Tamara Lebanese Bistro: New Menu Items, New Branch at Mall of Egypt
Last year, Mori Co. introduced Tamara Elna; a restaurant that provides a new, hipper, more modern take on Lebanese food. But that hasn’t meant that Tamara Lebanese Bistro has been left behind – in fact, it’s stepped up its game and introduced its own items quirky new dishes – and what better place to try them than at their newest branch in Mall of Egypt.
As a venue, it has an indoor similar to other branches, using a primarily white colour scheme with hints of colourful patterns on chairs; but the outdoor area is what makes this branch so special. As part of ‘The Valley’, which is an area that has a spacious and fun landscape design, Tamara is located right next to the mini-fountain – for a maximum relaxation.
While enjoying the beautiful weather, we opted for a Passion Fruit Mojito (35LE) and Energizer Smoothie (34LE) and the ambiance couldn’t get any cosier. The passion fruit tasted like their regular lemon mint drink but with an addition of passion fruit syrup, and the result was a very refreshing drink with exotic but familiar flavours. Meanwhile, the Energizer Smoothie consists of bananas, mixed berries, kiwi and almonds. Although the kiwi and almond were overpowered by the bold banana flavour which worked perfectly with the berries, the smoothie was great and had a beautifully thick consistency.
We kicked off our feast with Feteera Meshakela (60LE) and Safayeh Halloumi (48LE) as appetisers. The Feteera Meshakela came in form of a flatbread-like dough that had a very soft and light texture divided into three parts; minced beef, which had a fantastic tomato flavour and a light garlicky kick; thyme, which is simple classic that showed how beautifully made the dough was; and cheese with sausage which was our favourite because it had a pleasant spiciness that was toned down by the melted cheese.
The Same goes for the Safayeh Halloumi; the dough, which had a melt in your mouth texture, was wrapped around a large piece of halloumi, which made your way to its unique saltiness and squeaky texture. We could live on those safayeh for life.
Moving to the mains, we went with the Kofta Bel Zabadi (70LE) and the Shish Tawook Bel Jebneh (90LE). Served with perfectly cooked white rice, the kofta – which was bursting with spices and had a fantastic texture – was swimming in a slightly garlicky and very light yogurt sauce, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with pine nuts. Topping the rice with a small cut from the kofta with some pine nuts and yogurt sauce created the perfect bite and made this dish one of our favourites of the day.
As for the shish Tawook Bel Jebneh, the shish tawook on its own was very tender and had a flavourful marinade, but the addition of melted cheese just made this classic a much, much tastier and richer dish – because you can’t go wrong with extra cheese.
We finished our meal with Date Tart with Toffee (40LE) for dessert. Despite the fact that it doesn;t really look like a tart, the sweet, caramel-laden, sticky dates were laying on a piece of feteer-like dough which was a very interesting substitute and served with surprisingly delicious date ice cream that had mini bites of chewy dates and hint of cinnamon. All the flavours worked well, but the real star was the feteer crust.
Tamara now has five branches in Cairo, yet it’s conquered the biggest challenge of all for local brands expanding – it’s maintained its quality, great service and unique ambiance. We enjoyed every item we tried from their new menu and it’s great that they maintain Tamara’s simple approach to Lebanese food.