Oya Lounge: Underrated Mohandiseen Restaurant Still Going Strong
21 El Koroum St.
With the never-ending expansion in Cairo’s dining scene, it would be fair to recognise a restaurant chain’s success by the number of branches it has. But quite often, the first of a string of branches, especially with local chains, falls by the wayside – not Oya Lounge, however.
Already highly underrated, Oya Lounge – located just off of Mohandiseen’s Mostafa Mahmoud Square – recently opened a new branch in Downtown Mall, New Cairo, but not at the expense of its original branch.
Entering what only can be described as a club-like entrance with crowd control red velvet ropes, Oya’s spacious outdoor area encourages a feeling of comfort with its big sofas and hanging swing chairs that enhanced the ambiance and provided visitors with a playful dining experience. On the contrary, the indoor area is relatively small but boasts the same perky ambiance with its coloured shutters decorating the walls.
Food-wise, Oya Lounge is an international cuisine restaurant with a menu that also includes an entire section for Oriental dishes, as well as desserts. Excited about some international dishes, though, we went for Chicken Tandoori (78LE) and Fillet Argentina (98LE) for our mains, each served with two sides of our choosing.
Within a couple of minutes of placing our order, we were served with what we thought was a complementary bread basket – only to find it was included on the bill for 8LE. Served with a spot-on basil ranch dipping sauce with diced olives, the bread came hot out of the oven, airy and light – the 8LE was worth it in the end.
Twenty minutes later, our mains arrived. Starting with the Chicken Tandoori, it was comprised of small chunks of moist and well-seasoned chicken breasts and smothered with a creamy, pinkish-coloured sauce with a spot-on consistency and garnished with coriander. With a toothsome mix of wilted zucchini, red beans, mushrooms, green beans, red beans and carrots lying next to super thin and crispy fries, just the way we like it, the Chicken Tandoori was remarkable.
Moving on to the Fillet Argentina, it was an equally impressive dish. Consisting of chunks of tender and juicy meat cooked well done, the meat was covered with well-seasoned and tasty sweet and sour sauce mixed with coloured peppers, mushrooms and sweet corn. Served with a side of al dente pasta smothered in the richest, silkiest white sauce and garnished with coriander, the entire ensemble was a masterpiece.
Hoping for an equally delicious dessert experience, the dessert section had some basic dishes from both East and West, including Nutella Crepe, Oreo magnet and Twix Tart as well as koskosy with nuts and Om Ali.
We opted for the Oreo Magnets (40LE) which was comprised of crushed Oreos topped with a large scoop of melting vanilla ice cream, covered with another layer of crushed Oreos and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce – a mouth watering dessert which we enjoyed to the last bite.
As our night came to an end, we decided to try out Oya’s Blueberry flavoured shsiha (36 L.E), which had a rich flavour and was promptly tended to.
We often talk about consistency being the key to a restaurant’s long-term success and though the brains behind Oya Lounge have been stretched a little thinner with their new branch, the original still offers well-executed dishes and quick service, providing an unexpectedly enjoyable dining experience.