The Tap East: Set-Menu Fetar at New Cairo’s Most Popular New Venue
Ramadan often sees many nightlife spots to go on hiatus; but some venues offer their own rendition of the Ramadan spirit, one of which is the Tap East, which offers sohour on every night as well as fetar during the weekends.
Located in New Cairo's inside Stella di Mare Compound, the Tap East’s vibrant and casual atmosphere is intact, with only subtle touches of traditional Ramadan aesthetic, though outdoor area, with its wooden benches, dim lit red parasols and its own dedicated bar, is much more suited to ht Ramadan evenings.
For fetar, the Tap East offers a set menu (220LE per person) with a variety drinks, soups, salads to main dishes and desserts.
We started things off with tamr hendy and sobia which were sweet and immediately quenched our thirst as we broke our fast, before diving into the Creamy Chicken Mushroom soup and Moroccan Harira soups. The creamy chicken mushroom soup was much thicker than one would expect, but was equally as smooth and well-seasoned and made all the better thanks to generous small cubes of chicken.
Essentially a stew, comprised of meat, lentils, chickpeas, carrot cubes and noodles, the Harira had an over powering acidic taste, which overshadowed everything else, while the pieces of meat were overcooked and uncomfortably chewy.
There were no such problems with the fattoush and taboula, though. Topped with pineapple pieces and pomegranate, the taboula boasted a well-rounded, taste with the pineapple giving a sweet kick to the slight sourness of the pomegranate, while the fattoush was fresh, with a pomegranate dip also giving it a kick. All in all, we loved how everything was fresh and colourful.
Moving onto the hot appetisers, the mozzarella-stuffed kobeibah was delicious; with a crunchy outer shell, a soft tender meat inside and a gooey cheese core, it was the highlight of the whole meal. The cheese sambousak was just as satisfying, it too boasting a pleasing crunch and a great balance of flavours with the perfect mix between cheese and pastrami inside which we couldn’t get enough of.
Coming in large white plates, the Almond Chicken main came as two pieces of grilled chicken breasts alongside basmati rice and servings of mushroom sauce and sundried tomatoes mixed with cream sauce.
Unfortunately, the chicken was a little bland in flavour and was a little undercooked – it had pinkish hue inside. In addition, there were no almonds or almond-infused elements to speak of, not even in the generic sauce.
Our second main fared better, meanwhile. Coming as three beef cutlets served with basmati rice, the Fillet Trio came with two sauces; mushroom sauce and a mustard and brown sauce mix. Cooked medium well, the three cutlets had a great aroma and were quite tender and juicy.
After finishing our meal, we were ready for our desserts which came in the form of Mango Mehalabeya and Om Ali with dried berries.
Topped with mangos, the mehalabeya was absolutely delicious with a smooth and sweet texture which worked really well with the mangos. With a great baked top and a smooth texture, meanwhile, the Om Ali had a sweet taste only we felt it could’ve used a little more milk.
On its opening, it was said that the Tap East was putting more of a focus on the dining aspect than its sister venue in Maadi – and it’s proved to be true. Unfortunately, with the restaurant-come-bar’s fetar foods, it was all a bit hit-and-miss. The appetisers and salads were outstanding, but the main dishes didn’t quite satisfy as much, suggesting that, with live entertainment thrown in the mix, sohour is a better option.