Cairo Restaurants Guide - Restaurants reviews in Egypt

Cairo Restaurants

Hayda: New Branch, Familiar Flavours at Galleria Moon Valley
Published On: 04/12/2016

There's a general rule on the Cairo restaurant scene that suggests when a restaurant opens a second branch, it affects the overall quality of the original, so we were rather worried when we paid the new branch of Hayda a visit. Recently opened at Galleria Moon Valley Mall in New Cairo, the interior uses the same famous chairs, pink and turquoise colour scheme, posters of Lebanese stars on the walls, and white Islamic patterns, but on a smaller scale. The venue has two separated indoor areas; the first one has only four tables and a linear table-set-up that looks like an open buffet, while the second is more spacious and has a lot more seats. We kicked things off with Sambosek Spinach (35LE); four pieces of triangular pastry filled with spinach and walnuts. The pastry had a great crispy crust and a soft interior and the spinach was perfectly seasoned and had a terrific zesty kick to it, while the walnuts added a great crunchy component. Moving to the mains, we opted first for the Kofta Azmeer (80LE), which came as three pieces of grilled meatballs stuffed with mushrooms and served in a huge bowl filled with tomato sauce and then sprinkled with parsley and cheese. Despite its appeal, the dish was just very disappointing. Served with rice topped with a scarce amount of toasted nuts, the meatballs themselves were very dry, the mushroom centre was very similar to the canned variety and was completely untreated which made the meatballs feel tougher and drier. Meanwhile, there was far too much tomato sauce, which was bland, while the cheese didn't really add anything. On the other hand, the Sausage Fatteh (65LE) was considerably better, though not perfect. The sausage itself was seasoned well and had a great texture and the rice was cooked perfectly; but the bread at the bottom was a bit soggy and the fatteh was topped with tahini not yogurt sauce as promised on the menu. Overall though, it was pretty good. We finished our meal with Konafah Naboulsy (50LE) with Nutella and Bananas. It wasn't our first time to try Hayda's outstanding Konafah Naboulsy and thankfully it had the same crispy crunch, the same stretchy cheese and the same spot-on sweetness, but with the addition of the Nutella, which made for a good match with the fruity, fresh bananas. But although those two ingredients worked together, we felt it was a bit too much with the cheese. These kinds of desserts are usually a hit with diners, but it wasn;t exactly the most innovative of combinations – the chocolate, banana and cheese just never came together as a trio. This summed up our visit at Hayda's new branch perfectly – it had its ups and downs. We loved the service and the cosy ambiance, but it's definitely not as striking as the Nile-side Giza branch and, at the time of our visit, there were several issues with the food.

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8 Restaurant: Authentic Asian Cuisine Meets Fine-Dining at Four Seasons Nile Plaza
Published On: 02/12/2016

