Crimson Bar and Grill
Cosmopolitan Chic in Zamalek
Type of cuisine: International Char-Grill
Argentinean Churrasco, a mix of Greek-style marinated meats , including chicken legs, lamb chops, veal chops and strip loin.
Pineapple crème brulee
As the meal began, we were served a basket of warm bread and toasted crackers that came along with the tastiest olive paste and dips. It was a perfect start to a wonderful hearty meal. This was followed by a beautifully colorful goat cheese salad filled with an explosion of flavors, from the roasted pine nuts, to the sweet raisins, and the toasted goat cheese, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, all topped off with a rich glazed balsamic vinaigrette. The Sweet Shrimp Avocado that came afterwards was the perfect combination of sweet and savory, the textures of the crispy tempura shrimp and the creamy avocados were an outstanding marriage.
As the main courses were approaching, our taste buds had already woken up, and were ready for all the bold flavors coming ahead. The succulent and vibrant flavors of the char-grilled meats, potatoes and pineapple on skewers were as tasty as it gets. They just melted in your mouth. The dishes were all well thought out and to the point. The idea of getting your meat and vegetables served on skewers made the meal exciting as well as appealing to the eye.
The meal came to an end with the most mouth-watering and eye-catchy dessert, the Pineapple Crème Brulée was not just delicious, but it was gorgeous to look at. Served in half a pineapple, the flavors were to die for; every bite delicately melting in your mouth. By far the yummiest dessert I’ve eaten in a while.
Other menu options that appealed: Quinoa Salad, Crispy Lasagna Rolls, Fillet Mignon, Chicken Legs, Chocolate Fudge.
Located on a rooftop with a panoramic view of the Nile, mixing the elements of nature with elegance, Crimson creates an exotic yet relaxing vibe. The feeling of being outdoors while sitting inside and surrounded by open-air wooden ceilings and spacious glass windows sets the tone from the second you walk in. Bring your appetite and some friends, because this outstanding view will make you want to eat and drink all night.
Elegant, yet casual. Cozy, relaxed and sophisticated.
From the warmth of the wooden chairs and tables to the vibrant turquoise plates and accessories, the cooling colors of the stylish interior enhance your mood, putting you in a state of mind to enjoy a night of indulgence.
A variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages ranging from a great selection of both local and imported wines, beer, cocktails, aperitifs and spirits, liqueurs and shots.
A perfect place to have a few drinks with a group of friends. Trendy, urbane couples or groups can go enjoy a wonderful meal with great cocktails and some chilled out background music. After 6 pm if you’re not 25 or above you most likely won’t get in.
Quite pricey but definitely worth it.
16 El Moseqar Kamal El Tawil St. (Former Montazah St.) Zamalek
12pm – 2am
Tel: 0127 505 5555
Facebook page: Crimson Bar & Grill
Roasted Pigeon, Leg Karaage, Caramel Soya and Violette Potatoes
40 g soya sauce
1 violette potato (purple-colored potato)
40 g corn flour
150 g finely diced violette potatoes
8 spring onions
400 g violette potatoes
300 ml milk
80 g butter
80 g balsamic vinegar
120 g soya sauce
200 g sugar
Clean and open the pigeon, remove the breast, sauté in a pan for two minutes.
Remove the legs and marinate in soya sauce for 30 minutes. Just before serving, dry off and coat in corn flour and cook in deep-fryer. Roast the finely diced violette potatoes in olive oil in the oven Lightly boil the spring onions. Peel the potatoes and cook in milk. Mix with the butter and adjust the seasoning. Slice some potatoes finely into matchstick size, blanche for 20 seconds in salted water, dry on a napkin and deep fry.
Prepare the caramel soya by reducing the ingredients together to get a syrup consistency.
Arrange on a plate as shown in picture.
Le Pacha’s Latest Culinary Venture
Le JZ Brings Sophistication to Zamalek
Type of cuisine: International gourmet dining
Signature dishes: Wang Spring Rolls, Mykonos Tarama, Cheesophrenia, Chateau Brillant Deux Sauces, Lambrozo.
Dishes sampled: We began our evening of fine dining with a Cream of Pumpkin Soup served up in a carved out small pumpkin, packed with fresh pumpkin flavor and quite hearty and filling. Next came the starters to share. First were the Wang Spring Rolls – duck meat and vegetables in a spring roll accompanied by a strong clove dipping sauce, then the Avocado Deux Crevettes – oven baked avocado halves topped with shrimp and a sweet sauce. We also shared the Capri Octopus – thinly sliced octopus drenched in a citrus jus, and the Mykonos Tarama – a traditional tarama made by beating together caviar and mashed potato (sometimes potato is substituted with cream cheese, but not in this case). The hero of the starters was by far the octopus, which was perfectly al dente with a sauce reminiscent of a seaside summer.
