Cocoon: New Mediterranean Cuisine in Maadi
Driving along the Maadi
Corniche, you’re likely to spot the Nile-side restaurants and clubs along the
road every 100 metres or so. Go one
street East of the Corniche behind the Sofitel; and you will find a mix of big
commercial complexes and half-completed construction projects. Right in the midst of this up-and-coming
commercial zone is where Cocoon has opened up.
When you enter Cocoon,
the first area that strikes an impression is the outdoor pavilion with its spread
of tables and modern beanbag chairs fit for late-night lounging. Beyond the pavilion, glass doors open into
the restaurant’s main dining area; a long, rectangular room that features at
least three distinctly designed parts.
Closest to the
entrance, rustic wooden tables capable of seating parties of ten or more sit
under chandeliers. Further inside,
leather booths face an ultra-modern entertainment area with two flat-screen
TVs, and in the back of the restaurant, patrons can sit in funky Kubrick-like furniture
while dining on Mediterranean cuisine.
One thing is for sure,
the menu at Cocoon is more diverse and extensive than most restaurants in Maadi,
and in this particular sense it lives up to its own billing as ‘contemporary
international cuisine.’ Cocoon’s prices
are moderately high; even the cheapest appetiser, the caprese salad will run you
27LE. Still, in a city where fresh
seafood can be hard to come by, the crispy butterfly shrimps (38LE) or fritto
misto (60LE) might be worth the investment.
The fried calamari (42LE) is especially good, and comes with a house
special sauce in addition to tartar dip.
Cocoon also serves an
assortment of the usual soups and salads, in addition to some harder-to-find
items like apple and lettuce salad (30LE) and a cocoon salad (54LE) that comes
with calamari, shrimp, peppers, crab sticks, and olives.
During our visit, the
restaurant was actually out of a couple of things that looked the most
appetizing, such as the veal cutlet (75LE).
Still, the veal piccata (69LE) offered a nice alternative. The piccata comes with your choice of gravy, Provencal,
scampi, lemon, or mushroom sauce, and the mashed potatoes can be substituted
for mixed vegetables.
The pizza also is
decent, although pretty similar to what you can get elsewhere at a lower
price. If you can’t decide on toppings,
try a Cocoon special pizza (45LE), which is divided into four quarters of seafood,
margherita, siciliana, and chicken barbeque. Without a doubt, the chicken and margherita slices are the best, and you may want to steer clear of the seafood pizza altogether.
To finish off your
meal, Cocoon provides a selection of desserts, such as waffle sticks (32LE) and
chocolate fondant (45LE) as well as ice cream (10LE) and cheese cake (32LE). The mango and blackberry ice cream come with
actual fruit inside and can be a nice balance to the hearty main courses.
For drinks, the restaurant
offers the familiar range of smoothies, sodas, non-alcoholic cocktails, and
caffeinated beverages. The coffee frappé
(24LE) and Oreo shake (22LE) would most likely appeal to kids and grown-ups
All in all, Cocoon
offers a pretty solid dining experience. For an appetiser, two main courses, and a couple of drinks, expect to
pay more than 100LE per person.