The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Bungalow: Tropical-Themed Café in Maadi

  • 7, Road 257, Across from Ceramica Maadi
  • International
  • 8AM- 1AM -
reviewed by
Emily Wright
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Bungalow: Tropical-Themed Café in Maadi

When it comes to gimmicks, Cairo’s cafés are pretty shameless and Bungalow is no different. True, it’s all on one floor – if we overlook the three steps leading up to the reception area– but in reality, ‘Beach Hut’ is more the vibe given off by this Maadi café-restaurant. Boasting a chilled outdoor area and a funky straw-roofed bar tucked away around the back, Bungalow offers a casual hangout spot which, with a little imagination, could be Maadi’s own tropical island. Sadly, the venuelacks that bit of imagination to make the most of its look, and although there are a few Asian delicacies on the menu to spice things up, the overall experience is a bit bland.

There was no grand welcome for us at the gate; rather, we had to poke around before we could find anyone to seat us, and service stayed pretty aloof throughout our whole experience. Diners have the option of sitting inside, open-air or in a sort of shed/conservatory construction (known as the pergoda), which for the most part was a bit dingy. In keeping with its bungalow theme, the décor was understated, with soft lighting and no art; just a few willowy twigs for that natural look.

We arrived in time for lunch, and flicking through the menu, we found a few ‘Asian style dishes’ which did make a pleasing change from other cafés around the city. Cooperativa (the Asian way) was available as an appetiser for 30LE and consisted of cold chicken cuts, served with vegetables, teriyaki, and sesame. Instead, we ordered Bungalow snacks (34LE) which came as a selection of chicken strips, mushrooms, spring rolls and onion rings, all coated in a thick and crispy batter which was delicious. The spring rolls, however, were all roll and contained hardly any vegetbles, and the few we uncovered were soft and bland anyway. It came with a trio of dips, but other than the garnish of grated carrot it was difficult to see what the chefs could have done more than heat up some generic finds from a supermarket’s frozen aisle.

The main dishes weren’t particularly inspiring either. We went for a BBQ Bungalow sandwich (35LE) which was a scruffy white roll, which tasted dry and stale with a modest filling of chicken, mushroom, peppers and olives, all in a creamy tangy BBQ sauce. The sauce tasted rich and spicy and bought to life the softer flavours of the mushrooms and chicken. The sandwich was served alongside spicy seasoned fries, and yet more fresh olives. The quality of the produce was disappointing; we could have done with a bit more effort with the bread and a lot more chicken. We also got a Bungalow smoothie (28LE), which turned out to be a cool, juicy blend of fresh fruit. There were double page spreads for both hot and cold drinks, so perhaps this is where the Bungalow chefs focus their attentions.

While Bungalow looked to be a hit with lunch hour office workers who came to sit with one of the fruity shishas and a cool drink, for food it’s nothing special – although throw a hula party and spice up the menu and we’ll be there.

360 Tip

Bungalow also offer a wide selection of breakfast foods from their early morning menu and are open from 8AM everyday.

Best Bit

A cool atmosphere and island look - maybe we'll try again when the whether heats up.

Worst Bit

Definitely, definitely, definitely the three soft jazz Celine Dion covers constantly on repeat.

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