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

Café Mex

Café Mex: New Eyecatching Café in Zamalek

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Café Mex: New Eyecatching Café in Zamalek

For weeks we passed by Café Mex along Zamalek’s 26 July
Street hoping it would open. There was just something about the red brick
interior and exterior that made us want to visit .With Marilyn Monroe and
Audrey Hepburn on the walls, it feels like this café came straight from New
York. Since there are butcher shops in close proximity, this reviewer was
already planning on renaming the whole area ‘Cairo’s Meatpacking District’. Finally,
after weeks of gazing, Café Mex has opened its doors.

Café Mex is a small new coffee shop with only ten tables.
When you enter, and please make sure you do not trip over the awkward gate rail,
you’ll find a bookshelf on your left with books and magazines. In between is a
flat screen TV with, at the time of our visit, a news channel on. Most tables
have different kinds of seats, and on the ceiling are different types light fixtures.
On the wall is a chalkboard with the menu written down on it. All this makes
the interior of Café Mex playful in a modern way.

The bar and kitchen are
quite big and you can order your take away coffee from there. The staff is
dressed in black and white outfits wearing caps. The background music at the
time of our visit seemed to be a mix of French Chansons and German Schlager
music which seems a bit out of place in a modern looking place like this, and in
Cairo as a whole.

Being a coffee shop, Café Mex of course offers various kinds of coffee, starting from 9LE for a
Turkish coffee, all the way up to 15LE for a cappuccino. You can get all of these coffees iced as well, but it’s nothing we haven’t’ seen before. There are two
milkshakes on the menu (Oreo & Nutella; 15LE each) and a large variety of
fresh juices like cantaloupe, strawberry and watermelon. At the time of our
visit though, only lemon juice (11LE) was available. The food menu has a
breakfast section with dishes like honey buttered croissants (15LE) and Spanish
omelets (13LE). There are also your regular sandwiches like chicken (18LE), salmon
( 25LE), tuna (15LE) and  double cheese (17LE). Apart from that there are some pizzas ranging from 20LE to 35LE and
salads from 14LE to 26LE available. When enquiring as to what exactly the
peculiar sounding black salmon salad is, the waiter disappointingly specified
it was an Asian dish and not available at the moment.

The cappuccino is good but we didn’t get any sugar with
it. Same goes for the mint tea at 8LE. Though we don’t mind, most people in
Egypt are very eager on their sugar fix so it should be present with the drink.
The mushroom and cheese omelet at 13LE came without mushrooms and with onion
instead. There was no bread with the omelet and we didn’t get salt and pepper
either. The table next to us ordered the same and they did receive a basket
with bread; which even from a distance looked good. The salmon
sandwich at 25LE was served on brown bread with red onion, capers, cream cheese
and a little bit of salad. It was ok, but nothing special. Both meals came with
chips and olives.

There is a small unisex toilet in the back. At the moment
of our visit there was no toilet paper or tissue available and the floor was a
bit smudgy.

Though we understand Café Mex has only just opened; there is
no excuse for it not being able to serve half of their menu. Despite this, the
staff is very friendly and really try to make your visit pleasant. All in all,
Café Mex isn’t a bad place for a quick coffee and snack but it doesn’t offer anything special.

360 Tip

Café Mex doesn’t do food to go at the moment, so if you want to eat you’re stuck inside.

Best Bit

The bookshelf is filled with magazines and books.

Worst Bit

The food section is disappointing in it's selection and availability.

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