Tapas: Tapas-Less Restaurant & Cafe in Sheikh Zayed
El Nozha St., (Opposite El Yasmeen Compound Entrance)
Angie El Batrawy
With areas of Cairo expanding further out of the busy centre, Sheikh Zayed is one of the newest areas ripe for exploration. With its popularity increasing by the day, the area offers customers a number of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Drawn in under false pretences by their brightly coloured couches, we perched on one of Tapas’ dusty, outdoor tables. Unfortunately, the music was turned up to an uncomfortably high volume. The interior of the restaurant itself is pleasant enough, decorated in neutral colours and stone-walling, with a dash of colour.
Their menu was both detailed and well-varied, offering up a range of salads, grills and meat dishes – but no tapas. The dessert menu was also diverse, promising unique sweets that we’d never seen in Cairo before. The chef himself took our order before handing over responsibility to one of the waiters. Despite being the only customers, all our food took an unjustifiable length of time to arrive, with the excuse that everything was cooked from scratch – as it should be.
We ordered one Tapas salad (24.99LE), a meat kebab (74.99LE) and vegetable stuffed chicken (57.99LE). Unfortunately, the mixed grill and steak were unavailable at the time of our visit. Service aside, the salad starter was fresh and crispy whilst the stuffed chicken was generously sized, complemented well by its topping of creamy white sauce. Sadly, the meat kebab was chewy and fatty, whilst the sides of vegetables and fries were decidedly average.
We diverted our attention to the dessert section, and ordered the exotic sounding ice cream boom (28.99LE); a ball of doughy pastry, stuffed with ice cream and topped with a sweet sauce. After waiting another half an hour for our order to materialise, the smiling owner finally approached us. He informed us that they were unable to provide our ice-cream boom as they didn’t actually have any servings pre-prepared.
Despite being situated in the reputable Arkan Mall, Tapas’ high prices were lost in a below-par dining experience and a very mediocre meal.