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

Mercato Italiano

Mercato Italiano: Disappointing Pizza And Pasta in Citystars

reviewed by
Basma Mostafa
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Mercato Italiano: Disappointing Pizza And Pasta in Citystars

Italian cuisine is
always associated with delicious food. Suffice it to say that Italians invented
pizza. Based on this belief, we were very encouraged to try out Mercato Italiano
in Heliopolis for its Italian cuisine.    

Italian for
Italian Market, Mercato Italiano is located on Citystars’ food court in Phase 1,
where it serves up typical Italian food – pizza, pasta and salads for very
reasonable prices.

The restaurant
doesn’t make good use of menus; it depends on the interaction between employees
and customers. The staff are very helpful, offering as much information about
the food as you might need. You get to select your meal through a glass display;
all the dishes are pre-made, which might make you question their freshness.

We ordered a chicken
Caesar salad (21.75LE): slices of grilled chicken mixed with shredded lettuce, cabbage
and roasted bread. Its special white dressing had rather vague ingredients, but
added a nice zest to the salad.

After we have made
our picks, we were accompanied by a young man that carried the tray of
food to our table. That earned points on our scale until he lingered
by our table, struck up a conversation with one of us, ranted on about his life
and ended up asking for the number of said one. We ended up speaking to the

The menu at
Mercato Italiano also features pizzas with typical toppings; prices range from
10LE to 100LE. For one person, you can order the super slice. If you feel like
a whole pizza, it comes in two sizes – medium and large.  

We ordered penne alla
mercato (29.75LE), a basic pasta dish with Alfredo sauce and a side of garlic
bread, which made us all the more enthusiastic. Unfortunately, the garlic bread
wasn’t freshly baked, and the taste of garlic itself was hardly discernible. The
pasta wasn’t much better: with sliced chicken, green pepper, mushroom and Alfredo
sauce; the pasta had undergone severe re-heating.

The only dessert
on Mercato Italiano’s menu was fruit salad. And having seen it in metal
containers through the display, we could only guess that it was pre-prepared.

If you are feeling
famished, Mercato Buffet is the answer. For 7.5LE per 100 grams, you can have
your choice of grilled chicken, cannelloni, meat balls, sautéed vegetables and

Mercato Italian is
the place to go when the craving for Italian food kicks in and the money is
tight; but don’t expect to be blown away by the cuisine.

360 Tip

If you are into spicy food, you can ask the waiter to chop up some chilli on top of your meal.

Best Bit

The prices are very reasonable.

Worst Bit

The food is below average.

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