Cairo Restaurants Guide - Restaurants reviews in Egypt

Cairo Restaurants

The BRGR Truck: Keep on Truckin'
Published On: 17/10/2016

Mobile restaurants are the new trend in Egypt and the idea of 'clean' street food is still trying very hard to a relevant gimmick; and one of the first trucks to introduce this concept was The BRGR Truck. With no fixed location, The BRGR Truck has been everywhere from Hacienda Bay and El Gouna, to Downtown Mall and Gezira Sporting Club – you must've seen it somewhere, even in Dubai…oh wait that's Salt truck. Anyways, The BRGR Truck is a small silver truck that changes its location with. The wooden high chairs and high tables that they bring along is a little bit uncomfortable, plus the table had dust on it at the time of our visit Capital Business Park in Sheikh Zayed. Keeping it simple, The BRGR Truck's menu basically consists of two sandwiches, the Original Burger and the J Bomb, and two kinds of fries, Cheese Fries and BRGR Fries, so deciding what to eat won't take time. We ordered all four items on the menu, so let's start with the Cheese Fries (15LE). Thin, crispy, and far from oily, the fries are topped with a fair amount of cheese and really good on their own and very similar to Mcdonald's fries. The cheese sauce, though, was a bit lumpy and didn't have a strong cheese flavour or any kind of notable seasoning. Unlike the cheese fries, the BRGR Fries (20LE) had more flavours. With pretty much the same ingredients except with the addition of their special sauce – which had a tangy thousand Island-like flavour - the it has that satisfying artificial flavour we all enjoy in fast food. Moving to the burgers, we started with the Double patties Original Burger (45LE). Two beef patties covered with perfectly melted cheddar cheese, topped with lettuce, tomato and their special sauce, the original burger was bursting with flavours. Even though the patty was thin, it was still juicy and well seasoned, and we loved the reserved use of sauce which complimented the beef flavours without overpowering it. As for the Double Patties J Bomb (50LE), it was the same as the original burger but with extra jalapeno which added a great spicy kick. All in all, The BRGR Truck is definitely a great concept on the food scene in Egypt. The portions might seem small and the prices are a little bit steep, but it pays off in the quality of the ingredients. We just wished there was more variety on the menu.


Caruso's American Cafe: Nightmare on Road 90
Published On: 12/10/2016

When we think of comfort food, our minds usually go to a place where pastas, pizzas and burgers rule – which might explain why we have endless burger joints and Italian restaurants in Cairo. Caruso's American Cafe fuses those two things – burgers and pizza. It's an idea that could be a solution to world peace, but sadly it was "nightmare dressed like a daydream." Newly open at Galleria Moon Valley in Heliopolis, Caruso's is divided into two areas; the indoor space is pretty small and feels like a kitchen with wooden units hung on the wall. Besides the seemingly out of place French windows used in the facade of the cafe, the outdoor area didn't have anything special to it – just a simple generic seating arrangement. We started our meal with Chilli Cheese Fries (30LE) as an appetiser, but only because the rest of the appetisers weren't available at the time of our visit. The fries were cooked-well, but the cheddar cheese didn't melt enough and the Texas chilli wasn't really Texas chilli, as it had red beans in it – Texas chilli is all about the beef and spices. This was just the beginning of what was a pretty disastrous meal. We then ordered the Bacon Cheese Pizza Burger (65LE); served with fries and coleslaw, it's made up of a beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon, a slice of cheese and a little bit too much of their special sauce – which had a strong mayo flavour – all filled between two mini pizzas. The concept of mini pizzas as a bun is great, but the dough was thick and chewy and the pizza sauce didn't work at all with the 'special sauce'. The beef patty on its own, meanwhile, didn't have any remarkable flavours and was slightly overcooked. You can't eat it without making a mess and it dishonoured the great legacies of the pizza and the burger. We also tried the Skyline Hot Dog (43LE), which is topped with chilli, an unnoticeable amount of shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, peppers and tomatoes. Suffering the same problems as the chilli cheese fries, the spices in the chilli were overwhelming and the cheese didn't melt, making us wonder what was so special as to make it the signature hotdog, as mentioned in the menu. Sadly, we had higher expectations for Caruso's rather un-American Cafe, but the service was poor, the digital tablet menu was very slow (what's wrong with printed menus?) and a lot of items were unavailable, including all desserts. The pizza burger might have worked as a publicity stunt, but the biggest problem is the confused identity; the food may seem American on paper, but it certainly isn't American in flavour.


