The little things are what make a great restaurant experience. Yes, food is crucial, but attention to detail –especially when it comes to the ambiance- is what makes the experience memorable. Gaby’s at Galleria 40 seems to have understood that concept quite well.
Situated on the second floor, Gaby’s offers a spacious outdoor area and a soothing, naturally-lit indoor area. As soon as we walked in, we noticed the red brick wall on one side with small replicas of French balconies, from which flowers are popping out –the design really gave the place a character.
With a couple of occupied couches here and there, we sat at a normal table and straight away ordered one cocktail to share, Exotic Colada (42LE), which is the classic piña colada, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Fresh, with the right amount of ice cream, the cocktail was a great start to our experience.
As we continued to enjoy the setting, we skimmed through the menu searching for an appetiser, until the Crusty Shrimps (90LE) caught our attention. Fried crusted shrimps with sweet chili sauce, our appetiser arrived shortly after we ordered it. Crunchier and thicker than tempura, yet equally delicious, the crust was unique. The shrimps were soft and perfectly cooked, while the sauce complemented the Asian flavour.
Because a classic dish truly speaks of the culinary skills of a restaurant, we opted for their Classic Burger (90LE) – beef burger with tomato, sautéed onion, and cheddar cheese, served with fries. At first glance, the homemade burger looked quite ordinary. However, the beef patty was melt-in-your-mouth smooth and had a great taste, even without the fluffy bun and garnishes. For us, the Smokey grill flavour stole the show.
Next stop, we chose the Valencia Paella (210LE) –spiced rice mixed with vegetables and seafood. The spiced yellow rice was extremely tasty, the veggies were well-cooked and the shrimps were properly grilled, however, the mussels and clams had that off-putting fishy taste.
Last but not least, the dessert round; we were quite indecisive because they had a massive Feteer selection and some international desserts, but then the helpful waiter came and told us about a new addition that hasn’t been on the menu yet. Having spoken about it as if it were the holy grail of all feteer, we were intrigued to try out the Banana Lotus Feteer (125LE), which is feteer, stuffed with banana and Lotus biscuit spread.
A picture-perfect roll of feteer came straight out of the oven: the bananas were impeccably baked, while the ratio between the Lotus spread and the dough was exactly as it should be. Suffice to say, it was a sensible finish to our yummy meal.
Gaby’s has a number of branches all over Cairo, and the one at Galleria 40 doesn’t disappoint. The staff was always smiling, giving off cheerful vibes, while the over-all atmosphere really made a difference. Aside from the seafood mishap, everything else seems to be in place.