News flash: everything you've ever thought you've known about Chinese cuisine is false. It's become common knowledge that Chinese staples such as chop suey and even fortune cookies are products of Western appropriation, but authentic Chinese cuisine is even further away from what we know. This is no more apparent in Egypt than at Four Seasons Nile Plaza's 8 Restaurant – a sophisticated eatery that largely stands untroubled in its position as the best high-end Chinese restaurant in Cairo. While it has the five-star hotel finish that you expect, there's also a certain element of lived-in nonchalance, best exhibited by various ornamental touches that stand apart from the sleeker aesthetic it also boasts. The staff – who are mostly of Asian descent – also add to this balance, in that they're almost clinically attentive and prompt, but warm and welcoming all the same. There's also a certain balance to the menu, which covers all tastes – meat, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, fried, fresh and much more – across an eclectic selection of dishes. Inspired by 8's weekly Friday dim sum buffet, we chose to start with what turned out to be possibly the best example of the Chinese dumpling in the city. The steamed shrimp dumpling (115LE/3 pieces) was delicious, though lacked any noticeable traces of bamboo shoots as stated in the menu, while the shrimp and fried goose liver dim sum (95LE/ 3 pieces, was cooked to perfection – and by that we mean without dripping with oil – with the goose liver and shrimp working out as a surprisingly good combo, particularly the former which was smooth and of noticeably good quality. The mains, however, is when you realise how skewed mainstream Chinese cuisine has become; everything at 8 is incredibly fresh and light – two things you don't usually associate with this type of food. Seasoning and other herb-usage is restrained, leaving the food do speak for itself. The Slowly Roasted Scallop dish (365LE) is the perfect example of this; served in a chilli butter sauce, the scallop pieces were a little tougher than one would hope, but the simplicity of the dish is genius and the accompanying stewed vegetables made for an even simpler but sensible side. A second scallop dish, this time with sautéed beef (360LE), showed the slightly more complex side of things at 8's kitchen. With the scallops being sautéed rather than roasted, the consistency was much better, while its combination with the beef and its juices was perfect. The only disappointment was that the satay sauce mentioned in the menu was pretty indiscernible. We gobbled down our delicate dishes with another seemingly familiar dish – wok fried egg noodles (92LE). Unlike the jumble of a dish we are used to calling noodles, 8's version doesn't throw a load of stuff into the wok – all the elements work for a certain reason; the noodles themselves have a slight dryness that leaves the vegetables and mushrooms to add a textural touch and a depth in flavour. And this seems like the key to 8's success – although the dishes seem simple (the menu affords each item nothing more than a few words as descriptions) each ingredient is treated with the utmost respect and serves a purpose within its dish. Typical hotel prices aside, 8 offers a unique culinary experience that no Asian restaurant can quite measure up to in Cairo.

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Shawarmaister: Stepping Up Cairo's Shawerma Game with New Twists
Published On: 30/11/2016

As far as we know, the biggest twist on shawerma in Cairo involves pomegranate molasses; and if you're really out-of-the-box maybe you'll add extra cheese. Well, that's so yesterday because Shawarmaister is taking shawerma to the next level by introducing Coleslaw shawerma and BBQ shawerma, as well as a Light shawerma. Located on Taha Hussein Street in Zamalek, the restaurant is divided into two floors; the ground floor is for takeout and other is for dine-in. The whole place is filled with posters with seemingly irrelevant quotes and sayings like "Ma bethez el 3orosh ela El neswan wel qorosh", which make no sense whatsoever to the concept, while the yellow ceiling is a little overwhelming compared to the otherwise demure interior. On the bright side, the couches were very comfortable and the ambiance is very chill. We kicked things off with Kobeba (20LE) and French Fries with a Garlic sauce dip (5LE). Apart from being a bit salty, the kobeba had a crispy exterior and great amount of flavourful minced beef filling. Even though the garlic sauce had a good consistency for dipping and was delicious, the fries didn't need a dip, because not only were they cooked perfectly and far from oily, but also had very impressive seasoning blend. Moving to the mains, we opted for the Kofta Halabi Platter (45LE); four pieces of kofta with a side of basmati rice and a special halabi sauce that we had mixed feelings towards. The rice was light, fluffy and had a beautiful yellow colour which had us expecting exquisite flavours from the spices – but it was just bland. Meanwhile, despite bursting with flavours thanks to the seasoning, the kofta was a bit dry and overcooked. As for the special halabi sauce, the waiter mentioned that it was infused with mustard, coleslaw and has sweet and sour flavours, but it was just your typical tehina. Of the new shawarma, we tried BBQ Shawarma Lahm sandwich (Large 22.5LE). Served in Saj bread, the mixture of beef shawarma – which was a bit chewy - caramelised onion, BBQ sauce and coleslaw created an exquisite modern twist on the classic shawarma. If you're into sweet and savoury fusion, then this is the perfect sandwich for you. We couldn't leave without also chicken shawarma. Served in Lebanese bread, the Shawarmaister Shawarma Djej (Regular 17.5LE) was filled to the brim with chicken, the restaurants amazing fries, pickled cucumber,and garlic sauce. With the generous amount of filling and the sharp flavours, this sandwich showed simplicity at its best. Despite service being slow at the time of our visit, we can't help but appreciate Shawarmaister adding twists to a classic and actually making it work. Whether you're looking for a basic chicken or beef shawerma or something a little more out-of-the-box, there are few places better than Shawarmaister.

