Asparagus: Cosy, Homely Dining at New Cairo’s Twin Plaza Mall
Twins Plaza, First settlement in-front of the Police Acadamy
In the heart of Twin Plaza Mall in New Cairo, one of the few restaurants is inhabited by Asparagus. As the brainchild of one of the previous partners Steak Out, we were expecting big things, though the restaurant’s logo and motif is slightly misleading, suggesting that playful and casual dining experience awaits you. What you actually get is a subtle, comfortable and maybe even slightly romantic ambiance, with soft lighting, brown wood flooring and walling, as well cream-white furniture giving the space a level of sophistication.
We were greeted with a welcome drink which was a mixture of lemon juice, mint syrup and a hint of soda; despite its neon green appearance, it had a pleasing sugary taste and set the tone for the other drinks we tried – the syrup-and-soda Sunshine Cocktail (17.99LE) and the orange, peach and guava combo of the Asparagus Cocktail (24.99LE).
From what is a diverse international menu, we opted for a Roasted Duck appetiser (49.99LE) and went for Country Chicken (86.97 LE) and Rib-Eye Steak (159.99 LE) as our mains.
Coming in almost 20 minutes later than it should have, the roasted duck is presented in a big shareable plate, but the duck itself was boiled, not roasted, giving it an unusual chewy consistency. In addition, the strange drizzling of ketchup did it no favours.
It was a peculiar start to the meal, but the mains fared much better. The rib-eye steak, which came sizzling from the kitchen over some caramelized onions, was heavenly. The perfectly made piece of Australian beef had a slightly salty taste to it and the great seasoning made us hurry for our next bite; it was so tasty we completely forgot the sides that come with the dish for a while. The mashed potatoes serving was smooth, well-seasoned and covered with an amazing, rich gravy, while the oriental rice had a cinnamon taste, which went great with the steak’s brown mushroom sauce.
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, the Country Chicken boasted great contrast in texture and was perfectly complimented by the brown mushroom and creamy white mushroom sauces spread all over it, giving it an extra savoury kick. The white rice and mashed potatoes were just as good, with decent seasoning.
We wrapped everything up with the restaurant’s signature dessert, the Asparagus Dessert (34.99LE) – and what a dessert it was. The dish is a poached and caramelised pear swimming in sweet vanilla flavoured cream sauce; simple, yes, but it balanced an excellent contrast between the soft, sour taste of the pear and the smooth, sweet taste of the vanilla.
Despite the bad appetiser, the mains at the time of our visit to Asparagus were outstanding and the expertise that made Steak Out such a popular restaurant in Cairo is evident. Is Asparagus the going to be the next big thing on the restaurant scene? Probably not – but we have no problems being proven wrong and we won’t hesitate to dine there again.