Zitouni: Quality & Quantity at Lavish Egyptian Buffet
Published On: 11/10/2016

Open buffets have a bad reputation for focusing on quantity instead of quality, but we all have those days where we just want to head to a big spread of crowd pleasing food. Zitouni, however, ticks both boxes – delicious food and lots of it. Located inside Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Zitouni is an authentic Egyptian restaurant – with some Lebanese items to boot – that has gathered a reputation over the years for offering the best open buffets in town. As a venue, the interior leans towards a chic Oriental style with its contemporary wooden walls, beautiful patterns on the columns and arches and comfortable seating, all boosted by an astonishing view of the Nile. We started exploring the buffet by heading to the soup and appetiser zone. Keeping it classic with the soups, they serve Chicken Cream Soup and Lentil Soup with optional toppings on the side like croutons, fried onion, spices and lemon. Meanwhile appetisers were divided into cold and hot mezza alongside a selection of breads and mini mana'esh. From Taboula and Hummus with cumin, to rice-stuffed vine leaves and Baba Ghanough, most of the cold mezza were very good, but we loved the Moussaka the most, thanks to its fantastic garlicky tomato sauce and perfect cuts of eggplant. As for the hot mezza, we tried the cheese-stuffed spring rolls, beef sambousak and Kobeba. Only the kobeba impressed, though, with its aromatic spices and spot on amount of filling. The sambousak was very tough and chewy, while the spring rolls didn't have that crunch we all love. Whether you're into Macaroni Bechamel, Seafood, Egyptian Fattah or Lamb, the endless variety of mains will cover everyone's taste. However, the deconstructed/make-your-own Lebanese Fattah station impressed us the most. Divided into bowls of rice, boiled chicken swimming in soup, chickpeas, crispy bread, pine nuts and exquisite warm garlic sauce, not only did the different elements of Fattah station have remarkable flavours, but it also gave us the chance to mix and match with one of the best examples chicken shawerma we've had in a while, and creating Syrian Fattah using the Moussaka from the cold mezza. Moving to the spinach-stuffed chicken, apart from the chicken being a bit dry, the spinach filling had a good, zesty flavour and the cream sauce complimented it well without overpowering it. We also tried the beef fillet which consists of very tender cuts of beef boosted with peppercorn to add a great spicy kick. The star of the mains would have to be the Seafood Mix, though. A combination of perfectly cooked shrimps, mussels, and flaky, moist fish, all swimming in creamy lemon sauce, the flavours of the seafood mix were well-balanced and showcased the seafood well. We finished our meal with a visit to Oriental and western desserts buffet. We really enjoyed the konafa with cream, which wasn't overly sweet as we expected, though there's a jar of honey on the side for extra sweetness. We also spotted a mouth-watering chocolate cake topped with cranberries; the cake was just a classic chocolate sponge cake, chocolate cream filling and chocolate ganache drips. With plenty of options, executed with the kind of care you'd expect from a Four Seasons outlet, Zitouni is a great option for a family lunch; the ambiance is relaxing and the variety of food was great – particularly the mains and appetisers. Just remember to save space for dessert.