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Akli: Six Specialist Cuisines in One Dokki Restaurant
Published On: 29/11/2016

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.

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Manipuri: Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah's Indian Restaurant Could Well Be the Best in Cairo
Published On: 28/11/2016

From Moroccan cuisine specialist, La Palmeraie, and iconic Oriental grill, El Kebabgy, to Le Deck's Two Michelin star chef-crafted menu, any new restaurant opening at Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah has a lot to live up to. With new Indian restaurant, Manipuri, however, let's just say that it might be even better than its neighbours. As soon as we stepped inside Manipuri, we found ourselves in a huge, symmetrical, low-ceiling waiting area with LED lights on the floor leading us to a spacious lobby-like interior of the restaurant. From the table topped with an Indian statue surrounded by jars of legumes, to the humongous sweeping staricase, we felt like we were about to attend Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding. Divided into two floors, the top floor is dedicated to the bar – which opens at 9PM - while the dining area is on the ground floor, with seats placed exclusively next to the curtained wall which overlooks a great view of the Nile. While checking out the menu, we were welcomed with a very light and refreshing Mango Yogurt drink infused with a hint of pomegranate syrup, as well as a bowl of nacho-shaped Papadums with sides of exquisite apple chutney and pickled lemon. The complimentary items left us even more excited for what was to come. With a huge variety on the menu, we felt a bit overwhelmed and lost, before eventually opting for Murg Kadhai (120LE) and Jhagi Lamb Chops (160LE) as our mains. Boasting boneless chicken swimming in tomato gravy infused with sautéed onions and red, yellow and green bell pepper, the Murg Kadhai was a flawless dish. The chicken was very tender, the tomato gravy was seasoned to perfection and had a fantastic thick consistency which coated the chicken perfectly, while the spiciness of the dish was balanced by the sweetness of the bell peppers and onions. The Jhagi lamb chops, meanwhile, had a delicious marinade which consists of ginger and coriander, and was served with splashes of three different sauces: coriander, mango ginger and a sauce that was very similar to sweet tamarind chutney. Despite that the lamb being a bit tough, it was bursting with flavours which were further complimented by the coriander sauce, while the mango ginger and the tamarind chutney-like sauce added sweetness to the dish. We also ordered a side Garlic Naan (15LE) and of Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani (120LE) to share, because, well, what's an Indian dinner without biryani and naan bread? The light and fluffy basmati rice was infused with saffron and other aromatic spices and mixed with big chunks of tender boneless chicken, nuts, fine julienne cuts of ginger and a side of spicy tomato gravy and yogurt sauce. We expected the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani to be a side for our mains, but it could easily be a main on its own, but we enjoyed the extra flavours from perfect match of the spicy tomato gravy and the yogurt sauce. Meanwhile, the garlic naan came in four pieces of buttery slices with a delicate garlic flavour, perfectly crispy edges and that chewy texture you look for in naan bread. We finished our meal with Hot Gulab Jamun (50LE) for dessert. This classic south Asian dessert is served in an ice cream glass cup filled with saffron syrup, two sweet milk dumplings, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and walnuts. Overall, the sweetness of the dessert was spot-on; the dumplings had that cake-like texture, the walnuts added an occasional crunch and the saffron syrup gave the dessert a terrific aroma. This was one of the few times were we upset that the meal had ended. Manipuri certainly impressed with its to-die-for flavours, unique and quiet ambiance, crowd-pleasing dishes and excellent value for money. Considering we paid a total of 590LE for all of the above, not only is this one of the best Indian restaurants in Cairo, but it's also one of the cheapest at a top hotel.

