Before Cairo’s nightlife scene had this abundance of resto-bars, lounges, and upscale dining venues – there were only a handful of places where everyone went. One of those prominent places is Zamalek’s very own cosy restaurant and bar, L’Aubergine.
First things first, parking anywhere beside L’Aubergine is impossible; if you don’t like leaving your car keys with anyone, then you’re better off finding a secure parking spot and heading there on foot. We got there at lunchtime and decided to try a few of their appetisers and sangria. The dimly lit medieval ambience still resonates with nostalgic vibes. We sat downstairs as the upper floor is the bar and tapas area that only opens at night. We got the Potato Bravas (52 LE) from their mezze section and the Ginger, Mushroom, and Parmesan Salad (70 LE) as starters. The salad was fresh; the arugula meshed well with the mushrooms, and the parmesan was definitely high quality. Conversely, the potato bravas should be spicy, garlicky, and saucy; what we got was regular fried potato cubes. They tasted good but were not the famous Spanish tapas for sure.
As we were choosing our entrees, we were very much enjoying our cold and fruity sangria. The white wine sangria (470++ LE) had plenty of fresh fruit, while the juice and soda perfectly balanced the bitter undertones of the wine. We finished our pitcher and began digging into our main dishes. We settled on the Kashmiri Shrimp and Pineapple (210 LE) – served in coconut sauce with white rice, and one Beef Tagliatta with Rosemary (225 LE) – served with a side of mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. The perfectly cooked Kashmiri shrimp was exotically spiced and lightly creamy, making it the perfect combo with the white rice. But, the beef dish was less successful as the meat was a bit chewy. However, the mash was perfectly creamy and seasoned, while the vegetables were flavourful with a satisfying crunch.
Prepare to be awed with how we ended our meal. We got the Date Ravioli (55 LE) – date filled pasta dough in caramel sauce. This dessert is definitely out of the box in every way! The pasta was impeccably cooked, while the creamy date filling was rich and balanced. The caramel sauce brought the dish together, and it made the perfect end to our meal. This dish is better shared, and the four ravioli pieces are more than enough to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.
Our visit was enjoyable; the staff and food were great, and the prices are more or less the same as anywhere else. Upstairs is undoubtedly a whole other vibe, so if you’re looking to spend a cool night out with some incredible cocktails and tapas, head there at night on weekends, but make sure to reserve a spot first.