Chef Philippe Bossert: Meet the Man Responsible for Revamping Every Menu at the Cairo Marriott
Published On: 10/10/2016

It's been a busy year at the Marriott, what with acquiring the Starwood hotels & resorts chain and revamping the Cairo Marriott Hotel's menus for all 14 restaurants/pubs, room service and weddings. The man in charge of the Cairo Marriott's revolutionary revamp is French chef, Philippe Bossert. Since his arrival in June, Executive Chef Bossert has been taking on the task of adding his personal je ne sais quois to every single dish served at the hotel. "I have good chefs – they know how to cook nice food," he says, "but they need to understand my vision. " According to that vision, sixty percent of cooking is about the quality of the products; "if you do not have the quality in the beginning, you cannot have it in the end," Bossert claims. Under his command, at least 4 to 5 people check the daily delivery of fruits and vegetables to ensure that they are up to scratch. However, finding top notch ingredients in Cairo presented a struggle for the chef, as did building trust with suppliers in the Obour City market, where the hotel sources its produce. "When you buy a car, you buy a brand," claims Bossert. "It's the same with food." Working as a team is paramount when it comes to the food industry, says Bossert. He likens assembling a team and working together to serve their best effort to the construction of the pyramids of Giza, saying, "it's not just built in one day – it takes patience and teamwork". The main difference between working in a restaurant and working in a hotel is management; in a restaurant, he says, you're managing around 10 chefs, whereas in a hotel it's 300. As daunting as that sounds, working with large teams is what Bossert says attracted him to hotels; bringing a team together and keeping everyone happy, is a challenge the French chef welcomes. "There was a chef in one of the restaurants who was always in a corner," he recalls. "This guy was not happy – I could feel it. If somebody is not happy, they will not do a good job. So I moved him to the bakery to make sandwiches in front of the guests and to interact with them – and now he is happy." Naturally, keeping customers happy is also at the top of Chef Bossert's priorities, as he finds that happy medium between catering to local tastes and adding his own unique flavour. This was easy to accomplish, he says, as he feels Egypt does not have a 'strong' cuisine and local taste like that of Italy, or even Lebanon. However, for Bossert, molokheya stands out; "it's a basic – like the French duck foie gras. "[For the Marriott's Saraya restaurant] I like to make it with scallops, with shrimps..." he told us, before going on to describe Saraya's new menu as "French bistro with an Egyptian twist". Another of the more unique dishes that he created for the restaurant is pigeon stuffed with foie gras and truffles. Bossert claims that before he took over the hotel chain's food services, the base was there but they were missing "the taste". The key, he says, was in making the menu smaller and the quality higher. "Before, [Japanese restaurant] Torii had a seven-page menu. I made it three and brought up the quality." Having started his career as a chef at the age of sixteen in a Michelin star restaurant, Philippe Bossert has gone on to cook in countries all over the world, such as Thailand and Portugal, and prepare meals for high profile figures such as President Vladimir Putin. Overseeing 14 restaurants and 1087 rooms, he says, is no big deal. Find out more about new menus on the Cairo Marriott Hotel Facebook page.


Le Deck: Fantastic French-Japanese Fusion by Michelin Star Chef Laurent Peugeot
Published On: 09/10/2016