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Salt: Dry-Aged Beef Burger Specialist Launches Delicious 'Secret Menu'
Published On: 27/11/2016

The concept of a 'secret menu' comes with several questions; what's a secret menu? Do you get to pick you order? How did you find out about it? Even though it's an old trend in the west, it's totally understandable to be confused, because the concept is very new to Egypt. A secret menu is simply when a restaurant offers flavour combinations and hidden items like Burger King's Frings – obviously not in Egypt - which consists of a mix of onion rings and fries, or the four-patty Suicide Burger. Usually you'll find out about these items through word of mouth and social media; so basically you have to be a true fanatic of the restaurant. Just think of it like a hidden character in a video game. Salt's secret menu offers Duck Confit and Chicken Waffle with two secret sauces, Honey Sriracha, and Spiced Maple. We kicked things off with a Honey Sriracha Chicken Waffle Combo (52LE). Two pieces of soft Belgian waffles act like a bun and are filled with a piece of fried chicken, a slice of American cheese, dill pickles, shredded lettuce, onion and spicy honey sriracha sauce – yes, this one item you can't eat without making a mess. Despite the waffles being slightly too thick for the filling and sauce being a bit too spicy, the overall flavours were on point and the chicken was very juicy and had a fantastic crispy crust. As for the rest of the combo, we opted for the thin and crispy cheese fries, which are smothered with a generous amount of tasty cheese sauce and fulfilled its purpose as a delicious sidekick to the chicken waffles. We also tried the Duck Confit sandwich (40LE). For those that might not be familiar with French cuisine, duck confit involves cooking duck in its own rendered fat. Served in their burger bun, Salt's sandwich version is filled with super tasty shredded duck confit, sautéed onion, the restaurant's Big Mac-like special sauce and melted American cheese. It was close to being flawless, but for the bones we found in it. We couldn't leave without checking up on the not-secret dry-aged beef burgers and noticed a new addition to the menu – the Mushroom Burger (38LE). Just like our previous visit, the perfectly-seasoned beef patty had a crust bursting with flavours, the ingredients were very fresh, the soft potato bun was exquisite and the Big Mac-like sauce added sharpness to every bite, while the generous amount of fresh sautéed mushrooms added a great earthy flavour. While the idea of a secret menu might seem strange, it's actually a great way to build and maintain a relationship with their loyal customers. But the best thing about our latest visit to Salt is that, not only has it maintained its quality, but it's actually improving it, too.

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Wienerwald: A Different Kind of Fast Food in Dokki
Published On: 23/11/2016

With Mcdonald's and Pizza Hut pretty much monopolising Dokki's Messaha Square – just look at the always empty Papa John's – it's always a surprise when something new opens there. However, that didn't stop Wienerwald from opening a new branch next to the ill-fated Papa John's. With the apple-green ceiling, wood floor, random cartoonish chicken silhouettes, the interior of Wienerwald pretty much follows the same colour scheme of the international branches. There are very limited number of tables and chairs, though. Wienerwald's menu is all about different variations of chicken, salads, sides and a lonely hot dog item. After checking the menu, we opted for Half Rotisserie Chicken Meal (50LE), Schnitzel (47LE) and Backhendl (36LE). Served with perfectly cooked French fries, the rotisserie chicken had a beautiful golden brown crispy skin, exquisite seasoning with a unique smoky flavour to it and was all-round tender – plus, it didn't have the bad poultry odour you usually find with roasted chicken. Despite a second side of bland rice, it was a flavourful and affordable meal served in a generous portion. Moving to the Schnitzel, the German classic dish was served with a mini bowl of unremarkable coleslaw and a cold mashed potato that was otherwise very creamy and tasty. As for the schnitzel itself, it was breaded perfectly and had a perfect crust and the chicken very tender, but it wasn't as thin as schnitzel should be, though a simple squeeze of lemon on top added a great zesty flavour. Meanwhile, the Backhendl was rather disappointing. Coming with French fries, coleslaw,and 3 pieces of fried breaded chicken – a traditional Austrian dish – was, unlike the previous dishes, very dry, lacked seasoning which and tasted bland, while the crust was super oily. We finished our meal with a German Apfelstrudel (19LE). The pastry is stuffed with an apple-cinnamon mixture, topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Though it sounds great on paper, it turned out to be another disappointment. Even though the pastry had perfect layers it was very tough and while the apple had a spot-on tender consistency, the cinnamon flavour was far too strong – we felt like we were being tricked into taking the cinnamon challenge. All in all, our visit at Wienerwald had its ups and downs. For a fast food chain, their food is clean and feels homemade. At the time of our visit, though, we experience the classic fast food problem: inconsistency. Some items were great and others had their flaws – a few too many.

