Yood: Gaudy Heliopolis Cafe Provides More Convenience Than Quality
With a great deal of competition in the city, new cafes in Cairo often resort to imaginative gimmicks and design to help them stand out amongst the crowd. Having opened earlier this summer, Heliopolis eatery and shisha spot, Yood, does just that; its neon green signage contrasts against the otherwise residential buildings on Ammar Ibn Nasser Street.
Sticking to a unique theme, the unusual, futuristic gun-metal exterior and slanting balcony, coupled with the gharish lime green, yellow and orange interior may leave customers feeling a little nauseous; keeping our feet firmly on the ground, we opted to sit outside in their less bizarre, road-side patio. Here, smooth local or imported shisha is served (10.50LE-28.95LE).
Like most cafes in Cairo, the menu is packed with a plethora of dishes; from salads (7.95LE-32.95LE), soups (11.95LE-15.95LE) and snacks (8.95LE-21.95LE) to sandwiches (17.95LE-36.95LE) pizza (24.95LE-39.95LE), pasta (22.95LE-48.95LE) and chicken, veal or beef main courses. We opted for one onion soup (15.95LE), a greek salad (24.95LE) and a chicken pane (45.95LE).
Of course, there’s also a mind-boggling amount of fresh juices (11.95LE-27.95LE), cocktails (18.95LE-20.95LE), smoothies (17.95LE-19.95LE), hot drinks (8.95LE-19.95LE) and sodas to choose from. From these, we plumped for a White Goose cocktail (20.95LE) which transpired to be incredibly sweet, smooth, syrupy, and tasted largely of pineapple with a hint of kiwi.
The salad looked impressive, well-presented and generous with copious amounts of white cheese cubes. The ingredients were fresh and crunchy, though an excessive amount of herbs were sprinkled over the top, whilst the cheese was too rubbery to be authentic feta. Despite looking delicious, topped with a large piece of floating cheese on toast, our onion soup had an unpleasant aftertaste likened to stagnant water; so much so that we sent it back and ordered a more flavourful tomato soup, which fared a lot better. The chicken pane main was tasty, but decidedly average. Two large pane fillets were deep fried to a deep golden brown and sprinkled with a small amount of grated cheese, whilst our choice of side – pasta in white sauce – was both well-cooked and creamy.
Out of a long list of sweet-sounding desserts (11.95LE-24.95LE), only a few were available. The strawberry cheesecake (23.95LE) stood out to us, and was as teeth-grittingly sweet as we imagined it would be. The creamy slice was velvety and smooth, whilst the strawberry topping was scrumptious, despite being very artificial-tasting. Unfortunately, both of these elements overpowered any taste of the already-thin biscuit base.
Located in a quiet residential area of Heliopolis, Yood is both dependable and convenient as a local hang-out spot. The food can’t be described as anything other than average, but both the friendly management and fast service make for a welcoming, casual cafe experience.