"I started crying when I lost my's like losing a girlfriend" – Gordon Ramsay. Yes, this is how big of a deal when a restaurant wins/loses a Michelin Star; it's the Oscars of the food world, which is why the news that Le Deck was bringing Michelin Star chef, Laurent Peugeot, to oversee a revamp was a big deal – and it was a one of a kind experience. Not only was the menu revamped, but the design of the venue has changed, too. Located inside Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah, Le Deck is a floating terrace with a breath-taking view of Cairo and the Nile at night. The new colour scheme is black and white with great touches of grey and purple, which suits the fun energy coming from the kitchen/bar in the middle and watching Chef Jordan Prot doing his magic. We were welcomed – before even checking the menu - with two spoons of Carrot Jelly topped with crispy bits of onion. Very rich and creamy, the carrot jelly was literally bursting with flavours. So many tempting choices on the menu – which you browse through digital tablet – we couldn't figure out what to try, so we went with Le Deck's six-course degustation menu (580LE per person). Originally, the appetiser was supposed to be Tomatoes Feta and Cucumber but we switched it with the Green Pea soup with mint-wasabi ice cream, because, well, how could we resist? Fresh green peas are topped with a dollop of refreshing homemade wasabi-mint ice cream that boasts a great, mildly-spicy kick, which is all then poured in a bowl of cold green pea soup, which is served separately. The soup had a spot-on consistency, amazing matching flavours, and the ice cream was like a frozen flavour bomb ready to explode in the soup. Crispy Scale Sea Bass Fillet was the second dish on the menu, meanwhile. The moist and Flaky, yet firm, sea bass fillet had a beautiful crunch from the crispy skin, infused with zesty capers. Alongside it was with radish and sweet spinach mayo which worked perfectly with the capers. The whole dish had a perfect balance of flavours and the sea bass maintained its delicate flavours. Moving to Dengaku Shrimp and Eggplants which consists of a two pieces of plancha-style roasted shrimp, with a side of a baby eggplant and an outstanding eggplant puree, all served on a splash of torched Dengaku sauce. The dish was beautifully presented, the perfectly cooked shrimp and the eggplant puree was a match made in heaven and the baby eggplant had a strong sour and acidic flavour, but it was balanced somehow with bitterness of the slightly burnt onion garnish. The Dengaku shrimp was followed by a Teriyaki striploin Wagyu – Japanese beef cattle breed. Despite the presentation not matching up to the previous dish, this course was flawless, starting from the mouth-watering carrots puree and the roasted vegetables, to the perfect medium rare wagyu (as recommended by the chef) and teriyaki sauce, which had a gravy-like consistency – try it with the roasted scallion. The last dish before dessert was Crispy Baladi Bread Goat Cheese. The idea of the dish shows that the chef was trying to merge an Egyptian element with the French-Japanese fusion in form of a deconstructed shareable dish meant to be enjoyed while having some drinks with friends. Beside the bread being a bit tough and chewy, this deconstructed fusion of sweet and salty worked. The chef kept things equally light for dessert, with Strawberry Tartar; sweet and tart balsamic-marinated strawberries, with a basil spume and sweet red chilli pepper sorbet. Though the presentation once again didn't match up to some of the other dishes and the idea of the dessert might seem intimidating to lesser-travelled palates, it had an exquisite diversity of textures and flavours. All in all, there was too little to complain about at our latest visit to Le Deck. A light but fun ambiance, great view and Chef Laurent Peugeot's revamp has given the venue its verve back. And while fusion food always sounds great on paper, Chef Laurant and the Le Deck team have applied it very impressively.


Osmanly: Outstanding 'Sultan Mahmut II' Tasting Menu at Cairo's Top Turkish Restaurant
Published On: 04/10/2016

