The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Il Loft

IL LOFT: Italian Restaurant Gets International with New Dishes

reviewed by
Ramy Soliman
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IL LOFT: Italian Restaurant Gets International with New Dishes

Last time we went to IL LOFT, we had one of the best pizzas we’ve had in some time. But much has changed since then. While the menu leaned towards Italian cuisine, a major change has introduced new items that include Asian dishes and burgers – including a Japanese one.

Despite the changes on the menu, there was no change in the interior or the ambiance of the restaurant. While checking the menu, we opted for a Mushroom Soup (45LE) which, in being very rich, perfectly seasoned and carrying a strong mushroom flavour, is more just a cream soup with few pieces of mushrooms. This was one of the best soups we’ve had in a very long time and it’s definitely worth trying.

For our appetiser, we went with the Seafood Tempura Salad (89LE), from the new items, which consists of julienne cuts of tomatoes, onions, celery, and red chili for a great heat, mixed with coriander, cashew nuts, and a spot-on amount of sweet Thai sauce. It’s all topped with big pieces of shrimps and calamari tempura which were perfectly cooked with the flawless tempura crust being light and airy. The salad was surprisingly one of the best we’ve had in a while.

Moving to the mains, we ordered another Asian dishe, the Chicken Panang Curry Coconut (87LE). Thinly sliced sautéed chicken swim in a perfect amount of coconut curry sauce which had a flawless consistency, a bold coconut flavour and a pleasant spicy kick. Served with perfectly cooked ginger-infused basmati rice, this was another great dish that helped us process the changes.

One thing that hasn’t changed at IL LOFT, though, is their delicious pizzas, of which we tried the Gorgonzola Mela Pizza (75LE). The wonderfully puffy dough was topped with well-seasoned tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and gorgonzola which balanced its nutty, salty and sharp flavours to be the sweet tart flavour of the green apple slices that still had a bite to them.

We ordered the Bread Pudding (49LE) for dessert early, since that it needs 25 minutes to be prepared as mentioned in the menu. The waiter came with what looked like a huge muffin in a ramekin; it was then moved to the plate and divided into four wedge shaped pieces, before ice cream and caramel sauce were added. Besides the #FoodPorn, the brioche bread pudding had caramelised edges and rich custardy centre with a far from soggy or mushy texture, while the ice cream and the caramel sauce complimented the dessert without overshadowing the centre piece.

Overall, IL LOFT left us confused. We really enjoyed the flavours of the other cuisines and we’re happy that this didn’t effect the quality of their main specialty. On the other hand, the restaurant has lost some of its identity and the new items felt a forced and out of place.

360 Tip

There's a special breakfast menu and an outdoor area to enjoy it from.

Best Bit

Everything was well executed.

Worst Bit

The restaurant's strong Italian-inspired identity is no more.

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