Avenue: Newcomer on the Cairo Restaurant & Bar Scene
Anne de Groot
want to go for a night out in Cairo, it is usually a safe bet to visit one of
the boats located in Zamalek. One of them is the Imperial Boat, which hosts
three venues. There is Purple downstairs, Mojo on one side of the top deck and
newcomer Avenue on the other side. Unfortunately, it seems that the recently
opened Avenue still has a long way to go until it becomes a household name on
the Cairo nightlife scene.
entering Avenue, you will be struck by the venue’s bright white and silver setting. The
trendy and funky ambience is obviously aimed at bringing in a young crowd. There are couches that you can settle down on and some high and low tables. The
seating area is very spacious and suitable for large groups. The music playing at the time of our visit was Om Kalthoum, which was
slightly odd; in this modern atmosphere, you wouldn’t expect classical Arabic music to burst
from the speakers.
At the time of this reviewer’s visit, we were immediately
confronted with Avenue’s biggest problem; there were no other patrons.
According to the bartender, the venue has been very quiet up until now with
only two busy nights so far. However, Avenue does deserve a chance; so we
settled down at the bar.
drinks menu consists of a variety of cocktails, champagnes, shots, martinis and
regular beers and wines. Most of the cocktails are well-known classics except perhaps
for the peculiar Facebook Martini. The drink is a cocktail of Martini, blue Curacao
and milk. This blue and white combination might look tempting on paper but when
actually presented in a glass, it becomes a strange, creamy, blue mixture. The
bartender is not really to blame for this; it is more likely due to the strange
bartender was very enthusiastic and created a drink that was not listed on the menu.
It was a variation on a Tom Collins cocktail but with milk added: it was only
ok, but for 40LE we can’t complain.Cocktail prices start at 40LE, which would
be very reasonable if the drink itself was gratifying.
A Stella beer will set
you back around 30LE, which is quite expensive considering the small size of the
whiskey sour was a bit too sour for this reviewer’s liking, and when ordering a
whiskey on the rocks, the new drink was poured into the same glass. Avenue also offers shisha with regular flavours, starting
from 25LE. You can have your shisha while relaxing on one of the couches or
while sitting at the bar.
cuisine served at Avenue is mainly Middle Eastern with some French and Italian
dishes. When we inquired about the roumalade sauce served with the calamari 28LE, none of the waiters seemed to
know what it was. Finally, we were told it was lemon sauce, but when the
calamari arrived, it was presented with chili sauce instead. The crème brûlée (24LE) was served oddly before the
appetisers. It tasted rather mealy and lacked enough vanilla flavour.
has a great location with nice Nile views and has the potential of becoming a
good restaurant and bar. The staff is very friendly and eager, but they failed
at blending a decent drink for us during our visit and seemed to have no
knowledge about their own menu. Perhaps if some adjustments were made, Avenue
could become a nice hangout spot to have a drink and a bite while watching the
Nile river flow by.