Bocca: The ‘Eatery & Social House’ Mohandiseen Deserves
While Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo tend to get all the new, cool places, something unusual has happened. Believe it or not, but Mohandiseen has just got something that isn’t a fast food restaurant or cafe. Located on El Gomhoreya Square, Bocca is everything Mohandiseen residents deserve.
The restaurant and lounge is a spacious two-storey venue with an eye catching grey, glass-arched shop-front. With the wood and grey buttoned chairs, grey tables with marble surface, and yet more grey flooring, the top floor would be your choice if you want a cosy ambiance with a modern, classy touch. Full of shisha lovers, meanwhile, the high-ceilinged ground floor is more fun and casual, although we really didn’t like the crinoline-like chairs.
From Fried Mac & Cheese and Flat Breads, to Risottos and Salmon Teriyaki, the menu is big and full of variety and needed a Citrus Pina Colada (38LE) and Berry Berries Smoothie (37LE) while we fully checked it. The Citrus Pina Colada had a bold coconut flavour, which should be a given, but most places in Cairo just can’t get it right. The citrusy touch, meanwhile, cut though it perfectly. Meanwhile, the Berry Berries Smoothie was exactly what you’d expect was, nothing more nothing less, but was delicious nonetheless and had a spot-on consistency.
We kicked off our feast with the Loaded Potato & Cheese Balls (48LE) and Chicken Enchiladas Calzone (70LE). The potatoes were stuffed with perfectly melted and super-stretchy cheese that was infused with fresh herbs. But it was the diversity of textures that really impressed; the potato was cooked to a perfect smoothness, while what we believe to be a panko crust added a great crunch.
Our second appetiser, meanwhile, added an interesting twist to chicken enchiladas. We were expecting mini calzone bites, but it was actually two pieces of phyllo dough filled with a flavourful and fantastically-spiced chicken and then drizzled with chipotle sauce and a balsamic reduction.
Moving to the mains, we opted for Lamb Shank Bouillabaisse (120LE) – a twist on the classic French fish stew. Tender and light, the slow-cooked lamb shank is served on on a bed of very, very smooth and creamy mashed potato, sautéed vegetables bites and big pieces of caramelised onions that took this dish to a whole new level of deliciousness, all showered with a perfectly seasoned pan juice sauce. Now that’s a dish we’d order again.
Our second main was from the sandwiches section; the Grilled Gorgonzola & Shrimp Sandwich (80LE). The description on the menu read ‘Sautéed gorgonzola cheese & seasoned tiger shrimp, rocca leaves, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese & tomatoes on our homemade artisanal rye bread’; what we received was a shrimp sandwich with mayo and rocca leaves only. On the plus side, the shrimp was perfectly cooked, the bread had a great crust and soft interior, the amount of mayo was on point, and overall, it was a good and simple shrimp sandwich – but not 80LE good.
We finished our meal with a Warm Bread Pudding (65LE); a simple oven-baked dessert that had a great custardy texture with pleasant cinnamon flavour. However, the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top was very dense and too creamy for what was already a heavy dessert. Using soft ice cream would’ve made all the difference.
Overall, Bocca is a great place if you want to chill with friends over restaurant quality food without giving up your love for shisha. We were a little irked by the manager requesting that we not take photos of the food half-way through our meal – hence why we don’t have footage of the dessert. But all was forgiven for the very impressive food and fun ambiance. Its identity is clear and it fulfils both the promise of being both an ‘eatery’ and a ‘social house’.