Cairo Restaurants

Night & Day: Exquisite Friday Brunch at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis
Published On: 03/02/2016

Overlooking the Nile and Cairo Tower, InterContinental Cairo Semiramis' Night & Day has it all on paper – a stunning view, live music and a Friday brunch buffet offering a diverse selection of international cuisines. Located by the Garden City hotel's lobby, the music can be heard all over the place, giving a fun positive vibe, once you enter the hotel. Greeted at the entrance, we felt welcome and pampered as we were shown to our table, with the lovely sunny view giving a sophisticated backdrop to the culinary experience (290LE per person) we were about to embark on. As we were still trying to figure out which station to start with, we were first greeted with a welcome drink made up of soda, coconut, lemon juice and a cherry on top; a great refreshing start. After a buffet tour courtesy of Night & Day's extremely friendly chefs, we started at the all-inclusive fresh salad bar, where we treated ourselves to an assortment of cold cuts, cheeses, breads and salads that boasted a variety to satisfy every pallet and an all-round freshness. Our first station into the main courses, we opted for some Mexican sausage – available in regular and spicy – which had a somewhat dry outer shell but great flavourful meaty filling. We also tried the chicken fajita wraps which had a crispy outer shell with a warm and satisfying chicken punch, perfectly complimented by sour cream and guacamole dips. Visiting Night & Day's Chinese station, we were served some crispy spring rolls. Fresh out of the oil, with a crunchy golden brown outer pastry, fresh cabbage and vegetables fillings, these were among the best spring rolls we've had in some time. Offering an array of mouth-watering grilled delicacies, our next stop was the grill station where we had a well-done lamb steak with gorgeous grill marks and an incredibly fresh taste, which we couldn't get enough of. A side of shish tawook on a stick gave a welcome contrast to the steak and tasted just as good. We wrapped up our grills fiesta with a large grilled salmon steak which had a melt-in-your-mouth pink texture and a sublime taste. We reached the soup station a little later in our tour, where we tried a Taiwanese soup comprised of coconut and mushroom which had a distinct flavour unlike any soup we've tried before. Making our way onwards to other never-ending stations, we stopped by another Asian culinary special which had classic Indian selections, including flavoured rice infused with boiled potatoes and grilled vegetables and chicken curry which had a spicy kick and a creamy smooth taste. Our last two stops before hitting dessert were the sushi bar; where we tried some tasty and fresh sushi bites and the pasta station where we tasted some over baked pasta which needed an extra kick in its flavours. Offering both Eastern and Western desserts and an exquisite chocolate fountain, the dessert station was a lounge of its own, with a chef's special one-meter-long mille feuilles with different fresh toppings and fantastic cream sauce which complimented the perfect crunchy taste. We couldn't help to leave without trying the red velvet and black forest cakes, which, hands down, were outstanding. All in all, with a versatile selection of foods, a chic atmosphere, not to mention amazing service, there was very little to complain about at Night & Day at the time of our visit – a visit that we have no qualms making again and again.

...

Ravish: Cairo's Newest Burger Restaurant Lands in Heliopolis
Published On: 02/02/2016

