Boulevard: Former Zamalek Restaurant & Cafe Moves on to Pastures New in Heliopolis
Omar Ebn Elkhatab Street, Heliopolis
After originally opening in Zamalek – and then shutting down pretty soon after – Boulevard has tried to wipe the sleight clean with its new a new branch in Heliopolis, a revised menu and a noticeable improvement in the general service and food quality. Hiding in the middle of Heliopolis' suburbs, Boulevard takes a cosy corner on one of the side streets of Tivoli, where it offers an outdoor area with some greenery and an indoor space where you're still connected to the garden and the quiet street through thanks to the all-glass shop front.
A late-night visit found us ordering a fiesta of fried food, opting for the Triple Platter (54.99LE) from the appetisers; a platter that includes fried mozzarella sticks, fried chicken strips and even fried fish with marinara, honey and mustard and ketchup, as well as mayonnaise-cocktail dressing. Everything on the platter was fried evenly and perfectly, with the mozzarella sticks arriving molten and crunchy. It took us a little time to differentiate between the fried fish and chicken strips, but once we identified the fish, we were pleasantly surprised; the seasoning was on-point, with the simple combination of salt, pepper and a little bit of chilli giving it a nice kick. There was little to complain about with the chicken, too; they had a perfectly fried, crispy exterior and a soft, well-cooked interior.
Moving on to the mains, we had to try the Chicken Milano (68.99LE); fried chicken coated with melted mozzarella and stuffed with a slice of smoked turkey. The mix of all the ingredients made for a flavourful bite, though of the turkey was overshadowed in flavour and the dish could have done with an extra slice or two.
Under the waiter’s recommendation, we tried the Chicken Taki & Tamarind Meat, which was one of the new items still to be featured on the menu. The dish is made up of a grilled chicken fillet and a medium-sized piece of beef sided with white sauced penne; the pasta, though cooked well, was lacking seasoning. As for the two centrepieces, the tamarind sauce certainly gave the meat a twist in flavour, but wasn’t as present as one would think and it was overcooked and slightly chewy. The chicken – which was tiny in comparison to the beef – was well-cooked, although the promised Taki sauce was either missing or completely lacking a discernible taste.
Even during its Zamalek period, Boulevard has always been very keen to talk about their cocktails and so, while waiting for our dessert Brownie, we tried the Pink Lemonade (24.99LE) and the Pineapple Cooler Lemonade (24.99LE). Arriving on our table were two appetising 1/2 litre jars, both were, unfortunately, rather unbalanced; the Pineapple Cooler had an excessive amount of blue Curacao added to it, while the Pink Lemonade was a little too sour.
Luckily, we ended proceedings on a good note, thanks to the Hot Chocolate Brownie (32.99LE); served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce, the brownie was the right amount of moist and was full of flavour without being overly-sweet.
With good portions, reasonable service time, a calm setting and friendly staff, Boulevard has certainly improved since it’s days in Zamalek – though it’s still lacking an x-factor.