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The Five Best Cairo Restaurants to Have Thanksgiving Dinner At
Published On: 23/11/2016

One thing you can't help but love about Cairo is that it very readily absorbs, so to speak – which is particularly the case when it comes to food. While we have our own food-oriented holidays and celebrations – Eid, Sham El Nessim, et al – Cairo goes crazy for American holidays, because, well, those guys know how to celebrate with food and then some. This is no more apparent than with Thanksgiving, which is why some of the city's best eateries are ditching their regular menus for the day (Thursday 24 November) and laying out turkey and all, yes all, the trimmings. Here are the best five. Lucille's Home of the 'World's Best Burger' and Road 9 mainstay, Lucille's, knows a thing or two about how the American's dine. Starting from 2PM, the restaurant's special Thanksgiving dinner will have all your old favourites, but it's first come, first served, so no dilly-dallying around. Romanov, The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski For a more high-end Thanksgiving experience, look no further than The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, where a lavish four-course dinner awaits at one of the hotel's best restaurants , Romanov, for a mere 250LE++ per person – and Cairo has been warned to leaves space for the restaurant's trademark Pumpkin Pie! The Tipsy Teapot One of the quirkier places to enjoy the most wholesome of holidays, The Tipsy Teapot, has become synonymous for its seasonal specials and Thanksgiving is no different. The Maadi restaurant's menu reads impressively and costs a fantastic 150LE++ per person. Eish & Malh As one of the best additions to Cairo's dining scene in the last few years, Downtown bistro, Eish & Malh, is also getting in on the act this year, with special plate with all the trimmings as well as a vegetarian option – both for 125LE. Served up between 1PM and midnight, there will also be some live music to boot in the evening. Roy's Country Kitchen, Cairo Marriott Hotel Another restaurant that knows a thing or two about American dining, Roy's Country Kitchen is almost certainly the best option for those that really want to feast. Why? One word: buffet. The Cairo Marriott Hotel restaurant is big on portions and flavours and this Thanksgiving is set to stay true to that.

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Aperitivo: New Menu at One of Zamalek's Chicest Bars & Restaurants
Published On: 20/11/2016

When Zamalek institution, La Bodega, closed down at the beginning of 2014, it left a hole in many a heart. While a beachside iteration has since popped up on the North Coast during Sahel Season, its closure has certainly left a gap that not even its replacement, the phenomenal U Bistro, has been able to quite replace in the same way. But remnants still remain in the form of sister venue, Aperitivo, located on the same floor of the same building. It's by no means similar in appearance or, one could argue, atmosphere, but La Bodega regulars have adopted it as a replacement and the spirit is very much cut from the same cloth. For those not familiar with Aperitivo, the bar and restaurant maintains a classic element in its décor and design (think wood and glass cabinets displaying various piece of crockery and ornaments) while also using various more modern pieces (the chandeliers are very cool). Divided into two sections – the bar and the restaurant proper – there isn't a lot that will jump out at you in its appearance; but that's the best way to be for a venue of this standing – demure and unpretentious. There's been something of a revolution happening at Aperitivo as of late, including the launch of a new menu; one that walks the line between high-end culinary delicacy and the kind of wholesomeness you get with bistro food. The concise but varied menu covers soups, salads, meat and poultry dishes, as well as pastas and seafood, which is where we began our evening. We rarely give up the opportunity to try a dish with scallops in it – not only because it's a rare commodity in Cairo, but because it's also often mishandled, which felt like the case with Aperitivo's seared scallop starter (155LE). While it was a creative and enticing dish, the scallops were slightly overcooked, the accompanying black truffle was too little, though the spiced apple puree that also accompanies the dish gave a pleasant sweetness to every bite despite tasting more like a beetroot puree. Meanwhile, four sticks of asparagus were cooked and seasoned perfectly, while a faint balsamic reduction did little to elevate the rest of the ingredients. Among the menu's salads, we were seduced by the camembert salad, which brought together generous chunks of deep-fried camembert cheese together with mixed greens, roasted pears, sundried tomatoes and walnuts. The greens were fresh, the sundried tomatoes added a sweet acidity to thick, pungent cheese and the walnuts gave the whole dish an earthy touch. However, the pears were undetectable, which is a real shame as it could have been the ingredient that brought everything together. While various mains are included in the new menu, we decided to test the kitchen's mettle with meats. Despite being served with far too much uncooked fat, a medium-cooked sirloin steak (150LE) was full of flavour and served in a very big portion, alongside some perfectly made oven baked vegetables. Our second dish, the roast veal fillet, was also of a noticeably good quality and served in a large portion, though it was unevenly cooked, meaning some pieces were a little tough and others had a perfect pink interior. Unfortunately, there was not much else to talk about with the mains, despite the menu promising more; the veal dish, for example, should come with roast pumpkin ad soft polenta, but both were missing from the plate, as was the roasted garlic on the steak dish. This, actually, defined our meal; what we were served was well-made, but with so much missing from both mains – as well as the missing pear from the salad – severely dwindling what promised to be a fine evening of fine dining. Would we go again? Absolutely – the new menu reads fantastically; but maybe the kitchen needs a little more time to perfect it.

