Melodies: New Italian Restaurant Chain in New Cairo
Downtown Mall, Road 90
Anne de Groot
In the summer,
the restaurant boulevard of Downtown Mall in Fifth Settlement is
pretty cosy. All consecutive restaurants are closely knit and the terraces are
filled. In wintertime, though, it is often just as deserted as the rest of the
mall. Melodies is located next to Lebanese restaurant Olives.
the first branch of Melodies in Cairo; they have other branches in Ismailia and
Sharm El Sheikh. This restaurant takes pride in its allegedly authentic Italian
cuisine. Of course, we’ve heard this claim before, but we were nonetheless eager
to find out if Melodies would live up to our expectations.
interior of Melodies is funky and modern but it is relatively small. The
biggest problem at the time of our visit was the temperature; it was so cold inside
the restaurant that we didn’t bother taking our coats off. The cool temperature
was probably due to the mall entrance being open the entire time and the street
door opening frequently. Apart from the temperature, there were some issues
with the lighting. For some reason, the lights above us switched on and off
randomly, which was a little distracting.
the New Year’s resolutions still fresh in our minds, we decided to kick off with
a healthy Caprese salad (31LE). In the meantime, we nibbled on delicious tomato
and rosemary bread and various dips. The caprese was a bit disappointing,
mainly because of the mozzarella. To be honest, we seriously doubt it was
mozzarella. Actually, we seriously doubt it was even cheese; all we could
discern was a mysterious white substance on top of our tomatothat tasted
nothing like cheese.
continued our meal with the ravioli (35LE), the penne chicken mushroom (39LE)
and the Melodies grill (95LE). The spinach ravioli was pretty bad; the filling
was dry and tasteless and had a dough-like texture. Combined with the pasta
dough, this was all too much. The tomato sauce served on top of the ravioli was
too spicy for such a dish, and the spices killed all the other flavours.
On the other hand, the penne with mushroom and chicken was tasty. The creamy
sauce was well-flavoured and the penne was cooked al dente. However, the mushrooms
weren’t fresh; they tasted canned, which was a shame because fresh mushrooms
would have added more flavour to this dish. The Melodies grill consisted of
chicken, beef and shrimp. The accompanying mashed potato was delicious and we
couldn’t help digging into it. The shrimp were a bit spicy and tasty but
because of the sauce they were slippery and difficult to peel. The beef came
medium as we requested and was tender, but it needed seasoning. We also enjoyed the chicken, which was succulent and well-seasoned.
dessert, we couldn’t help but try the tiramisu (22LE). Unfortunately, the
tiramisu wasn’t as delightful as we had hoped. The cake was soggy and didn’t
taste like coffee at all, and a layer of chocolate was served on top, even
though it’s not supposed to accompany tiramisu. The mascarpone could have been
it is better to try out Melodies in the summer when you can sit out on the
terrace. At the time of our visit, it was far from cosy and the atmosphere felt
more like that of a food court.