Located in Korba, Heliopolis Ravish is the latest contestant to join the endless battle between gourmet burger restaurants in Cairo. From the chains and the empty bottles hanging on the wall to the small buckets placed on the tables, Ravish has an interior that has become typical of many burger places, with an unremarkable atmosphere, but the open kitchen gave it a different ambiance. With competition high, one would expect a variety of burgers on the menu, but what we found was some very basic options; out of 9 burgers, there are 3 mushroom burgers, the Signature Mushroom (55LE), Signature Mushroom and Bacon (63LE), and Provolone Cheese with Mushroom Saute (55LE). We decided to go with the Chicken burger (45LE) and the Spicy Mexican (55LE), but neither were available so we instead began with one of the more creative options, the Salmon Burger (68LE). Boasting a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, topped with lettuce, 'wasenasa' sauce which was very similar to wasabi mayo, and sliced avocado and mango cubes, the burger had something of the fried sushi about it and gave the burger exotic flavours. The only element of the combination was the tempura onion rings, which didn't meld with the other flavours. In addition, it was very oily and the batter didn't hold together. Moving to our second burger, the (160gm) Provolone Cheese and Mushroom Sauté burger (55LE) is possibly the best representation of what Ravish is all about. The beef patty was super juicy and seasoned well, but the melted Italian provolone cheese stole the show with its mouth-watering, gooey texture, which in turn complimented the sweetness of the onions and the earthy flavour of the sautéed mushrooms. The mayonnaise was a particular highlight, meanwhile; it tasted homemade and fresh and was free of artificial flavours. It gave the burger richness, which worked well with the fresh shredded lettuce. You can't eat burgers without fries, so tried the restaurant's Skin on Fries (15LE) which were unfortunately oily and were unremarkable, while the Green Mayo Dip (8LE) we ordered was just wasabi flavoured mayonnaise. The Sweet Potato Fries (18LE), however, were really tasty, but, again, it was super oily and lacked seasoning. The Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip (8LE) we ordered wasn't much of a dip, turning out to be bacon bits mixed with blue cheese and oil – but against all logic, it was a delicious combo that could work great on a burger. Due to the small size of the burger, we ordered another one and we went with the (160gm) Signature Mushroom and Bacon burger (63LE). It tasted exactly the same as the provolone cheese and mushroom, but instead of cheese we got bacon. We finished our meal with Torrjas with Vanilla Ice Cream, Bananas and Nuts (50LE), which is a burger bun soaked in milk and eggs then fried, not unlike French toast. The exterior of the bun had a beautiful colour to it and the cinnamon and sugar coat worked incredibly well with the fresh bananas, the creaminess of the ice cream and the nuts, which gave it a crunch. However, the center was very soggy and lacked any real flavour. This was further compounded by the fact that the promised drizzled caramel was missing because it was out of stock. Overall, our visit to Ravish proved to be a very pricey one, with average results. Had Ravish opened two years ago, it might have impressed, but with today's competition, it fails to bring anything new to an already very crowded table.

...

Backfire: A Mixed Bag at 'Battle of the Burgers' Winner
Published On: 02/02/2016

With the hype of winning Battle of the Burgers under its belt, Backfire had us pumped and excited to try out their winning burgers. Located in Mirage Mall at the beginning of the Suez-Cairo Road, we entered what is a biker-themed burger joint with motorcycle and superbike-like interior – helmet-ceiling lights, motorcycle-exhaust shisha, tires-shaped seats and even automotive-inspired metal menus. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the very friendly staff and were shown to our seats. We started things off with the Cheddar Chili Chicken Flutes (39 LE) as an appetiser and as our mains, we decided to jump headfirst into Backfire's award winning burgers; the 111 Cubic inch burger (72 LE) and the Trio SGF (72 LE) with a non-alcoholic Red Sangria pitcher (92 LE). A mix of cheddar cheese, jalapenos, minced chicken and sausage rolled together into tortilla flutes and deep-fried and served with spicy tomato sauce, the Cheddar Chili Chicken Flutes were lovely spicy pieces from heaven with a crispy-on-the-outside tortilla bread and a spicy tomato sauce a which gave it a great kick – it was a great start for the night. Our red sangria, which came a few minutes later, was a mixture of non-alcoholic red wine, red and green apples, orange juice, mint, mixed berries, kiwi, pineapple, lemon and cinnamon – an overwhelming combination which had a sweet and sour taste and worked perfectly as a fire extinguisher for our spicy appetiser. Then came our burgers – along with some latex gloves to reduce the burger mess to a minimum. Served in a pan and surrounded by French fries on all sides, the 111 Cubic inch burger came in what one can only described as rugged presentation and was drenched with too much cheese and BBQ chili con carne, which was part of its downfall, unfortunately, especially with a spongy, slightly stale bun which crumbled as we ate. Served with some fries, parmesan cheese and marinara sauce – which felt a little out of place – the Trio SGF was the burger version of a parmesan chicken which was even huge, even dwarfing the bread around it. We cut the burger in half to reveal beneath the fried crispy exterior; a grilled patty stuffed with a mix of cheeses and jalapenos, topped by some lettuce, mayo, onions and a slice of tomato. It was an extremely heavy combo bursting with flavours, but again, the bun wasn't fresh. The fries with both burgers were great, boasting a spicy flavour which complemented the taste rich, thick potato cuts. We ended the night with a Skillet Apple Crumbles (45LE); a pan infused with crumbles, apple chunks, some crunchy almonds, drizzled with cinnamon, and caramel sauce, all topped with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream; a great dessert which had a delightful overall taste, with every element having its say and working in harmony. All in all, our meal Backfire was satisfying, to say the least, particularly with appetiser and dessert. However, at the time of our visit, we couldn't help but be disappointed with the small missteps in the burgers.

