Pier 88 in Cairo is renowned for being an exclusive bar and restaurant with a great view of the Nile in Zamalek. Not long ago, it branched out to the calmer side of the city, choosing an intimate area in Pyramid Hills compound on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road. The location is pleasingly secluded; you get a nice view of the Pyramids as you park, before a golf cart takes you right down to the doorstep of the bar.
As we entered, we were greeted by the hostess, who checked our reservation and guided us in; the staff was gracious enough to take our jackets and show us to our table. We sat down and began to feel how distinguished the vibe of the place was; glass walls to show the greenery surrounding the low-lit setting, with classy music playing in the background. As we began to skim through the drinks menu for our cocktails, we were offered a bread basket, which comes with three different flavours of butter cubes. The butter cubes were tasty and herby, especially the pesto-butter flavour, yet, had the bread came in heated, it would have made a big difference.
After a lot of debate about what to order for our first round of cocktails, we started with the Long Beach Island (250LE), which is typically made with vodka, tequila, rum, gin, and a splash of coke with lime. Long Island cocktails are usually heavy on the alcohol, therefore sometimes they don’t taste that great, but this one was actually very tasty; the alcohol flavour wasn’t overpowering the sweet sense of the cocktail at all. Next came the Mai Tai (225LE), which is classically based on rum, lime juice, and Curaçao. This cocktail was very refreshing, balanced, boasting a hint of fruity grenadine that gave it a subtle, sweet taste.
While enjoying the last sips of our first round of drinks, we decided to opt for a light appetiser to go with our second round of cocktails. We looked through the menu and found the Tartar Di Manzo (190LE) – Beef tartar with shallots and a quail egg yolk. Beef tartar is nearly raw, or all-raw beef, usually served with the egg yolk on top, but that was not the case here. We asked the waiter about the yolk, they said it was mixed inside, but if so, we had no way of knowing because the taste was lost inside the beef mix.
For our last round of cocktails, the bartender recommended the Classic Daiquiri (210LE), which is a blend of rum, citrus juice, and a sweetener of choice. It was sweet with a fresh tangy flavour that went nicely with the beef tartar. The other recommendation was the Whiskey Sour (210 LE), which is usually made with whiskey, lemon juice and sugar. This cocktail was unique; we could taste the smooth flavour of good-quality whiskey, and the sensible ratio of sweet-to-citrusy flavours.
Pier 88 never ceases to deliver the high-class change of scenery that we all love to experience every once in a while. The cocktails were of classical palate and perfectly executed, while the mood was just perfect for the autumn and winter days ahead. Their cuisine is not to be missed, therefore we will definitely be back again for a deeper culinary experience.