A Multi-Leveled Venue to Eat, Hang-out, and come back to!
By Hilary Diack
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper”. Words that rang particularly true that day for this writer who had risen at the crack of dawn, hit the ground running, to be absolutely famished as 9 am rolled around. All the better reason to pop into Ney Lounge in Zamalek for one of their spectacular breakfasts.
I didn’t expect to find many other early risers in this spacious multileveled building at such an hour, but the pleasantly shady courtyard already had quite a few small groups scattered around on comfortable seating. Although Ney Lounge is still in its soft-opening phase, it has become a poorly-kept secret, judging by its popularity. Part of its charm lies in the fact that being an entire building, it has the space to offer various spots and nooks and crannies over several levels. Upon entering you find yourself in a main restaurant and lounge, with a quirky library slightly off to the side. Just had to love the hanging lamps with well-worn books suspended from them, adding to the ambience. There is a special touch added to the ladies’ bathroom, but that you need to discover for yourselves. Further inside there is an elegant secluded executive lounge, offering facilities for business and social meetings needing a level of privacy.
After strolling through to the terrace overlooking the spacious courtyard garden I ordered scrambled eggs on a lightly toasted round of home-baked bread, garnished with a small grilled tomato. The additional garnish of miniscule cornichons and pickled onions left me somewhat bemused, but I suppose breakfast is a highly personal thing. The eggs were cooked to perfection, and where washed down with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, which is all that was needed, but I just couldn’t pass up those freshly baked croissants, large, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth and generously proportioned. That called for a cappuccino, and it was just the right size. Bottomless!
You can hardly go rushing off after such a great breakfast, so I took time to wander around and explore. ‘Lounge’ is actually a bit of a misnomer, when it has so much more. The kids’ area is at the rear of the courtyard, close enough to for parents to know what mischief they are getting up to, but far enough not to disturb anyone lounging around catching the programs showing on the many flat-screen TV’s discreetly positioned throughout. The upper level may soon house a fine dining venue, the terrace positioned at the entrance of the building, Little Ney, caters to anyone wanting a quick snack. Also planned is a lower ground level snack-style food outlet for quick take-aways and pizza. The menu items normally offered for lunch and dinner are mainly European, with plenty of options, so there is enough choice to please all palates. Their in-house bakery not only supplies their own bread and pastry selection, but has a handy patisserie as well with some rather yummy looking items.
I have already put Ney Lounge on my hot list for summer. It would lend itself wonderfully to lazy summer evenings, and during Ramadan it will serve both iftar and sohour. And with so many TV’s I can see it being a great venue for watching the World Cup 2014 in the best of style.