Il Mulino: Simple, Hearty Italian Cuisine in Maadi
Sitting in such close proximity to our Mediterranean neighbours, the large number of Italian restaurants in Cairo should come as no surprise. However, with Egyptian chefs putting their own twists on recipes, authentic versions of the cuisine are hard to come by. Il Mulino, however, aims to provide customers with genuine Italian cooking.
The cosy outdoor seating area is furnished with sturdy wooden furniture and a clear view of the pizza chef who beats his dough before your eyes before throwing it into the raging oven. The menu boasts a large roster of dishes including pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads, burgers and entrees, as well as a pastries and breakfast menu.
We ordered soups – one chicken mushroom (29LE) and a mushroom cream soup (23LE,) – along with a caprese salad (39LE) and a smoked chicken fillet platter (64LE). To drink we enjoyed an oddly foamy, orange hibiscus cocktail (21LE) which was somewhat dominated by the orange.
Before long, a bread basket of white and brown toast was delivered, along with a bowl of pesto butter, which was extremely herby and tangy, thanks to the added dash of balsamic vinegar.
A while later, our warm soups and salad arrived. Both soups were moderately creamy and well seasoned, with the mushroom cream soup sporting a generous amount of soft mushroom pieces. The caprese salad was a light and refreshing combination of sliced tomatoes and thick cuts of mozzarella cheese, complimented with olives and parsley that we particularly enjoyed adding olive oil and vinegar to for extra flavour.
The smoked chicken fillet main included marinated, smoky chicken breasts with a balsamic almond sauce, accompanied by baked potato slices and the most delectable sautéed vegetables we’ve come across. The highlight of the dish was by far the almond sauce; subtly sweet and sour, it retained a strong almond flavour, while almond gratings gave a crunchy texture which contrasted well with the chicken.
Il Mulino’s desserts cover a wide base of tastes and features everything from apple pie (17LE), brownies (17LE) and carrot cake (17LE), to more European opetions such as tiramisu (21LE) and moelleux au chocolat fondant (26LE). We ordered a strawberry tart (17LE), and although its custard stuffing tasted fabulous, the crust was slightly hard.
Despite fairly slow service, Il Mulino offers ambitious Italian cuisine at moderate prices in a cosy, outdoor setting.