Sophia’s Garden: New Restaurant & Café Dazzles in Cairo Festival City Mall
When it comes to Cairo’s eateries, all the tricks and trends seem to have been tried and tested; so much so that it has become harder and harder for Cairene foodies to be truly impressed by any of the venues that keep popping up.
Sophia’s Garden, at first glance, struck us by its sheer simplicity. Looking quite limited in size and all sorts of cosy, the restaurant-café hybrid emits optimistically positive vibes due to its colour scheme comprising of shades of white. A waiter welcomed us in, offering us an outdoor table, as requested.
Our menus were placed on the immaculate table and that is the exact moment we knew we were in for an unexpectedly dazzling experience. The menu does not focus on a certain cuisine, but rather gourmet-fied dishes from all sorts of cuisines, including the French, Egyptian, and Italian to name a few.
Perhaps the dishes that struck as the most unique were the Camembert Salad (65LE) which involved so many toppings and protein variations that it seemed more like a full-on main course, the Foie-gras Burger (90LE), featuring mushrooms, foie-gras and truffle oil, the Seabass Casserole (118 LE) and finally Sophia’s Pigeons (195LE), which takes the signature Egyptian dish and adds some foie-gras stuffing to it.
Opting for the Chorizo sandwich (48LE), the Beef Burger (65LE) and the Chicken Papillote (65LE), we were informed that our order will take at least 30 minutes to arrive. Wanting a taste of the venue’s signature drink, we also opted for a round of Lavender Lemonades (25LE), which arrived within 5 minutes.
A purple concoction of sorts, featuring shredded coconut, sliced lemons and freshly picked lavender, the Lavender Lemonade struck us as perhaps the most delicious lemonade we’ve tasted in quite a while, with the coconut contrasting the sourness of the lemonade and the tinge of the lavender elevating its overall taste.
Our main dishes made their way to our table in thirty minutes as advertised. The Chicken Papillote, which came with our requested side of creamy mashed potatoes instead of rice, comprised of half a chicken roasted with mixed vegetables in papillote wrapping and tasted almost homemade, yet lacked seasoning.
The Chorizo sandwich, however, was equal parts messy and finger-licking delicious, consisting of a toasted loaf of parker bread filled with paprika-spiced veal sausages, beef bacon and mustard, whereas the Beef Burger featured a juicy, well-done beef patty topped with pecorino cheese, beef bacon, fried onions and roasted tomato sauce. Both of them came with a side of hand-cut fries, which were impressively non-oily.
The dessert menu, featuring items like the Caramel Burger (50LE) and the Hot Chocolate Peanut (50LE), made us curse at our stomachs for being too stuffed from the main courses.
All in all, Sophia’s Garden was quite the delight, with its intriguing menu, and gourmet dishes. The service, perhaps, wasn’t quite its strongest point due to the waiters appearing a tad lost when it came to explaining some of the more exotic dishes. You’ll definitely, however, catch us heading back there to try out some of the desserts.