Lilly’s: Quaint & Charming Café in Zamalek
As one of the capital’s most cosmopolitan districts, Zamalek is constantly sprouting the most modish restaurants and cafés in Cairo. On the popular Abul Feda Street, Lilly’s sits with an air of suburbia; white picket fences and quaint lampposts line the outdoor seating area. With white wooden chairs and solid timbre tables, the newly opened eatery appears to attract a laidback, fashionable crowd with its rustic, almost countryside feel.
The indoor area is equally as charming, complete with pastel-coloured cushions and homely seating arrangements. We were immediately seated by staff in the patio area, while menus are already conveniently placed on the tables. A pretty array of hanging flowerpots detracted attention from the attractive but already scratched, decorative floor tiles and our very precarious, wobbly table.
The menus are simple and straightforward, offering up a range of salads (18LE-39LE), appetisers (12LE-29LE), sandwiches (25LE-38LE), pasta (25LE-45LE), main dishes (48LE-70LE) and desserts (22LE-32LE). Hot drinks (8LE-23LE), fresh juices (17LE-19LE), smoothies (20LE-26LE), frappes (28LE-35LE), cocktails (23LE-25LE) and sodas (8LE-12LE) are aplenty, which makes the café a tempting place to chill out with a drink and a shisha (17LE-35LE). We’d highly recommend the full-bodied and slushy, peach smoothie (22LE), which fared much better than the slightly sickly and artificial-tasting and Blue Rays soda cocktail (23LE).
Unfortunately, the delivery of our food was staggered and uncoordinated. First, our starter of bruschetta (19LE) was beautifully presented and tasted even better than it looked. The finely chopped tomato was rolled in a generous amount of pesto, whilst the white baguette slices were crispy around the edge but fresh and fluffy in the middle. Next, our Greek salad (25LE) arrived and was a crisp and crunchy creation drizzled with a subtle touch of olive oil, and included flavourful additions of onions, olives and sweet peppers amongst the usual greens. Despite there being a generous amount of it, the feta cheese was slightly rubbery, but pungent nonetheless. Our main meal of escalope panne (65LE) arrived afterwards, along with our side choices of golden fries and fluffy white rice. The four, large escalope fillets were fried to a deep golden brown, whilst the meat itself proved delicious and maintained its moisture.
Out of a long list of desserts, only a few were available. We opted for cheesecake with caramel sauce (27LE), as opposed to chocolate sauce; a choice we were wholly satisfied with. The sauce was incredibly sweet, while the slice itself was large, velvety and truly scrumptious, with a tasty, crunchy biscuit base.
Joining the ranks as an inviting, fashionable hangout spot in Zamalek, Lilly’s offers customers a relaxed atmosphere complete with rural charm, café-style food and background jazz classics to boot.