...

Maharani: Authentic Indian Classics at Zamalek's Le Pacha 1901
Published On: 28/01/2016

In an ever-evolving restaurant scene, Le Pacha 1901 in Zamalek has succeeded in preserving a decent standard of dining by the Nile – none more so than the boat's Indian restaurant, Maharani. Located on the ground floor, Maharani stands out with a cosy, yet maybe overdone, burgundy and green Far Eastern interior – think paisley patterns carved on wall fabrics and on the frieze, drawings of women dressed in traditional saris on a wooden paravant and ethnic golden jewellery frames, not to mention a statue of the Hindu God Ganesha –an interesting ambiance to observe, though perhaps a little too clichéd. As soon as we were seated, we were promptly handed the menus and while we knew that the classic paneer pakora (54.90) – cheese cubes deep-fried into lentil batter – was our obvious appetiser choice, it took us some time to settle on the mains. We opted for a Murgh Tandoori half chicken (87LE), along with a Chicken Korma pot (103LE) and a side of vegetable Biryani (49.90LE) – classic Indian basmati rice. Shortly after we ordered, we were served some complimentary dips consisting of mint paste, pickled mangos, lemons and peppers served with flat bread and a mango chutney dip – which we requested from the attentive and friendly staff. With a sweet taste and a subtle spicy kick, the mango chutney dip didn't disappoint; the other dips did, however, due to an overwhelmingly spicy flavour in the mint dip and a stale taste in the pickled mangos. Luckily, we were able to soon quell the fires in our taste buds with some freshly baked naan (16.90LE) and the appetiser made up for it. Served as six deep fried cheese fritters with a parsley garnish, the paneer pakora had a perfectly crispy crust and a great taste. Moving on the mains, the half tandoori chicken was tender and well-seasoned, though the delicious tandoori marinade hadn't penetrated further than the surface, leaving the inside of the chicken bland. In spite of the overall good taste, however, it was by no means a satisfying serving for one person – given the small chicken size and the fact that it came without side dishes. Our other main, however, was the star of the night. Cooked with cardamom, rose water, curry and cream sauce, the chicken korma boasted an incredibly creamy curry sauce, hints of garlic, herbal flavours and a hint of sweetness, which were all perfectly complimented by the crushed cashews and the tender chicken cubes; it's a dish highly recommended for those who want to experience an authentically Indian dish. The vegetables biryani – cooked with herbs, spices, peas and carrots- tasted absolutely delicious, especially when paired with the delectable chicken korma sauce and is possibly the best biryani we've ever had. After our mains, we opted for a Gulab Jamun (34.90LE), a classic dessert popular in Southern Asian countries which consists of deep-fried balls of condensed milk simmered in rose water. Perfectly golden on the outside, warm tender and chewy on the inside, the gulab jamun balls were an absolute delight with a rich creamy flavour and its sweetened rose water sauce which was just as tasty as the main component itself; think of it as an Asian version of Oriental dessert, zalabya, which marked a perfect ending of an imperfect, yet enjoyable, dinner. Small portions and the insufferable vibrations emanating from the music from the boat's rooftop venue, Ontop, aside, Maharani is among the few restaurants in Cairo that backs up its claim of authenticity. 

...

Beetroot: Elegant Dining by the Nile from the Makers of the Lemon Tree & Co.
Published On: 26/01/2016

