Bert’s: Chill Out Spot in Mohandiseen
International restaurant and café chain Bert’s had
enjoyed initial success in Paris before expanding throughout the rest of
France, and then to the Middle East and Asia, where chains can be found in
Morocco, Dubai and Thailand.
Cairo’s very own branch in Mohandiseen is on
the corner of Syria Street and Demeshq Street and is made up of two floors,
each of which has several well-spaced seating areas. High bar-chairs and thickset leather chairs
and couches surround tables that are little too low for anyone over 180cm tall. The
decor is fairly simple wood flooring, with muted beiges and browns.
The staff is very attentive, and although
it took a while to arrive after we ordered it, a small plate of tehina and a basket
of baladi bread were devoured in no time. Though the bread wasn’t fresh, the
tehina itself was light in texture and heavy on taste; a great way to open the
The cuisine is of an international range,
and from the pasta dishes the fettuccini with smoked salmon (33LE) was a good
blend of creamy white sauce and the sharpness of the salmon. The pasta itself
was cooked perfectly, and the dish as a whole was a roaring success.
The grilled beef fillet was unavailable,
and so we went with an off-menu suggestion from the waiter; steak strips in
mushroom sauce with rice (65LE). The huge serving of meat was cooked more than
the requested medium, and it would have been forgiven on account of its
redeeming tenderness and flavour, but for the overly salty mushroom sauce.
Bert’s offers little imagination when it
comes to drinks. Freshly made juices (15LE) are available, and for some reason
the orange had the consistency of mango juice.
If you’re looking for a hot drink, you can grab yourself a coffee;
cappuccinos and espressos are available amongst other things (7LE to 16LE)
Again, several of the options from the
dessert menu were unavailable, and so we opted for a fresh fruit salad (15LE), expecting
a few pieces of apples, bananas and anything else that might be in season. Our low
expectations were crushed by a delicious cocktail of fruits that had thick
mango juice drizzled over it on one side, and sweet strawberry juice on the
other. The small bowl was lined with large slices of sweet plums, and the whole
dish was probably the highlight of the meal.
We ordered a watermelon-flavoured shisha
to wrap up the night with, and it was one of the strongest flavoured shishas that we’d had
in a while, although quite expensive for 25LE with lay.
Despite the array of
options on the menu, Bert’s still operates best as a café. Though the staff’s
politeness was impeccable, there was a very noticeable delay in getting orders
into the kitchen and food out of it. Several dishes were unavailable at the
time of our visit, and everything that we ordered was a second choice.