Gusto: Pasta in a Wheel of Parmesan? Yes Please
- 80 Road 9
- 09:00 - 00:00
Social media has undoubtedly become an integral part of our daily lives, even when it comes to dining – maybe even especially when it comes to dining as we found out with Gusto.
Located on Maadi’s Road 9, the little restaurant has become famous on social media for its signature Gusto Pasta – but more on that later. Gusto has a small outdoor area, where you can enjoy shisha, while the indoor area has a mostly industrial aesthetic, where wooden panels and exposed brick walls are used.
After taking our seats inside, we opted for one of the house specials; the Half Moons (66 LE), and the Nachos (66LE) as our appetisers. Coming ten minutes later on wooden trays, the nachos were tortilla chips topped with mashed beans and a mix of melted cheeses with a side of sour cream and pico de gallo. The nachos had a satisfying crunch to them while having a rich, cheesy taste accompanied by a light bean-aftertaste.
As for the half-moons, they were fried toast stuffed with a mixture of mushroom and melted cheese and came with a side of coleslaw and fries. They had a warm, crispy crust, but the stuffing was cold; we thought this was a mistake, before being told that, actually, this is how they served it. It actually worked well as a whole and gave a nice contrast of hot and cold. The fries had nice crunch to them and were topped with herbs and spices which gave them a little more flavour and kick.
Fifteen minutes later the first of our main dishes arrived. The Blueberry Fillet (148LE) came in a large black plate with a side of French fries and white rice as per our request.
The beef had a hearty, meaty taste to it but lacked the premium meat taste you’ll find at higher-end restaurants in the city. The blueberry sauce that accompanied it was not much better than ‘fine’; it provided a slight tanginess to the beef, but failed to bring the dish together as sauces should do.
Ten minutes later our second house special dish arrived: the Gusto Pasta (77 LE). This is no normal pasta dish, though; a chef arrived to the table with a cart and cooked in front us, mixed in white sauce and chicken, then poured into a large slab of parmesan cheese for further mixing.
The chef then scooped the mixture out of the bowl while making sure to scrape the edges of the cheese, before being topped with more cheese shavings, rosemary and a piece of toasted bread. Bursting with flavours, the pasta was nicely cooked with the smooth white sauce bursting with accents of rosemary and a parmesan aftertaste.
For dessert, we ordered the Chocolate Chip cookie (45LE), which had hot chocolate chip dough topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream drizzled with some caramel and chocolate chips. The dough had more of a cake taste to it than a cookie, but it still worked well with the ice-cream, which had a sweet and sugary taste with hints of chocolate.
In the end, it would be easy to chalk up Gusto’s seeming success to social media – we heard several customers ordering the Gusto Pasta at the time of our visit. But beyond the parmesan cheese wheel gimmick, what left us satisfied was the fact that the restaurant is able to back it up, while overall providing a good, if unspectacular or unique, account of itself in a city where international restaurants are a dime a dozen.