Palazzio: Urbane Café & Restaurant in Heliopolis
4 Ankara St., Shaeraton Bldgs
With so many brimming restaurants in Cairo, it is quite rare to find a hidden gem. Situated on Ankara Street in Heliopolis, Palazzio is fronted by a small garden and the outdoor seating is subtly shaded under a Parisienne-style sun shade.
On entering the restaurant, it seemed that half of the furniture had been updated to chic armchairs and button-tufted sofas, whilst the other half is left slightly shabby. The atmosphere is relaxed, helped by the jazzy chill out background music, while the whole restaurant is decorated using earthy, natural tones along with large mirrors and shrubbery.
The paper menus were falling apart and certainly weren’t the most impressive, but they show off a wide assortment of main meals; sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads, soups and meat grills. We picked a tomato soup to start (14LE), followed by one escalope panée (58LE) and, upon recommendation from the waiter, a chicken fajita (56LE).
The drinks menu is also packed with milkshakes, sodas, smoothies, juices, iced coffees and hot drinks; perfect to accompany one of their shishas (15LE). We ordered a delicious, thick and flavourful peach cocktail (21LE) and a cold can of Pepsi (10LE).
After a leisurely amount of time, our creamy, fresh, tasty soup arrived, alongside a handful of some lightly toasted croutons. Next our mains were delivered and the portions were incredibly generous. The chicken fajita was served on a sizzling skillet, with a large, separate plate of our choice of vegetables and aromatic rice. Although both were well-cooked and served al dente, unfortunately, the vegetables were slightly too salty. The fajita dish itself was rich, sweet and tasty, combining a liberal amount of olives, peppers and onions with strips of juicy chicken. The escalope panée transpired to be a huge mound of – only slightly – tough breaded veal fillets, served with two hearty piles of golden fries and white rice.
For dessert, we went on to order a Nutella crêpe (24LE) which was served in the shape of a bow with the golden, perfectly cooked pancakes not only filled with Nutella but also with lashings of both milk and white chocolate sauce, making for an incredibly more-ish sweet treat.
Palazzio offers diners the whole package in a tasteful setting; unobtrusive service, attractive prices as well as good food, drinks and dessert.