Favorito: Gourmet Dining & Shopping in New Cairo
Situated in the fashionable suburb of New Cairo, gourmet restaurant and shop, Favorito, has been surrounded by much excitement and intrigue. Hidden away in the half-finished Downtown Katameya Mall, the shop is located on the ground floor whilst the dining areas are both upstairs and extended through the front garden, lined with a picket fence and perfect faux lawn.
On the evening of our visit, a live singer was serenading the outdoor crowd with classic English hits. The white wicker furniture creates a clean-cut modern feel, but was a little more casual than the formal dining area on the first floor. With the staircase discreetly positioned at the back of the shop, customers are invited to wander through an immaculately arranged array of both local and imported goods.
Overhead blackboards clearly indicate the separate sections of condiments, cold cuts, dried fruits, condiments, red and white meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, and more. As well as these sections, there’s also a sandwich and salad counter (24LE-40LE) and an on-site bakery boasting cupcakes (15LE), cakes, bread loaves and pastries for eating in or taking away. The dried fruit (100LE-240LE/kg) and nut (150LE-350LE/kg) counters are particularly impressive, with both usual and more unique items; the chilli nuts, dried bananas, pineapple rings and mango slices were all incredibly tempting. Generous pre-packaged portions are also available to buy. We also spotted items from a variety of international brands, from Colman’s condiments to authentic, Chinese cooking ingredients. Impressively, the shop also carries a range of gluten free foodstuffs including oats, flour, protein powder, and soya or rice milk. Unfortunately, prices are not clearly displayed on the majority of products however the shop assistants are both friendly and helpful.
Continuing to the first floor, we were immediately enveloped in the restaurant’s sleek, contemporary-classic interior. A chic pallet of white and grey contrasts against deep purple chairs and the black velvet wall art whilst an etched, frosted glass window allows a partial view into the kitchen.
Despite not serving alcohol, skilfully mixed, fresh fruit cocktails (16LE-28LE) and soft drinks (10LE-26LE) are available. The mojito (18LE) was overloaded with crushed ice, and had a strong lemon taste but was refreshing nonetheless. On the other hand, our tropical green (24LE) cocktail was a deliciously sweet, exotic blend of avocado, melon and flavourful kiwi, served with perfectly ripe kiwi slices.
The food menu is large but refrains from being overwhelming, with a selection of starters (36LE-38LE), salads (38LE-54LE), antipastis (48LE-68LE), pastas (48LE-72LE) and main meat, chicken and fish dishes (62LE-350LE). To start, we ordered one tomato and mozzarella salad (46LE) which was well portioned to be shared between two. Although there was a disappointingly small amount of balsamic syrup, the crisp tomato slices and creamy buffalo mozzarella pieces were covered in a fresh, homemade basil pesto.
For the main course, as an alternative to the al a carte dishes, the customer is given the option of hand-picking a cut of meat from the selection in the shop. The accompanying waiter readily offered suggestions, and although better thinly sliced, we opted for two beef topside steaks (36.04LE) with two sides of vegetables and fries (30LE). As expected the beef was both flavourful and slightly chewy, but great value for money and excellently complimented by the rich gravy. The vegetables were lightly cooked and crunchy, whilst the scrumptious golden fries were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. We also ordered the salmon fillet (120LE) which was undoubtedly the better of the two; the salmon meat was brilliantly marinated to give a very subtle taste of lemon chilli oil and the meat fell apart perfectly. The finely chopped garnish was a flavourful selection of avocado and sweet cherry tomatoes whilst the buttery, smooth mashed potato was topped with a bed of palatable cooked spinach.
Unfortunately, between the end of our mains and ordering dessert, the staff seemed to disappear from sight; eventually, we ordered one crème brûlée (26.50LE), which was delivered in next to no time. The deep dish was filled with the velvety dessert, likened to unremarkable but pleasant vanilla yoghurt, which was only warm on top from the singeing of the thin, bitter, caramelised top.
Favorito offers a convenient, classy and unique dining-come-shopping experience with delicious meals perfected by talented chefs. With a range of options and prices, there’s likely to be something for everyone, albeit for smart dinner occasions, a light lunch or quick takeaway pastries.