Though it was enjoying a fair amount of popularity, the Lemon Tree & Co. was shut down by its owners last year to make way for new concept, Beetroot. Offering the same exquisite Nile view, an elevated atmosphere and an all-new menu encompassing international dishes and some novel specialities, we paid a visit to the Imperial Boat-located restaurant, keen to find out why this has been earmarked by many as one of the best new restaurants in Cairo. Similar to its former concept, Beetroot maintains a level of subtle class thanks to its outstanding interior – quirky wicker lighting, wooden floors, plants dangling from the walls - and a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. Engrossed by the setting, we were instantly ready to order, opting for Crispy Golden Zucchini (36LE) as an appetiser and Lemon Sage Chicken (104LE) and a Beetroot Burger (94LE) for our mains. Looking like zucchini fries, the crispy golden zucchini had a perfectly-fried, light and airy tempura crust and an overall on-point taste; so much so, that we would venture to say that it was the best dish we tried during our visit. One of the zucchinis was actually mistakenly stuffed with ricotta cheese and tasted similar to blossom zucchini – maybe a combination worth adding to the menu. After the flawless appetiser, we were expecting the same from our mains, only to end up a little underwhelmed. The Lemon Sage Chicken was served with sun-dried tomato orzo, which had a strong tomato flavour, some sweetness from the sun-dried tomato and a pleasant taste. The chicken itself, on the other hand, was well-cooked but was a little unbalanced in flavour, with the lemon-sage sauce being far too bitter, ruining what could have otherwise been an excellent dish. Moving to the Beetroot burger, we were excited for the beetroot bun idea, but it was too dense and the edges were stiff. Topped with tomatoes, lettuce, and canned mushrooms, the burger patty was very juicy and well-cooked; however, the sandwich overall was rather dry, partly due to the scarce amount of smoked cheese sauce that was lost in a bad burger-to-bun-ratio. The burger was served with scrumptious onion rings with a crunchy crust and delightful fried potato cubes, which were topped with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. The combination created a nutty, earthy flavour, which outshone anything else on the dish, hands-down. We finished our meal with Apple Cinnamon Burst (52LE) – essentially a gourmet apple turnover. Dusted with powdered sugar and filled with caramelised apple that had a little bite to it, this dessert was literally bursting with cinnamon flavour and the creamy vanilla ice cream added a nice contrast. In addition, the dough was cooked to perfection, boasting a beautiful golden colour to it. All in all, we left Beetroot with mixed feelings; on the one hand, we can have little to complain about when it came to the outstanding presentation of the dishes and ambiance. But on the other, some of the flavours didn't quite live up to the atmosphere and concept, not to mention the steep prices. Overall, though there's nothing that can't be fixed with some minor adjustments and we'd have no qualms in going back to Beetroot. 

...

Rags to Riches: 8 Egyptian Restaurants that Started Life as Street-Carts
Published On: 24/01/2016

There's nothing quite like the hearty foods you find around every corner of Cairo's streets, be it a warm foul sandwich, a messy tubby of koshary, or, if you're stomach can handle it, a spicy Alexandrian liver sandwich. Street food has always been a vital part of the Egyptian cuisine and whether you love it or hate it, it certainly provides respite for your pockets, if not your stomach. But like so many Egyptian success stories, many of the city's native restaurants come from humble beginnings – here are eight restaurants that began life as simple street-carts. Hamada Sheraton What started out as a simple foul cart in the Sheraton Buildings area has become the most go-to foul and ta'ameya venues in Heliopolis and it's all down to a guy called, well, Hamada. The success of the restaurant has even lead to the opening Hamada for Fresh Juices and Fruit Salads right next door – who knows what Hamada will open up next? Koshary Abou Tarek Featured on CNN as the cheapest and most popular local Egyptian koshary restaurant, Koshary Abou Tarek has existed since the 1950s, but originally as a small koshary cart on Downtown's Champollion Street. After gaining massive success throughout the years, Koshary Abou Tarek went from a merely colourful cart –still preserved to this date by the Abou Tarek family – to a four-storey restaurant exclusively selling the best koshary in Downtown. Kebdet El Prince Promising to launch a renovated branch this year, Kebdet El Prince has become one of Imbaba's landmarks and a popular Egyptian restaurant known for its delicious liver dishes. The restaurant went from a kebda cart standing in the busy Imbaba district, to a huge restaurant with an equally huge waiting-list – yeah, a waiting list. Kababgy El Refaay Historically a hotspot for Egyptian celebrities – everyone from actors to football players have been spotted there over the years – Kababgy El Refaay went from being a cart selling grilled meats just around the corner of El Sayeda Zeinab area to one of the most visited local restaurants specialising in kebab and kofta. Abdo Tlawoth A nickname which started off as a joke between Abdo, the venue's owner, and his friend, Abdo Tlawoth ironically became a brand name for what was once a kebda and sojok cart in Nasr City. Abdo Tlawoth-literal for pollution- is now one of the most popular takeaway and car-serving restaurants offering sandwiches, meat and chicken meals and desserts. Amo Hosny Started in 1996 as a small food cart – most famous for its oriental egg burgers in Triumph square in Heliopolis, Amo Hosny has since spread its wings with several branches in Heliopolis area offering shawerma, kebda, sojouk and many more tasty street delicacies. El Gahsh Another landmark in El Sayed Zeinab, El Gahsh is a famous foul and ta'ameya restaurat which once was a small foul cart with hundreds waiting in line. Serving foul in a seemingly endless list of variations, in addition to falafel, fries and pickled eggplant sandwiches, diners come from all across the city to the 24/7 restaurant. Zezo From a small cart – which used to a sandwich for five piasters back in the days- to an entire floor located in El Gamaleyah area, Zezo serves classics, like sojok and kebda sandwiches. Perhaps Zezo's finest hour came when the restaurant was name-checked by legendary actor, Adel Imam, when he reffered to it as Zezo Natana – literal for garbage.

