Rosso: Late-Night Italian Restaurant in Heliopolis
Ahmed Ismail St.
Sun - Thurs:10AM-3AM Fri - Sat:9AM-3AM -
A warm and inviting presence on an otherwise dark
road near the Fairmont Nile Towers in Heliopolis, Rosso is an Italian dining
venue that does a good job of straddling the line between restaurant and café.
After making ourselves comfortable on a plush bench upstairs and
immediately opposite our own TV, we started off with some of Rosso’s delicious
juice creations. We were particularly excited about the lazy afternoon (20LE) –
a mixture of pineapple and lime juice with apple and coconut ice cubes – but
after getting our taste buds smacked around by the odd-tasting lime juice; we
favoured the deliciously odd strawberry basil lemonade (23LE).
The Rosso triple platter (35LE) is the
perfect sampler dish with chicken strips, mushroom croquettes and mozzarella
rolls. The chicken may consist mostly of deep-fried breading with a small
portion of chicken, but the crispy exterior was delicious. The croquettes
came with just the right amount of crunch, but the mushrooms were mostly lost
in the flavour of the mashed potatoes. The mozzarella rolls were the highlight of this appetiser: large triangles of garlic bread with mozzarella cheese both stuffed in
the middle and melted on top. If only the top layer of the bread hadn’t been
completely raw and gooey, these might have been the perfect creations.
entrées from the classic chicken Caesar salad (28LE) to a variety of sandwiches
ranging from 29LE to 36LE. Rosso also specialises in Napoli-style pizzas and
offers its own creation, the Rosso (39LE), which includes smoked salami, smoked
chicken breast and beef pepperoni.
Our main course order of beef fillet with mushroom ragout
on Italian bread (68LE) arrived with French fries and sautéed vegetables oddly
arranged in a circle around the tenderloin, which was covered in mushroom
ragout. The Italian bread promised in the description was nowhere in sight
though, and as the most expensive item on the menu, this was a very
disappointing dish. Though this reviewer was willing to overlook being forced
to cut the meat with a butter knife, its tough texture required generous
helpings of ragout and the vegetables were far too mushy. To top it all off, the
restaurant charged 70LE for the dish instead of the listed price.
We were disappointed to learn that Rosso no
longer offers lasagna, so we settled for the chicken mushroom pasta instead.
While the thick creamy sauce was incredibly appetising, the overcooked pasta
was a bit surprising for a restaurant that calls itself Italian.
We wrapped up the evening with the most unique
dessert on the menu: the funnel cake banana ice cream Sunday (28LE). This
reviewer would not have the slightest problem driving to Heliopolis weekly just
to re-order this heavenly creation. A beautiful crispy cake made from batter
poured into hot cooking oil in small circles, our particular funnel cake was topped
with a mound of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate. The taste of
banana was also clearly discernible, making it that much better.
Rosso might pride itself on its Italian
touch, with a sign out front that reads ‘Rosso Italian Food’, but when we
return it will be for the atmosphere, the chicken strips and the funnel cake;
not so much for the pasta or the Italian bread that we never got to try.