names emerging. Inevitably, some were more successful than others; competition is fierce, but Eatery has come out shining. More than just a restaurant, this culinary hub is also a cooking school and potentially every foodie's dream, offering you a chance to book a station at the restaurant to prepare, and of course then eat, food made by your own fare hands – check out the Cairo 360 tip for more.

Located at Cairo Festival City, the venue stands out with its simple interior, the smell of the herbs they grow in-house and the plants which add a natural feel to the transparent barrier between the kitchen and diner, which in turn serves to make this a one-of-a-kind experience – not to mention the phenomenal wall with a collection of Illy machines.

We started the meal with a Fresh Vietnamese Rice Paper Spring Rolls (55LE) as an appetiser, and as our mains, we went for Beef Basil (138LE) and Stuffed Ravioli with Ricotta and Spinach (65LE).

Starting with the appetiser, we loved the taste and texture diversity in what was an exquisite meal-opener; the freshness of the herbs and the kick of mint we got in every bite were the highlights, though the shrimp was somewhat overpowered. Presented on a black-stone-like board, the rice paper rolls are served with two dipping sauces; a luscious teriyaki sauce and a mixture of simple syrup, vinegar and onion, both of whose flavours worked perfectly with the fresh herbs in the rolls.

After a great start, we were expecting the same quality in the mains and let's just say it was far from disappointing. Again with impressive presentation, the beef basil was served with coconut rice, which was just as good as the beef; it was light and fluffy and the kick of the coconut milk gave it a unique flavour. Moving to the beef, the basil didn't just give the dish a mouth-watering aroma, but it worked really well with the spicy chilli pepper and the knife skills of the chef were shown in the thin and equally cut meat which was cooked well while retaining its juices.

Eatery makes its pasta fresh and in-house – a real test of a restaurant's quality. What we received for our second dish was tender and thin-skinned ravioli stuffed with the famous Italian combo of ricotta cheese and spinach, served on top of a sage flavoured butter sauce that elevated the cream ricotta and the noticeably fresh spinach.

We finished our meal with a remarkable Banana Bread dessert (60LE) which perfectly demonstrated the Eatery kitchen's adeptness at utilising the flavour profile of every single ingredient before adding it. Bursting with banana flavour, the banana bread was a little bit dense, but it worked perfectly with the creamy and buttery flavour of the accompanying mascarpone cheese and fruity flavours of the poached pear and grape syrup.

All in all, dining at Eatery was a near-flawless experience. The atmosphere was unique and comfy, the perfectly executed food was very simple but with subtle touches of flair and the staff offered fantastic service.