It's been almost four years since our last visit to Kempinski Nile Hotel's Osmanly, which is one of the few restaurants to have ever scored a perfect five-star rating. The hype was real when we entered the restaurant and our expectations were sky high and the result was very impressive. We wanted to give Osmanly the ultimate test, so we ordered Sultan Mahmut II's Tasting Menu (350LE per person) which consists of lentil soup, a selection of cold & hot mezzes, a main dish from two choices (although they're flexible and let us pick any main we want) and kunefe. While waiting for our food to come, the waiter came with jasmine-scented water and a bowl to wash our hands at the table as the royals used to do. Starting our meal with outstanding Turkish Pita Bread topped with nigella and sesame seeds, served with Garlicky Cream Cheese with Olives, Pomegranate Molasses-Infused Olive Oil, and Spicy Tomato with Nuts for dipping, we loved how the bread was soft with crispy edges, and the dips were just as good. After that, we received a plate with a small portion of sautéed lentils with caramelised onions topped a slice of crispy Turkish bread, which was then showered with hot Lentils Soup. The soup was seasoned-well and had a perfect consistency – not too thick, not too runny – as well as a bold garlic flavour in the lentil mash. The bread still maintained a crunch, too, even though it was swimming in a bowl of hot soup. Moving to an exquisite mezze fiesta, we received a nine-compartment glass plate full of mezze deliciousness. The plate had six cold mezze – Spicy Tomato, Couscous, Carrot-Infused Labneh, Mint-Infused Labneh, Seafood Mix and Hummus – but the carrot-infused labneh was the star combo, with the the carrot sweetening the tart creaminess of the labneh perfectly. It was nothing less for the three hot mezze, either; the Fried Rice-Stuffed Kufta with tomato and yogurt sauce had a great diversity of textures and exquisite flavours, the grilled Halloumi with Pomegranate Molasses was simplicity at its best, and both pastrami and spinach borek – stuffed Phyllo pastry – had a scrumptious crust and a spot-on amount of stuffing. As for the mains, we ordered 'Today's Special' and turned out to be the highlight of the meal. A layer of sliced crispy Turkish bread topped with kufta and drizzled with garlicky yogurt and tomato sauces, the special should be regular on the menu! Surprisinngly, the Kufta was made of lamb, but didn't have that distinctive smell of smell good quality lamb; either way, the texture of it was firm yet juicy, while the crispy bread absorbed all the flavours of the sauces and added a beautiful crunch. We also tried Osmanly's signature dish, Hunkar Begendi; tomato braised beef smothered with char-grilled eggplant cream and beef jus. The eggplant cream was rich and worked well with the tomato flavour in the tender beef, but overall it was a bit salty and really heavy – heavy enough to make you feel guilty, but it's definitely worth the calories. Few people believe in the quote, "No matter how much I eat, there is always room for dessert," as we do and we finished off our feast with Kunefe, which comes in the form of unsalted mozzarella cheese topped with crumbled konafa and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios. The sweetness was on point, the cheese was melted to perfection and we loved the presentation of the dish. Like with any great meal, we didn't want our evening at Osmanly to end; the Kempinski's crown jewel of a restaurant ticks all the boxes: unique atmosphere, helpful and welcoming staff and flawless food – but the receipt might make your wallet cry.


Pepenero: Cairo's Best Kept Italian Dining Secret
Published On: 03/10/2016

On arriving to our review of Pepenero's in Korba, we were a little hesitant to enter – even questioning whether we had the right address. Located in one of the less attractive old buildings on Baghdad Street, something seemed a little off. Entering what only looks like an apartment entrance on the first floor, we quickly realised that we were wrong. The place has a comfortably large indoor area with comfy upholstered chairs and wooden tables, while the outdoor area, on the other hand, had a total of eight or nine wooden tables with beach-like cushioned wooden chairs overlooking the street. On each wall, you could find greens coming out of pipes, lamps put inside jars and hanging picture frames of Italian architecture. Seconds after we were seated, we were handed the menu, which, unless you are an Italian cuisine expert, is a little confusing, despite being written in both Italian and English. Needles to say, we needed assistance and the waiter was more than happy to guide us through. The menu boasts all sorts of Italian eats from pasta, pizza, fish platters, beef and chicken dishes. The staff was extremely helpful and eventually we went for pizza Mama Giustina (80LE) and Filetto di salmone con farfalle (160LE) for our mains. Soon after placing our order, we were served with complementary Italian bruschetta. With crispy Tuscan bread topped with a big amount of chopped fresh tomatoes mixed with olive oil, salt, chopped basil and garlic, Pepenero's bruschetta would make any Italian kitchen proud. The Pizza Mama Giustina arrived a few minutes later. Although essentially a tuna pizza, the real surprise was the type of Italian buffalo mozzarella, which was creamier and more buttery than expected, without being gooey, a la fresh mozzarella. The only other topping was onions and there was little tomato sauce, but it was overall a generously portioned and satisfying pizza. Our second dish brought together brought together salmon and farfalle pasta; the latter was cooked al dente and smothered in a thick, white salmon cream sauce, but was under-seasoned. There were no problems with the seasoning of the salmon, though, which was extremely tender, full of flavour and boasted a delicious reddish-orange colour. Our sweet tooth was acting up and between some interesting desserts such as Nutella calzone (100LE), Pizza Dolce (80 LE) and Chocolate Salami with ice cream (75LE), we opted for an Italian classic: the tiramisu (80LE). 'Heavenly' is what best word to use in describing Pepenero's sweet and creamy tiramisu. Served in a cup with coffee-flavoured ladyfingers resting at the bottom, the mascarpone cheese mixture had a spot on consistency with an extremely light yet creamy texture. Garnished with cocoa powder, the dessert was the highlight of our meal. Ending this lovely hot summer evening with a fresh lemon mint juice (34LE), which was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter flavours. Despite initial hesitancy, from the moment we stepped inside the restaurant until the moment we left, we enjoyed every single second of our evening. With excellent service, well-executed dishes and noticeably spotless cleanliness, Pepenero is possibly Cairo's best kept Italian secret.


