Grand Café: Newly Opened Branch in Sheikh Zayed
Angie El Batrawy
The first thing to catch our eye was the logo of Grand Café, as it is new and much preferred to their old one. Another element that pleased us was the expanse of open air seating; with large yellow umbrellas to protect from the sun, the vast green surroundings and lighting fixtures that are lovely in the night-time, we were truly impressed. Even the indoor area has glass surround, allowing it the same feel as the outdoors.
We were greeted pleasantly as we entered Grand Café and given the choice of where to sit. From a mostly Lebanese inspired menu we chose a selection of starters (39.99LE) as well as a chicken Caesar salad (39.99LE). For a main course we opted for the Chicken Supreme dish (38.99LE) with a side of rice and sautéed vegetables; we also ordered the mixed grill (59.99LE) with a side of French fries and vegetables.
The food didn’t take long. The selection of starters did have a minor problem though. While the menu promises six different types of cold mezzas, we found some of them to be repeated – a mistake which was quickly corrected. The final platter had good presentation and some of the choices included vine leaves that were sufficiently cooked; baba ghanough with pomegranate, which was a bit too salty; and taboulah, which had too much lemon.
On the other hand, the Caesar salad was perfection. The dressing was well balanced and the ingredients fresh and absolutely delectable. We faced another minor problem with the mixed grill because they’d forgotten the vegetables on the side, but again, it was quickly resolved. The meats were grilled well and full of flavour, though the shish tawouk fell a bit short in comparison to the rest. The Chicken Supreme was also very good, with a tender well-cooked centre and crispy skin on the outside – just as we like it.
For dessert we decided to try the Four Medal cake with ice cream (34.99LE). Similar to a chocolate fondant, but without the chocolate gooey centre and with some decorative chocolate sauce on top instead. We were thankful for the ice cream for it broke it being overly chocolaty.
We also tried the Sticky Toffee Frappe (23.99LE) and a hot chocolate (15.99LE), where the former was especially delicious.
Grand Café can be somewhat of a romantic place to grab a coffee, especially around sunset when they bring out candles on the tables and its atmosphere is enhanced. However, beware of the crowds because the cinema is definitely reaping them in.