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Argila Louge: Simple Classics in a Simple Dokki Restaurant
Published On: 19/11/2016

Beyond the city's more high-end restaurants, it's become quite rare to find a place in Cairo where you can enjoy a quite time while dining. Hidden in the gems of Dokki, Argila Lounge is one of those places that provide you with the quality time you seek alongside food and beverage to pass the time. Located off Vinny Square, Argila Lounge's spacious indoor area is divided to three sections and has a simple, modern look, with faux brick walls and ceiling spotlights being the most notable features, while sofas and chairs are the afforded seating options. The menu boasts all kinds of dishes ranging from hot and cold appetisers, to pasta and pizza, to grills and chicken and meat dishes. Going for the Mozzarella sticks (28LE) as a starter and Chicken Mexican sandwich (30 LE) and Pasta Alfredo (35LE) for the mains, the food was served quickly, despite the staff initially being slow to take our order. Despite being perfectly gooey on the inside, what turned out to be very thin mozzarella sticks were about five or six in number and were burnt from the outside. Served with a classic marinara sauce, which was a little watery for our taste, the appetiser was not the great start we hoped for our meal. Nevertheless, we moved on to the mains which fared much better. Wrapped inside freshly baked Panini bread, the chicken Mexican sandwich was absolutely delicious. Mixed with bell peppers, onions and Argila's special sauce that turned out to be chilli sauce, the chicken slices were tender and well seasoned. The only downside to sandwich was the side of burnt French fries and extremely spicy pickles. Cooked to a nice al dente texture, the chicken Alfredo pasta was smothered in white sauce that had a spot-on consistency but lacked the proper seasoning. On the other hand, the chicken slices were perfectly moist and juicy. With a variety of basic desserts such as cheesecake, fruit salad, tarts and ice cream, we opted for brownies with ice cream (20LE). Once again there was an issue with the timing; after waiting a little too long for the dessert to arrive, the staff admitted to having forgot to put the order through to the kitchen in the first place. Nicely presented, the brownies were perfect; hot, slightly buttery and with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, it was only made better with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce. Despite a few hiccups with the staff and some disappointing slip-ups with the food, Argila Lounge largely delivers what it promises; a relaxed time with a big menu of decent, if unremarkable food.

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Cairo Weekend Guide: Cairo Art Fair II, Mada Masr's Birthday, Cochlea Anniversary & More!

There are few sweeter words in the English language than 'three-day weekend' and Cairo's bars, cultural centres and venues haven't disappointed with what's shaping up to be an eventful few days. Shall we begin? One of the biggest events on Thursday sees event organiser, Cochlea, take over Venue Loun