Ovio: Newest Branch at CFC Has Some Catching Up to Do
One of the downfalls of many a Cairo restaurant chain is the issue of consistency. So often we see a restaurant become popular and successful enough to branch out, only for the quality to be spread thin.
With a corner overlooking the main dancing fountain of the mall, Ovio provides both an indoor and outdoor area for either enjoying a breakfast in the sun while enjoying the view, or a lovely dinner in the evening, all while still retaining the special bakery they offer at all their branches.
After taking our seats inside, we decided to start of our lunch with a Cappuccino (24LE) topped with some Hazelnut sauce (5LE) for an extra kick. Arriving ten minutes later, it had a smooth, rich texture with a slight hazelnut aftertaste alongside a sweet biscuit perfect for dipping.
Coming a few moments later was Ovio’s varied Bread Basket along with its famous olive spread, which was rich with finely cut olive pieces, and full of flavour, making it a match made in bread heaven.
Twenty minutes later our fried Shrimps entrée (89LE) arrived topped with a pesto mayonnaise sauce. Boasing a delightful crunchy exterior and a perfectly cooked interior, the shrimp were bursting with flavour and worked wonderfully with the tangy pesto mayonnaise.
We also opted for a bowl of French Fries (22LE) and a Crema di fungi soup (32 LE) as our appetisers; the fries were cooked to perfection, though were almost completely unseasoned, contrary to the usual unique seasoned fries provided at other branches. On the other hand, the creamy mushroom soup was smooth, thick and full of mushroom slices which gave it an extra punch; however, overall it was a bit too salty drawing away from the experience.
Thirty minutes later, our first main dish arrived. Topped with demi-glace sauce, the Fillet Mignon (138LE) came alongside some sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes.
Cooked medium well, the beef had a lovely texture with a grilled exterior and a tender, juicy interior with a gamey aftertaste; the mashed potatoes were creamy, smooth and light, while the sautéed vegetables which a delightful crunch to them.
Our second main dish was the Fettuccini Alfredo (68 LE) – though only only penne pasta was available at the time of our visit. This sign of bad luck continued throughout the dish; mixed with some mushroom slices, roasted chicken pieces and topped with cream sauce, the pasta itself was undercooked, had a meagre amount of sauce and the mushroom-to-chicken ratio was out of balance.
As for our drinks we ordered the ABC detox juice (30LE) as well as the Red Berry Shake (38LE); the ABC was a mix between apples, beetroot and carrots, and had a refreshing effect, but it was overall a bit bland, considering the flavourful ingredients. As for the shake, it had a very sweet and sugary berry flavour that was smoothed-out by the milk and making for a delicious combination.
Finally to add a sweet end to our meal, we ordered the Pate a Choux (55 LE) which came as three profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice-cream and topped with warm melted chocolate and roasted almonds. Strangely, the profiteroles noticeably un-fresh and were hard to cut into; however, the rest of the elements great, with the smooth sweet chocolate complementing the rich creamy vanilla with an almond aftertaste.
Ovio has proven time and time again the quality and high standard of what it serves to its guests, however service issues – especially the long waiting times between plates – and some issues with the food suggest that this branch hasn’t quite caught up.