For our mains, The Yumi Yumi Fillet was beckoning – a fillet topped with paté de fôie gras (duck liver), accompanied by two sides. We opted for the creamed spinach and the mashed potato. The combination of the well-seasoned fillet and the duck liver in one bite was a new experience definitely worth trying! The other main dish sampled was the Pata Thai – a grilled salted salmon steak also accompanied by two sides.
While all the desserts seemed appealing, we were just too stuffed for even one more bite, and so promised ourselves an evening of just desserts in the near future.
Other menu items that appealed: Salade De Chevre Chaud – a goat cheese greens salad with walnuts and a honey mustard sauce, the Risotto Fungi & Beef – a wild mushroom risotto with beef Ragu sauce, the Saumagra – salmon tartar with truffle oil and caviar on toasted bread. As for the dessert items that appealed, the Mont Blanc – meringue with chestnut sauce, has a reputation that precedes it at Le Pacha, so that is definitely on our list, as well as the Crème Catalan – a Sapnish specialty made with cream and caramel.
Décor & ambience: A sophisticated color palette of teal, deep auburn, gray and brown give Le JZ a luxuriant feel and a dramatic, sexy appeal. The overwhelming wall of bottles behind the bar very subtly changes color as the lighting changes. Aiming to grab the well-travelled cosmopolitan crowd in search of pampered fine-dining, Le JZ provides a space where dining transitions into social mingling to the background tunes of chill-out and funky jazz that slowly progress into up-tempo beats.
Clientele mix: From the young and savvy entrepreneurs, to the socialite-masters, as well as the well-cultured older crowd and businessmen making very important deals. We also spotted some girls-night tables as well as a few dates here and there.
Price range: Not for the faint-of-heart, you pay good money for the “gourmet” experience of Le JZ, but no different from other fine-dining venues around town.
Opening hours: 2pm to 2am, (3am Thursday and Friday).
Top tip: You must book in advance. However, if you’re a walk-in your chances of finding a table when you show up are just as high as “the door” is quite selective prefers to see their clientele rather than speak on the phone. So look presentable and you might just be able to get a table as a walk-in.
Asian Infusion On Zamalek’s Riverbank
Location: Zamalek is becoming more and more appealing than it already is. Recently added to its impressive roster of riverside eateries is chic and sophisticated Mirai.
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi bar and Thai
Being there midday on a Saturday gave us the opportunity to choose what we wanted from the open buffet, which involved most of the menu, we had some appetizers and sushi. We then asked chef Taher Adel to select for us one of Mirai’s signature dishes. Chef Taher is very passionate about his highly creative recipes, mixing flavors and ingredients to create artful cuisine.
We had Otsu Yama Maki, and for those of you who love sushi this is definitely one of the best you will ever try! A fresh salmon, tuna, avocado, crabstick, and cucumber roll covered with spicy salmon, oats and honey mustard sauce! Superb! That was quickly followed by the extraordinary Mirai Grilled Salmon: fresh, generous, and prepared to perfection, served sizzling in a basil teriyaki sauce for a rich sweet flavor, with a side of lemongrass potato. A good deal of desserts is available. Overall, Mirai has nailed it, a true taste of Asian food at its finest.
Decor: The décor is trendy and chic with an all-glass facade to provide you with a full view of the Nile, wood accents and Buddha statues complete the pleasant yet classy mood. Three different kinds of seating are available, high tables in front of the Teppanyaki chefs watching them prepare your dinner seared over an open flame, square dining tables scattered around the place, and cozy booths with beautiful accents.
Ambience: Being located on the Nile between Sequoia and Left Bank, Mirai’s atmosphere sets the stage for the unique experience you’re about to have, whether you go for their open buffet brunch on Saturday morning or for a more refined date at night, the lighting and the setting will surely enchant you.
Beverages available: Mirai’s drinks menu includes hot drinks, cold drinks, signature cocktails, different types of teas and herbal infusions, beers, wines – both local and imported, imported spirits and alcoholic cocktails.
Clientele Mix: Couples, families and groups of friends.
Price range: Value for money.
Brunch on Saturdays open buffet from 12 pm to 5 pm
All week from 1 pm to 1 am
Abo El Feda Street, Zamalek
Tel: 02 27350014
Olivo – Neapolitan Pizza
The Staples from Naples Comes to Katameya Heights
Concept: Cairo´s first gourmet Neapolitan pizzeria and bar
Signature dishes: Spicy Salami
Menu overview: The menu is straightforward: 7 regular pizzas and 5 special ones, a few salad options, a couple of bar dips and some desserts. You came for pizza, and that’s what it is all about!
