The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

reviewed by
Akram Lotfy
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CaiRoma: Unique Italian Experience in the Heart of Downtown Cairo

Cairo’s food scene brims with cuisines that cater to all tastes and gastronomic whims; one of the city’s latest additions to the list of Italian restaurants happens to be CaiRoma in Downtown Cairo, which we decided to pay a visit to see what it’s all about.

Don’t let the heavy traffic, or the loud, crowded streets of the centre of the city discourage you; once you walk in CaiRoma, you’ll be teleported to one of Rome’s alleyways. Situated between two buildings, the outdoor area boasts a setting that resembles that of a classic Italian street restaurant. The quiet, cosy indoor area also has a distinctive Italian vibe to it, yet we couldn’t resist enjoying the outdoor ambience.

The menu features 15 different pizzas, a handful of pastas, and some main dishes. CaiRoma offers various vegetarian options, in addition to a diversity of bruschettas, from which we opted for the Minced Meat Bruschetta (56 LE) as a starter.

Well presented, the minced beef bruschetta came in the form of garlic toast, layered with beef, diced tomatoes, shredded arugula, and finished off with Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Although the bread was a little hard to cut into, the combination, as a whole, was tasty; the meat boasted a balanced flavour, the veggies were fresh, and the cheese was smoky.

For the mains, we opted for Pasta Pollo (92LE), as well as a Quattro Formaggi pizza (148 LE) –without the blue cheese. An aromatic dish that is formed of penne pasta, white sauce, and chicken; the on-point white sauce with perfect consistency boosted the acidic flavour of the garlic, without overpowering the dish’s overall herby flavours. It was drizzled with fresh olive oil, which gave the pasta an extra flavour and a richer texture.

The Quattro Formaggi -or Trio Formaggi, after we eliminated the blue cheese- was a little bit over baked. Nonetheless, the thin, tasty dough was made tender by the cheese blend of mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, and Parmesan, which was extremely balanced; the mozarella gave the pizza a stretch, while the Parmesan added the savoury essence to the mix.

Finally, we opted for ‘Sorbetto’ (45 LE) as a dessert, which, recommended by the waiter, was not listed on the menu. Lime sorbet served in a cocktail glass; the Sorbetto was sweet and tangy, serving as a nice light, refreshing dessert that perfectly complements a wholesome meal.

On the whole, not only was this a good authentic meal, it was also a unique experience, thanks to the well-thought setting and to the old buildings of downtown Cairo that added its very own special touch to the ambience.

360 Tip

Make sure to stop at a cash point because CaiRoma doesn't accept cards.

Best Bit

The Italian vibes.

Worst Bit

You may get an occasional visit from a street beggar.

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