...

Chillax: Santorini-Inspired Restaurant in Heliopolis
Published On: 20/01/2016

Cairo's dining scene has no problem with importing concepts and inspirations and one of the latest eateries to borrow from abroad comes in the form of Chillax. Located in the busy El Merghany district of Heliopolis, the restaurant offers international dishes and a delightful Greek-inspired atmosphere. Taking cues from Santorini, Chillax boasts a bright blue and white aesthetic with beautiful touches in its décor – light blue windows, quirky blue cutlery, clay wall-lighting and simple plant pots causally hung on the wall come together to create a casual Mediterranean ambiance. Designed to look like a newspaper, Chillax's menu has a wide variety of dishes; soups, seafood platters, burgers, pastas – you name it. After some thinking, we went for the BBQ Bacon Burger (52LE) and Chicken Alfredo Pasta (49LE) and as soon as our dishes arrived, we were instantly struck by their dazzling presentation. Served in a countrified wooden tray with a handful of pickles and well-spiced French fries, the BBQ Bacon Burger was extremely delicious; with a thick, tender and juicy patty, a thin beef bacon topping and a hint of hot barbecue sauce, it was a classic combination done well. Our pasta, meanwhile, was served in an iron skillet, cooked al Dente, perfectly blended with chunks of tender chicken, fresh mushrooms and infused with light, creamy yet rich Alfredo sauce; overall a delicious dish that was made complete with its herbal garnish. Going through the desserts' section – which offers typical items like fruit salad with ice cream (32LE) and brownies (28LE) - we went for a Nutella French toast with ice cream (38LE). Also served in a skillet, the toast was stuffed with a thin layer of Nutella and slices of banana which complemented the taste. The toast was then topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and some tasty caramel sauce – again, a classic combination done well. We washed away our meals with a cup of well-made French coffee (20LE) and kiwi-mango-flavoured shisha (51LE) which was fresh and promptly tended to. Perhaps the only slight misstep in our visit to Chillax was the slow service – which was soon picked up -otherwise, between the many restaurants in the area, Chillax definitely stands out for its concept, which it executes well and tastefully without going overboard.

...

Vapiano: Global Serve-Yourself Italian Restaurant Chain at Cairo Festival City
Published On: 19/01/2016

With over 150 branches around the world, German restaurant chain, Vapiano, arrived in Cairo in July of last year with the promise of authentic Italian food and its unique, trademark ambiance. As a concept, Vapiano stands out with a novel smart card system; a serve-yourself approach where you're given a card that keeps track of your orders and saves you the trouble of asking for the bill. As soon as we entered, a friendly host greeted us and explained how to use the smart card as we took in the restaurant's four main stations serving pizza, pasta, salads and desserts. Vapiano's menu is divided into three categories 'Vapiano Della Casa' – offering the restaurant's specials- 'Classico Italiano' –a selection of classics from the Italian kitchen – and 'International Inspired' – Vapiano's picks from various international cuisines. After some thinking, we decided to opt for some of Vapiano's specials; with Insalata Al Funghi (55LE) as an appetiser, Pesto Rosso (Italian for red pesto) Pasta – (55LE) with additional chicken (18LE) and Pesto Con Spinaci Pizza (60LE) with additional Scampi (27LE) as our mains. Roasted on the grill, our warm Insalata Al Funghi salad had an earthy flavour, thanks to the three types of mushrooms used, which in turn were complemented by the sweetness of the onion and the corn, as well as the smokiness of the beef bacon. The lamb's lettuce – also known as corn salad – cherry tomatoes and radish, on the other hand, gave the dish a brighter, zingier taste that was made complete by a perfect slice of Grana Padano cheese. Overall, it's a must try, considering the concept of a warm salad is quite unfamiliar across the Cairo dining scene. The pesto rosso, meanwhile, was excellent, though not perfect. Sprinkled with roasted pine nuts and tender well-seasoned chicken cubes and infused with homemade sundried tomatoes with a hint of spicy flavour, our pesto rosso was delicious; only the dish needed more tomato flavour, in spite of the generous amount of cherry tomatoes. We were also expecting big things from the pizza and we weren't disappointed. Boasting a chewy and crispy crust with puffy edges, the creamy pesto sauce worked perfectly with the fresh baby spinach, scampi and marinated tomatoes, which all came together to form one of the best pizza's we;ve tried in some time. With barely enough room for anything more, our last stop was at the desserts station, where we opted for a simple Crema Di Gragola (40LE). Served in a cup full of homemade mascarpone cream – which had perfect consistency and just the right amount of sugar – slices of strawberry that added freshness and fruity flavours that worked perfectly with the richness of the mascarpone cream; overall, it was exceptionally creamy, but still somehow light. Even though the restaurant's serve-yourself concept might be a little inconvenient for some, we there was little to complain about at the time of our visit. The food was fresh, excellent in quality and who doesn't enjoy watching chefs in action? 

