Le Marche: Elegant French Patisserie at Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers
An accolade of the transparent modern style, the Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers is a beacon of luxury in an otherwise low-key residential area. Walking inside the hotel, past the trendy restaurants and dimly-lit bars, Le Marche is easily spotted far back in a quiet alcove.
Illuminated under warm, orange strip lights, the cafe walls are adorned with framed posters of vintage French advertisements and tasteful photographs of the Eiffel Tower. With deep, comfortable chairs and rich rosewood upholstery, the café seats up to four people per table and is well-suited for those intimate, after-dark outings.
The menu caters more to the breakfast and lunch crowd and includes a wide range of reasonably priced soups and entrées. To start, we selected the turkey Panini (80LE) and a chicken salad (85LE). After taking down our order, the waiter brought over a basket of fresh bread – with both white and rye slices – and a plate of soft butter.
Due to a slight misunderstanding, we were given a chicken Caesar salad instead of the chicken salad and, even though we had already taken a few bites before realizing the mistake, the plate was taken back and replaced without any complications. The new chicken salad was presented in a deep-welled dish and contained zesty chicken strips and a flavourful combination of walnuts, avocado, crispy romaine lettuce, artichoke and watercress, with creamy gorgonzola dressing drizzled on top. With tender turkey slices, bocconcini and rocket all housed in a fresh portion of boule bread, the turkey Panini was a light and meaty treat. A side of crispy French fries was served alongside the sandwich, as well as a small condiment bowl filled with sweet ketchup.
The drinks menu offers a variety of hot and cold beverages, including a few alcoholic options. We decided on a café latte (30LE) and lemon juice with mint (27LE). The latte was truly worth the price and was served in a delicate tray with a piece of divine, chocolate biscotti. Perfectly blended and frothy, the lemonade was delivered unsweetened alongside a small pitcher of chilled syrup to add to taste.
From the extensive selection of sweets, we opted for a slice of berry cheesecake (24LE) and a fruit Danish (20LE). The berry cheesecake was incredibly velvety and the sweetness of the cream mixed with the tartness of the berries amounted to a palpable burst of well-rounded flavour. The fruit Danish, while rather good, was nothing exceptional and was completely outshined by the phenomenal cheesecake.
Placed away from hotel traffic caused by bridal parties and tour groups, yet close enough to enjoy the lavish visual amenities of the Fairmont, Le Marche is the perfect place to indulge in light meals and delicious, Parisian pastries.