The Cairo 360 Editors’ Choice Awards 2017: International Cuisine Award Winners
How does one define the commonly used tag of ‘international cuisine’? What it means in layman’s terms is, this is a restaurant that has a little bit of everything in both its explicit and more subtle influences. It sounds great on paper, but it’s a juggling act that not many have mastered.
As a category in the Cairo 360 Editors’ Choice Award, International Cuisine – which also includes the Premium Steakhouse Award – has plenty of nominees. The winners, however, are the ones that have not only found a balance to their menu, but have also managed to establish its own spins, signatures and trademark, while maintaining the highest quality.
Although a popular bar in its own right, Apertivo as a restaurant is one of a rare breed in Cairo. Carrying a charming, old-school atmosphere, its Aperitivo’s shake-up in the kitchen that has won it this award – a shake-up that saw the introduction of a fantastic new menu that is every bit as delicious as it is elegant and creative.
A long-time favourite for Cairenes looking for an easy, unfussy meal, you only need to look at how busy any given branch of Crave is on any given day of the week for proof. It’s become a go-to, but that hasn’t meant it’s stayed still – consistent new twists, additions and improvements in the menu ensue it’s a winner for yet another year.
One of this year’s most impressive newcomers is Crimson – a restaurant that was a long time in the making. That time has paid off, with Riverside delivering spectacularly on the rooftop restaurant and bar, which boasts a tremendously eclectic menu and an atmosphere that benefits from a stunning view of the Nile.
While it’s far from being the most flamboyant or celebrated restaurant at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Culina is very much a hidden gem. It looks like a run-of-the-mill hotel restaurant – the one guests would have breakfast in – but the kitchen produces all kinds of dishes to the highest of quality, as seen in the restaurant’s weekly brunch buffets.
Although Cairo’s restaurant scene is a much more sophisticated beast than it was, say, a decade ago, that beautiful thing called a steak is still heinously mistreated across Cairo kitchens. When in doubt, look no further than the Cairo Marriott’s signature JW’s Steakhouse – a restaurant that truly provides an experience and not just a meal.
While its menu provides few surprises on paper, there’s a reason that Kazlak has been a hit since it opened in Maadi – its excellence is in its execution. It’s also down to the fact that said menu offers almost everything and anything, but this is not a case of quantity over quality – what comes out of the kitchen is always satisfies.
Coming from the same mind that brought you the horribly underrated Café Mo and Express By Mo, the latest offspring in the Mo family has taken things a little more high-end. Combining the atmosphere of a chic, bright bar with a fantastic menu, Mo Bistro is one of the surprise hits of the last 12 months.
While one of its main attractions is its sushi, you’d do well (very well) to resist it and focus on ONE OAK’s other items. As a grill, ONE OAK knows how to treat a piece of meat, poultry or anything else with the respect it deserves and with the inviting, modern atmosphere, it’s stood as one of the most popular restaurants in the city.
Another newcomer, but one with a difference. There hasn’t been a concept restaurant in Cairo as spectacularly detailed and encompassing in offering the complete dining and nightlife experience. With a range of delicious cocktails, a creative menu and unique atmosphere and décor, the residents of Heliopolis are very luck boys and girls.
Still going strong at Citystars’ Mosaique Dining Zone when others have fallen beside it, Ted’s ‘talk, eat, drink’ concept promises everything and anything – be it breakfast, dinner, snack, coffee or any other eating-activities – and certainly delivers, while a new menu has kept things fresh at what is by far the best restaurant at Citystars.
While food is always the most important of a mixture of elements in creating a great restaurant, the story, the aesthetic and the atmosphere at The Edward’s plays a bigger part than most. Alongside its excellent food, you’re served up a slice of nostalgia through the unique surroundings and the story behind them.
Every smoked salmon lover’s haven – The Smokery is a unique restaurant, that has somehow found tens of ways to satisfy cravings for that delicious pink fish. With a setting like no other at Katameya Heights a newer branch in Heliopolis and a seasonal one on the North Coast pays testament to The Smokery’s success.
Expectations were always going to be high for U Bistro & Bar when it took over the space of Zamalek’s beloved La Bodega, but boy has it met them. Offering fantastic food in one of the most unique atmosphere’s in Cairo, if you squint, you might just think you’re in dining in Rome.
Check out all this year’s Cairo 360 Editor’s Choice Award Winners here and stay tuned for more on the best that Egypt’s capital has to offer!