La Villa Fayrouz: Atmospheric Lebanese Restaurant at City Plaza, New Cairo
City Plaza Mall, Akhnaton st.,
With the fast expanding residency of New Cairo, we’ve seen a number of new restaurants opening up to accommodate the plethora of different tastes. Amongst these sits Lebanese eatery, La Villa Fayrouz. The entrance is fairly ambiguous, and relies solely on one small sign to lead customers down to its doorway at the end of a corridor.
The restaurant boasts a thorough Lebanese vibe, offering only outdoor seating, red and cream table cloths, Arabian wall lamps and a large portrait of the Lebanese icon herself, Fayrouz. We were quickly attended to and begun sifting through the menu; although we appreciated the original names of the Lebanese dishes, there were no explanations underneath which left us, and the waiter, a little confused.
Soon enough, we were served with our starters of cold and hot mezza; fattoush (15 LE), hummus (12 LE), chicken liver (26LE), hot potatoes (12LE) and quail (40LE). The portions were generous, but the presentation lacked creativity; the hummus was creamy but a little oily and while the fattoush was as tangy as expected, we were disappointed by the lack of mint. The chicken liver was well cooked, yet had too much oil and not enough pomegranate syrup, and the hot potatoes were well-cooked and moderately spicy. Unfortunately, the meat on the two small quails was very dry and hard to cut, spread over a bed of parsley with a very oily, lemon side sauce.
Our main dishes of Chicken Sagya Fattah (30 LE) and Fayrouz mixed grill (50 LE) came shortly after. Startling us with a floating pool of melted margarine on top, we sent the chicken Fattah back to have it removed. Even after being drained we found the dish extremely heavy; the small amount of rice meant that the excessive amount of yoghurt and tehina dominated the dish. On the other hand, our mixed grill was much lighter and more pleasant. The small pieces of shish tawook, kabab and kofta were all tender and moderately seasoned, which somewhat made up for the disappointing fattah.
When it was time for dessert, we were informed that no desserts were available that day. Instead, they sent to our table a dish of Spanish Harrisa as a compliment which was not as fresh as we would have liked, however its topping of coconut sprinkles eased our dissatisfaction.
Despite the promising Lebanese atmosphere, La Villa Fayrouz falls short, due to its unbalanced dishes and questionable service. However, once the menu has been decoded, we’d recommend the lighter, grilled dishes.