German Doner Kebab: International Chain Comes to Egypt, Keeps Things Simple
Published On: 28/09/2016

"Expect people to disappoint you, then you won't be disappointed," is a motto we've become accustomed to whenever we here of an international restaurant chain opening in Egypt – yes, we're talking to you Dunkin' Donuts, Applebee's and Burge King. Sometimes, concepts just don't translate well and other times, the quality is the issue. It was hard not to expect a new disappointment when we paid German Doner Kebab a visit – but we were wrong. Opening their very first branch in Berlin in 1989, GDK just landed months ago at Palm Strip Mall. As a venue, the place has the same appearance and general mood its other branches; orange and grey colour scheme, black and white posters, simple seats and a glass wall kitchen which shows how the doner is made with so much care. Moving to food, we started with a Chicken Doner Kebab Combo (52LE). Served with a soft drink and salad or perfectly cooked French fries – you know we picked fries – the chicken doner was a mixture of thinly sliced chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion and red cabbage, drizzled with garlic, spicy and yogurt sauces and stuffed into a pita bread that looks like it was pressed in a waffle maker. The chicken was super moist, the veggies were fresh and of noticeably good quality, the pita bread was outstanding and the sauces were full of flavour – overall, there was nothing to complain about. As for the Beef Doner (40LE), it was exactly the same as the chicken, but we ordered extra Feta Cheese (2LE) on top, which turned out to be a perfect match for the beef. Even though the meat had a great texture, it lacked the moistness we found in the chicken doner and the sandwich overall was a bit dry and needed extra sauces. We also tried the Durum Chicken Doner (45LE). Wrapped in flatbread, the durum doner had the same ingredients of the doner, but in came in the form of a toasted wrap, with a nice crispy exterior. It's a great option, but nothing beats the pita bread. All in all, GDK definitely cheered us up with its noticeable high quality ingredients, delicious flavours, fast service, and it's definitely a lighter choice if you're craving shawerma. Let's just hope it keeps up the quality and not fall in the others' mistakes –yes you Burger King and Dunkin Donuts-. All in all, GDK delivers on what it promises, thanks to its high quality ingredients, delicious flavours and fast service – a lighter choice if you're craving shawerma.


Pinoy: Filipino Restaurant Shows Potential to be a Cult Favourite in Cairo
Published On: 27/09/2016

With Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai restaurants galore, Cairo has no shortage of Asian cuisine to choose from. However, there was one eastern country yet to be represented: the Philippines. Thankfully, that gap has been filled by Pinoy (which means 'of Filipino origin' in the native language). The entrance to the venue, with its iron-barred window and door, looked like an office, remarked a friend. When we stepped inside, we discovered it was more like someone's dining room. Decked out in IKEA furniture - a new standard for Cairo's restaurants - the seating featured a couple of tables for two and one long communal arrangement. The fluorescent hospital-like lighting didn't help the ambience, but the cute artificial flower arrangement on the wall did. We seated ourselves near the flat-screen TV, a bit taken aback by the absence of a hostess. The owner, a Filipina, was sat to our left watching Filipino reality shows with a friend. The descriptions on the menu were enthusiastic and even included hashtags in some cases; we found this endearing, but would have appreciated more detail as to the contents of our meals as well as a spiciness indicator. Ravenous, we quickly ordered two Siopao - dumplings filled with pulled chicken in a sweet, tangy sauce similar to chutney (15LE). Unfortunately, there were only two options for beverages other than soft drinks, and only the Salabt (ginger tea) was available (17LE). The Siopao was a little too thick for a dumpling and bit bland, but warmed our tummies nicely as we waited on our main courses - Adobong Manok, a chicken marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic (47LE) and Adobong Manok Sa Gata (58LE), which is the same dish with a coconut milk twist. Apparently, this is the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. We had wanted to try the Bicol Express, a spicy stew, but were told it was unavailable as were a few other (probably due to the country's current shortage of imported goods). The meals were pleasingly flavourful and well-portioned, but we made sure not to finish it all so as to leave room for dessert - Ube Halaya, which is a purple yam paste, sweetened with jam and condensed milk (24LE). Despite its bright purple colouring and vegetable contents, the dessert was actually quite delectable with its mousse-like texture and sweetness. Our introduction to Filipino food (and television) was most certainly memorable. Pinoy stands apart from other Asian restaurants in that the food tastes more like authentic home cooking. Hopefully next time more dishes will be available and as tasty as the ones we tried.


