What’s a better way to enjoy an Italian feast in Cairo than going to a restaurant run by a Michelin star award-winning Italian chef, who also happens to be certified by the French Ordre Culinaire International.
Near the northern tip of the Zamalek island lies Sapori di Carlo; a small-but-hard-to-miss restaurant, whose general setting doesn’t scream Italian, yet you still can feel the nation’s staple homely vibes in the air.Although there aren’t many seating options, the entire place is very neat, boasting a lovely open kitchen that graces you with the pleasant view of the giant ceramic pizza oven.
While simple and straightforwardly Italian, the comprehensive menu pleases all tastes; all items seemed quite delicious, especially the lasagna and the restaurant’s highly-recommended shrimp risotto. But we decided to stick to other classics, like the bruschetta Napolitana (130 LE), fettuccine Bolognese with fresh basil (180 LE), and to judge the authenticity of the restaurant, we opted forthe classic margherita pizza (95 LE) and finished off our meal with Tiramisu.
We were first served some small bread slices with a hint of Parmesan, and we have to say that they were perfectly baked: an ideal, textbook crust that leaves some flour dust in your mouth only to be swept away by the incredibly moist interior.The starter really raised our hopes and expectations for what was to come next, and the bruschetta did not disappoint; unlike the traditional version, which is made with flat sliced bread, this was made using bread balls made of pizza dough.
Served on a bed of mixed green leaves, and topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes, as soon as the plate landed on the table, you’re treated to the refreshing yet pungent aroma of drizzled balsamic vinegar. As you dig in, the acidity of the vinegar and tomatoes is balanced by the taste of the homemade mozzarella and the fresh pesto.
Next came the incredibly aromatic pizza, served steaming hot on a wooden board.The first bite indulges all your senses as a variety of textures and flavours greets your mouth; starting with the molten mozzarella and the herby tomato sauce,all the way up to the slightly baked cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. The perfectly baked pizza dough has been absorbing all of the moisture of the toppings without compromising the stiffness of the slice.
Elegantly presented, the fettuccini pasta was perfectly al dente with a spot-on amount of Bolognese sauce. Speaking of which, comprising of lean minced beef and carrots, it boasted a balanced flavour that had a kick to it, thanks to the dash of Parmesan on top. It is safe to say that the pasta Bolognese has a different meaning at Sapori di Carlo, and we absolutely loved it.
Finally it was time to please our sweet tooth with a classic tiramisu, which comes in a large glass, topped with chocolate powder and bits that helped counter the coffee-soaked cake in the bottom while adding a flavour to the fluffy cream in the middle.
In the end, we must say that Sapori di Carlo is easily one of the best Italian restaurants that we’ve encountered so far in Cairo. We loved the authentic Italian food, whose presentation boasted swanky French airs. Most of their ingredients were fresh and homemade, and also the service was truly superb, catering to your every need.
So if you’re looking for a good ol’ authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, or just in need of a comforting pasta after a long day, Sapori di Carlo is the place to go.