The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Left Bank

Left Bank: Chic Nile-side Café and Restaurant in Zamalek

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Left Bank: Chic Nile-side Café and Restaurant in Zamalek

It seems
that most new venues in Cairo don’t understand that it takes more than a bunch
of tables, chairs and a menu to make a restaurant. Thankfully, the newly opened
Left Bank takes dining seriously. The concept of Left Bank has been carefully devised
and implemented; that’s exactly why we fell in love with it.

on the banks of the Nile inside the Sequoia complex, Left Bank has a
nice, calm view of the river and the house boats moored across. The interior is
bright with white, silver and grey elements. There is a small patisserie
display on the right side filled with delicacies such as macaroons, éclairs and
chocolate. The left side of the venue has seats with comfortable couches that you
won’t be able to leave for the rest of the day. In the centre of the space are
low tables with equally comfortable seats.

The best
part is probably the 18-metre-long community table. Here, you can chill while
browsing one of their many magazines and chatting with your neighbours. The
walls of Left Bank are lined with bookshelves filled with the latest releases
and classics. You can purchase them on the spot.

One of
Left Bank’s highlights is its flooring. The entire floor is a mosaic recreation
of the map of Downtown Cairo. It starts with Tahrir Square and from there on
all the streets in Downtown. You may notice that the bookshelves also represent
Cairo landmarks, especially the one representing Cairo Tower.

We opted
for the salt small verrine (90LE), the three-cheese pizza (50LE) and the hot beef
sandwich (35LE). The verrine was made up of five different dishes presented in
glasses. We were especially fond of the chicken curry and cheese, which was
mildly spicy. The tuna mayonnaise was delicious as well. Though we got very
excited about the foie gras mousse, we were a little bit disappointed; we found
it a bit too creamy and lacking that unmistakable foie gras flavour. The tomato
mozzarella with fresh basil and the tomato salsa fared much better.

To all
the pizza lovers out there, we may have finally found the best pizza in Cairo.
The three-cheese pizza was delicious; its base was thin and crispy and the
amount of cheese was perfectly balanced. The cheeses were compatible in
quantity and melted in together perfectly. A bit of Roquefort gave a nice sharp
taste but it wasn’t overdone as is
normally the case.

The hot
beef sandwich was presented in a toasted Panini. Now this might sound strange,
but the taste of it reminded us of nothing other than hawawshi. The beef filling was spicy and there was nicely melted cheese on top.

If you
really want to spoil yourself; then opt for nothing but desserts. The éclairs
(20LE) are delicious. The crème filling is creamy and full of flavour. Other available
flavours are vanilla, chocolate, pistachio or coffee. The dome dark chocolate (20LE)
not only looks beautiful; but tastes even better.

We could
natter on about how much we love Left Bank but you have to experience it for
yourself. The venue also offers free Wi-Fi, making this a perfect spot for working outdoors and enjoying a good coffee.

360 Tip

Left Bank doesn’t serve alcohol but offers a free bouchon if you want to bring along a bottle for your meal. The venue will also regularly host arts and culture events. Keep an eye on the Cairo 360 events page for details.

Best Bit

Fantastic design and good food.

Worst Bit

The staff still seem a little overwhelmed, in that has translated into shaky service.

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