Hidden away on the fifth floor of Heliopolis’ Sun City Mall, is restaurant and bar, Cavallini.
Upon entering, we were immediately taken aback by the fine décor, the contemporary, dim lighting and the mellow music coming from the fully equipped DJ booth. Although the venue is deceivingly small and narrow from the outside, there is an extensive choice of seating that includes dining tables, high tables and bar stools.
After passing the initial indoor seating area, unexpectedly, the restaurant took us out onto a spacious, outdoor terrace, complete with its own brightly lit bar. A large screen above the bar played muted music videos from MTV, while the audible music was a mixture of dance and pop, played at a volume that allowed diners to have a conversation without shouting.
We sat outside in the low, comfortable chairs to enjoy the evening breeze. However, our comfort was short lived and we were forced to move indoors due to the ruthless mosquitoes.
Immediately, we were presented with a soft drinks menu and upon our second request for the cocktail menu, we were informed that no alcohol is served before 10PM. With an hour to spare, we decided to focus on the cuisine and non-alcoholic drinks.
The drinks lacked descriptions so we took a gamble and went for an exotic sounding Frozen Ocean (23LE) and a strawberry smoothie (21LE). The Frozen Ocean caused some scepticism with its bright greeny-blue appearance, but despite our initial reservations, it was a cold, fresh surprise with a strong, minty flavour. The strawberry smoothie was a sweeter treat, with real strawberry bits and crushed ice.
We ordered crispy Ciliegine cheese (35LE) to start and a club sandwich (39LE) and the Roma burger (41LE) for our mains. After a half an hour wait and many enquiries, the food finally arrived and we can happily say it was worth the wait.
The Ciliegine cheese dish came as hot, gooey balls of scrumptious cheese, covered in crispy breadcrumbs and accompanied with sweet chilli sauce – easy, shareable finger food for eating at the bar.
The club sandwich was a magnificent two tier chicken sandwich with all the usual club trimmings; beef bacon, emmental cheese and a little mayonnaise. They also added sun-dried tomatoes for a more unusual flavour. Disappointingly, the sandwich was a tad cold, but nonetheless delicious.
The Roma beef burger was impressive with a thick, juicy meat patty covered in rich sun-dried tomatoes and a splash of green pesto as an alternative to the usual burger sauces.The side of fries were thinly cut, lightly salted and perfectly cooked.
From 10PM until 3AM, the atmosphere at Cavallini changes; the lights are dimmed, main meals are no longer served, a DJ takes over the tunes, and of course, the alcohol begins to flow. The crowd at the time of our visit was sophisticated, mature and well-dressed.
Again, the alcoholic drinks menu left much to the imagination so we stuck to cocktails we knew; one vodka infused Sex on the Beach and a Strawberry Daiquiri (both 60LE). The Sex on the Beach was tropical and fruity, dangerously but pleasantly concealing the taste of alcohol. The daiquiri, like our earlier smoothie, was sweet, fresh and slushy, but with an added twang of rum.
For a night out, Cavallini offers the full package with a great atmosphere, classy dining, tasty cocktails and a live DJ on the weekends. We will surely be excited to return – with mosquito repellent in hand.