Sun Shadow: A Dissapointing Visit to Manial’s Blue Blue Bay
When visiting one of the many restaurants or cafes in Cairo, we’re taught by the Cairo 360 editors to never enter with personal expectations – to take something for what it is and judge it on what it promises and how well it delivers. Sometimes, however, you can’t help but be effected by a first impression, especially if that first impression is a negative one – something that we couldn’t get away from when stepping foot in Manial-located cafe, Sun Shadow.
As part of the bay-shaped, Nile-side mall, Blue Blue Bay – so blue they named it twice, clearly – Sun Shadow benefits from a nice view and its large outdoor seating area. The décor and general aesthetic of Sun Shadow tries to replicate that of a Parisian café, but beyond its Eiffel tower-shaped logo, it’s a pretty standard, though pleasant, Cairo café set-up – think wicker chairs, wood flooring and dim lighting.
The same can be said of the menu; everything from coffees, juices and (virgin) cocktails, to pizzas, sandwiches and desserts and it’s the unusual cocktails that caught our eye first, with the café offering peculiar drinks such as mango lemonade and mint & peach (24LE each) – we plumped for a pina colada (24LE), which took an eternity to arrive. When it did arrive it was nothing more than a banana milkshake, which was sent swiftly back, only to return with pineapple and coconut in the banana-milk mixture – still very much not a pina colada.
We tried our luck with a lemon and mint smoothie (24LE) but it too wasn’t quite up to standard, with the distinct flavours of the two main components being rather faint. Hoping the food would fare better, we ordered a hotdog tortilla sandwich (24LE) which is exactly what it sounds like. Unfortunately the whole thing seems to have been left on the fire for too long; in addition to the slices of bell peppers inside the sandwich being burnt – not charred, but burnt – the whole thing was very heavy and greasy.
The chicken pasta (32LE) disappointed, too; served in a white sauce, the chicken was overcooked and very much under-seasoned, leaving the whole dish pretty flat in taste. Meanwhile, a poor chicken pizza (32LE) rounded off an all-round frustrating experience; there was next to know tomato sauce or cheese on what was a very thick base.
With a location that many cafes and restaurants owners would die for, we were hoping for more from Sun Shadow; but then the fact that we were privy to infighting between the staff and the fact that the floor was covered in a fine layer of dust, our visit seems to have been doomed from the start.