J’adore: New Outdoor Restaurant & Café in New Cairo
Having opened as a Ramadan tent, J’adore is
making the tricky transition into the saturated Cairo dining market. Located by the Meeting Point Mall in the
Fifth Settlement, J’adore’s huge sign is impossible to miss.
The space is dimly lit; so much so that we
didn’t realise that the floor is actually grass. The fact that it’s patchy and
bumpy makes the sight of the pristine white leather furniture that more
peculiar. At one end of the area is a small stage where a DJ (in the lightest
sense) stood with a laptop, reeling off a mix of new and old Egyptian songs.
Still living off of Ramadan vibes, a
platter of appetisers consisting of dolma, kobeba and meat and cheese sambousak
is available for 44.95LE. The dolma was pleasantly moist and soft, the kobeba
was heavy with meat, but the sambousak tasted like it was made from frozen; the
pastry had one too many layers, and was white in colour.
The seafood pasta (44.95LE) is offered in
either a white sauce or tomato sauce. It had gone a little cold on arrival, and
the sauce had started to harden and blanket over the spaghetti by the time we
tucked into it. Only shrimp and calamari were in the dish, but the pasta was
cooked perfectly, and it was seasoned well.
We also ordered a shish tawouk sandwich
(28.95LE), which was served with our choice of two out of three available side
dishes: rice, French fries and sautéed vegetables. The bread was noticeably far
from fresh, but the meat was tender and tasted great with the peppers and
onions thrown in. The French fries were decent; not overcooked or greasy. The
same applied to the vegetables, although we would have liked a little more of
A warm and moist chocolate cake made up for
the shortcomings of the mains, and it was worth every bit of its 19.95LE price.
To wash the mediocre meal down, we ordered
a temple de mint (14.95LE), a long rose cocktail (16.95LE) and a lemon-flavoured
shisha (24.95LE with lay). The temple de mint, according to the menu, is a
citrus blend of lemonade, orange juice and mint. There wasn’t a hint of orange
in there, but apart from being a little too sweet for our liking, it made for a
nice after-dinner beverage. The long rose
cocktail was a strange mix of lemonade, guava juice and grenadine. The lemonade
and warmish guava juice were like water and oil; they just didn’t mix. The
shisha was strong enough in taste to keep us quiet, but we’ve had better for
the same price.
At the time of our visit, the
problem was that the space is so large that the staff struggled to attend to us
effectively and other patrons too. Only two members of staff were on the floor,
and the service was far too slow. Granted; the venue is in that transitional
phase of turning from a Ramadan tent into a full-blown restaurant and café, but there was little about it that
encourages us to expect major improvements.