900 Degrees: Authentic Neapolitan Pizza in New Cairo
Downtown Mall building S1 , shop 21 - Fifth Settlement
Apparently, the burger trend is over; you see, ‘authentic’ Italian pizza specialists are taking over Cairo’s restaurant scene and recently opened restaurant, 900 Degrees, is the latest to join the competition.
Located at Downtown Mall in New Cairo, the restaurant has created a simple and cheerful interior with a cosy ambiance, which is no easy task to find in a mall restaurant. This owed mostly to simple touches of wood, the yellow chairs and couches, the live cooking pizza station with the red wood fired oven and the chalkboard menu above it.
Now let’s talk about the food. We kicked things off with Fried Bocconcini (38LE) and Chicken Wings (45LE) as starters. Served with a fresh and garlicky marinara sauce, the mild and slightly sweet homemade bocconcini had a fantastic creamy and elastic texture, but the breading lacked seasoning and was bland in flavour.
Served with a delicious blue cheese dip, meanwhile, the tender chicken wings had a deep smoky flavour, as they were baked in the woof dire oven before being fried. Unfortunately, wings also suffered from a bland crust, while the buffalo sauce – despite having a fantastic tangy flavour – made the crust soggy.
Then came the moment of truth: the pizza. 900 Degrees specialises in Neapolitan pizza and so we were keen to find out how well they understood what many say is the true and original form of pizza.
We tried the Capricciosa Pizza (85LE) – not to me mistaken for a Capriciossa – with extra dry aged pepperoni (10LE). Despite the slightly too-garlicky tomato sauce, the pizza was topped with lots of fresh mushrooms, olives, pepperoni bursting with spices, mouth-watering mozzarella di bufala and a drizzle of truffle oil for an occasional hint of earthy flavour, the pizza dough itself had a perfect puffy edge and crispy yet chewy centre. It definitely passed the test with an A.
We also tried the Garlic Shrimp Pasta (98LE), which came as perfectly cooked fettuccine pasta, with shrimp were tossed in mixture of olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, a hint of cream, and parmesan cheese. Despite the various ingredients, the dish was unremarkable in taste and we didn’t feel the presence of the garlic. We expected bolder flavour from the herbs, at least, since there was no sauce.
We finished our meal with Nutella Pizza Ring (60LE) for dessert. Using the same puffy dough of the pizza, but in a ring shape, the pizza was filled with a generous amount of Nutella and served with whipped cream, tangy mixed berries sauce, and slices of bananas, kiwi, and strawberries topped with yet more mixed berries sauce. Like the pizza, it was cooked perfectly and, well, you can’t go wrong with Nutella and fresh fruit!
All in all, our experience at 900 Degrees has its ups and downs. We loved the cosy ambiance and their pizza was on point, but the appetisers and pasta need more work. But with the restaurant still in its soft opening phase, don’t be surprised to find that the dishes have been perfected throughout the coming weeks and months.