...

Western Tummy: Delicious Steaks at Restaurant & Non-Alcoholic Bar in Downtown Katameya Mall
Published On: 18/01/2016

The volcanic restaurant scene in Cairo can be overwhelming for some, but finding a place that stands out with a unique taste and concept is always great. Keeping an eye on new promising eateries, we headed over to Western Tummy; a restaurant and non-alcoholic bar located inside Downtown Katameya Mall in New Cairo. Having opened towards the end of 2015 and hosted a fully-booked on New Year's evening, Western Tummy already has a following amidst New Cairo residents. The restaurant stands out with a simple, intriguing industrial design in the main dining area and outdoors – grey chairs, stone-carved wall, wooden barrels – while it maintains a level of class manifested in the bar area with its large bottle display. As soon as we took our seats at a table, we were greeted with complimentary non-alcoholic 'welcome shots', which were comprised of apple, pineapple juice and pomegranate grenadine, with some coconut shavings on the glass edge. After looking over the table mats – which had the restaurant's menu printed on them – we opted for a plate of Chilli Cheese fries (39LE) as an appetiser, Fillet Red Wine (135 LE) and Fillet Blue Cheese (138 LE) – cooked well-done - as our mains and two bottles of non-alcoholic red wine (79LE) and white wine (78LE). Although the chilli cheese fries were small in portion when compared to its price, it was nonetheless one of the best we've had in a long time. The chilli and the meat were an absolute delight with a homemade spicy taste and the cheddar cheese paste complimenting the overall flavours. After having a little too much fun observing the waiter popping the corks, our red and white wine drinks –which were basically just sparkling white and red grape juice – had a refreshing taste and were great chaperons during the rest of our meal. Served on two slices of baguette bread, with a side of penne pasta, our fillet red wine had a delicious smoky and sweet sauce which perfectly complimented the meat. The pasta was less saucy than the fillet, with a tasty punch in the tomato sauce. Overall, this dish was perfect and the baguette was a nice addition soak in the remaining sauce. Finally, the homemade hot chilli side-sauce was sweet with a small flame at the back of your mouth for an extra kick. Served with a side of Alfredo pasta, meanwhile, the blue cheese fillet was perfectly soaked in cheese and boasted a great sweet and sour taste that makes you hurry for the next bite. The Alfredo pasta was just as good, with a perfectly creamy white sauce, which, along with the blue cheese, gave the dish an all-white glare. After enjoying our mains, we were ready for dessert and to seal the deal, we chose Blueberry Cheese Cake (36 LE). The cheesecake was largely unremarkable in taste, but mouth-watering blueberry sauce elevated the overall creamy taste. All in all, our dinner experience at Western Tummy was great. Boasting one of the best steaks we had in Cairo, not to mention a quirky non-alcoholic bar and a sophisticated atmosphere.

...

Eatery: Make Your Own Food, Learn How to Cook or Just Simply Eat at Cairo Festival City Restaurant
Published On: 12/01/2016

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. 

...

View More
Feature

Huawei GR5: Hands-On with Huawei's Newest Device to Land in Egypt

The last year or so has seen the stock of Huawei smartphones rise exponentially in Egypt, filling in a void that its competitors seem unwilling to fill. The release of several handsets in recent months has cemented that, but with the release of the GR5, Huawei has produced what could be one of its m