Ovio: New Pancake Menu Reminds Cairo of How Awesome Breakfast Can Be
Published On: 26/09/2016

When it comes to trends and twists in food, desserts have been the test subject of choice in Cairo, where you can find everything from ice cream in a donut cone and melted cotton candy crème brulee, to 'Freak Shakes' and, of course, Oriental and Western mash-ups. But that doesn't mean that there's no space for the classics, as Ovio has shown with the introduction of breakfast pancake menu – because who doesn't love pancakes? Ovio offers a crowd-pleasing variety of pancakes that are available till 1PM, which we tried at the restaurant's Maadi branch. Out of the four kinds of pancakes on offer, we tried three – strawberry, caramelised banana and chocolate – with our fourth being plain with just maple syrup. We started our pancake fiesta with the Strawberry Pancakes (36LE). Four pieces are topped with marinated strawberries, whipped cream, sliced almond, powdered sugar and served with a small bowl of strawberry syrup – and it was flawless. The well-executed pancakes had a soft and airy interior, a beautiful colour on the outside and handled the syrup perfectly without getting soggy. As for the toppings, the richness of the whipped cream, the sweet and fruity strawberries and the nutty crunch from the almond, all worked perfectly. We loved the diversity of textures and it was a great pancake version of strawberry shortcake. This second beauty was the chocolate pancake; the stack was topped with chocolate shavings, powdered sugar and served with a jar of chocolate sauce to be poured on top. What makes this different from the rest is that the pancakes are actually stuffed with chocolate, which didn't effect its beautiful texture. To recap, that's melted chocolate, chocolate shavings and chocolate stuffing; yes, the chocolate pancakes are definitely a great way to satisfy your chocolate cravings. The banana caramel ones, meanwhile, were another fluffy stack of plain pancakes, but with honey caramelised bananas in between each pancake, topped with more caramelised bananas,and served with a jar of cinnamon-chilli chocolate sauce. Besides the bananas being a bit mushy, there were plenty of interesting flavours in the mix; it was bursting with cinnamon flavour which worked well with the cinnamon and not-so-chilli chocolate sauce, but we felt like the caramelised bananas were calling for salted caramel sauce not chocolate, especially considering there's already a chocolate version on the menu. Overall, Ovio's pancakes menu was a very smart move, not least because it's rare to find good quality pancakes in Cairo. But with decent variety and interesting flavours thrown into a unique, European atmosphere and dining experience, it's a winning formula. How can we be so sure of its success? The whole place was packed with people devouring pancakes. The real question is this: who are all these people that wake up that early?!


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Oliver Glowig at The Nile Ritz-Carlton: Two Michelin-Star Chef Takes Over VIVO Kitchen with White Truffle Surprises

As one of the newest luxury hotels in Cairo, The Nile Ritz-Carlton has certainly made an impression on Egypt's capital – and if there's one thing we can say for sure about Cairenes, it's that there hard to please. From dining to wellness, the hotel has it all and for the city's foodies, they have