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


Grapes: New Downtown Mall Branch Disappoints

  • Downtown Mall, Road 90, Fifth Settlement
  • Coffee Places,International,Juice Shops,Shisha
  • 09:00 - 01:00
reviewed by
Omar Yousry
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Grapes: New Downtown Mall Branch Disappoints

Taking a large area in New Cairo’s Downtown Mall, Grapes finally opened its second branch last month, boasting with a decently sized indoor area and a large open area with a glass enclosure and a removable roof. We took our seats in the purple floral infused outside area and delved into the extensive menu which would best be labelled as international.   

Starting with some drinks, we opted for the Espresso (19LE) and the Golden Apple Signature (35LE). The espresso came in a small mug with a very small brownie. While it had a pleasingly sharp taste, the espresso was also smooth and rich, though the brownie piece was dry and didn’t offer much. As for the Golden Apple, it came in a glass jar and had a mix of apple juice, 7Up and a cinnamon stick. The drink had a refreshing fizziness to it, accompanied by a nice sweet apple taste with an underlining cinnamon aftertaste, making a great start to our meal.

Moving onto our appetiser, we opted for the American Roll (42LE), which came as four mini hotdogs wrapped with cheese, breaded and fried till golden and served with a side of sweet chilli sauce. Crumbling instantly as we sliced into them, the rolls barely kept their shape together. In addition, the cheese barely contributed to the overall flavour, leaving them tasting like breaded hotdogs. That would have been fine, but they needed a little more seasoning or something to give it an extra oomph.

Next came our mains; the restaurant’s signature dish, the Fillet Grapes (99LE), and the Chicken Bianco (71LE).

The Chicken Bianco came as two pieces of fried chicken topped with smoked turkey and cheese sauce, and served with a side of penne pasta with Alfredo sauce. Cooked till golden brown, the chicken was well-seasoned and the smokiness of the turkey and the cheese sauce made for a hearty flavour combination. Covered with even more sauce, and with some extra parmesan shavings, the penne pasta had a creamy and tender texture which made for a nice side dish.

The beef fillet of the Filet Grapes was topped with a mushroom sauce with grape slices and sides of sautéed vegetables and French fries. The fillet was undercooked and had a little rawness to it which was not enjoyable at all, while the grape-mushroom sauce didn’t was too sweet and a little overpowering at times. Similarly the vegetables were undercooked, as they still retained too much of a crunch to them, while the fries were basic.

Winding down the mixed evening with dessert, we opted for the Mini Cheesecakes (43LE) for our dessert and a Shisha (52 LE) for a smoky experience. The mini cheesecakes came as three small cheesecakes with individual sauces – raspberry, chocolate and caramel. The raspberry was nice, offering a slight sharp taste to contrast the smooth creamy cheesecake and the crunchy base, though the caramel and chocolate tasted more of a watered down. Our shisha experience didn’t go too smoothly either, with the water being hot, which ended up not cooling the smoke leading to a rough humid smoke.

The shisha typified the visit. Would we go back for a quick drink and hangout? Yes. Would we go back to eat? On the basis of our visit, there are plenty of neighbouring cafes and restaurants at Downtown Mall that do it better.

360 Tip

Grapes' pastas are fairly popular and worth trying out. As is its Maadi branch on Road 9.

Best Bit

Grapes looks the part and the outside area is cosy, airy and just nice to hang out in.

Worst Bit

Too many mistakes in the food.

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