Dishes sampled: We started off with one of the bar dips options: the Black Olives, Cheese with Oregano and Tomatoes, and Parmesan Cubes – served with a schiacciata – a type of flat bread. As we were going through the menu, something caught our attention. Right under Olivo´s name they mention a very specific type of flour they use for their pizzas. So we did a little research. Doppio Zero – 00 flour – a finely ground flour, ideal for a light, crispy pizza base. We opted for 4 different flavors split into 2 pizzas: half Bresaola and half Sausage, with the second: half Truffle Oil Margherita and half Spicy Salami. Our pizzas arrived shortly after our order. The Bresaola was topped with cherry tomatoes, rucola and shaved Parmesan. The other half was sausage with caramelized onions. The Truffle Oil Margherita takes the regular Margherita pizza to a new level. The touch of truffle oil revamped one of the most basic comfort foods. Our Spicy Salami was the highlight of the evening – delightfully spicy. Olivo´s pizzas were thin crusted, decidedly crispy on the borders, well done, saucy with the right amount of cheese so that you feel the taste of the other ingredients. Pizzas are large enough to share, and yet small enough to eat on your own. Olivo has already firmly conquered its place in the heart of the neighborhood.
Other menu options that appealed: Nutella Pizza
Décor: The pizzeria´s atmosphere is welcoming and warm. Their busy open kitchen and wooden fire oven provides entertainment in and of itself. Watching the Pizzaiolo spinning their dough in the air is part of the show. The seating arrangements are divided into high tables and low tables for bigger groups. The bar is located at the end of the hall with some stools along it. On the walls, a variety of paintings are on display. As the sun goes down, the music gets a notch louder and the lights a little dimmer.
Beverages: Soft drinks and full bar
Clientele mix: Families, group of friends,
Price range: 3 digits pizza
Opening hours: Every day from 5 pm to 2 am – Kids allowed until 7:45pm
Address: Katameya Heights – New Cairo
Tel: +2 016 877 4233 (reservations are recommended) Take away option available
Facebook / Instagram: @olivocairo
Lebanese Dining at Florida Mall – El Sheraton
Type of cuisine: Lebanese food for all appetites.
Mantra: Authentic Lebanese food, period.
Signature dishes: Bite after bite each signature dish tells a story and transports the customer to the heart of Hamra Street: Shish Tawook, Kafta Maajooka Sandwich, Lebanese Hummos, andLebanese Baba Ghanouj.
Dishes sampled: Food at Tabak is fresh and authentic with hints of lemon, garlic, and paprika in each bite. Dishes are all traditional and range from salads to dips to main courses. The menu is varied, giving hungry customers a range of options but not overwhelming. The sandwiches come with three sides plus french-fries and the shish tawook is presented so beautifully you almost don’t want to eat it. We feasted on Hummos, Baba Ghanouj, Labnah W Toom, Batata Hara, Fattouch Salad, Tabbouleh Salad, Raheb, Chicken Liver, Shish Tawook, Kafta Maajooka Sandwich and wound up the meal with Lebanese coffee.
Other menu options that appealed:
Many of the menu items appealed, each dish we sampled was so good we want to go back and order the same ones again and again. It was refreshing to have food that was perfected to an art. In a busy world, restaurants like Tabak stand out from the crowd because they offer something special. Next time we will order all of the sampled dishes again and throw in a burger or Kafta for some variety.
Décor: Tabak Beirut is decorated with thoughtful pieces from Lebanon that add to the authentic dining experience. The restaurant is quaint and small with a rustic feel giving it a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Large picture windows frame the restaurant with its white and blue palate accented by pops of color throughout. As you dine, your eyes can’t help but drift to the open kitchen or out through the windows to the greenery outside. The décor is thoughtfully chosen and each plate, cup, and decorative item tells a unique story.
Ambience: Tabak is light jazz incarnate. It is warm and happy with a welcoming vibe. Food is served in imported Lebanese plates that hold each dish with love. The food is Middle Eastern ‘soul food’ in the most classic way, bringing together the best of what the region has to offer. The restaurant gets an A plus on ambiance alone.
Beverages available: Fresh juices (mango, orange, strawberry, cocktail), soft drinks, tea, instant coffee, Lebanese coffee.
Top Tip: Take your time at Tabak! This is not a restaurant to be rushed through, give yourself plenty of time to share the delicious dishes and soak in the ambiance of this authentic Lebanese restaurant.
Clientele mix: The restaurant is small and intimate with a mixed clientele.
Price range: Tabak is very affordable. This night out definitely won’t break the bank.
Gad El Haq Street
El Sheraton, Cairo, Egypt
Opening hours: ? ( To be provided)
Tel: 20 222 694407
Boneless chicken cut into cubes
One whole onion, diced
Special spices: equal portions of allspice, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and dry coriander.
Marinate chicken cubes in sauce for twenty-four hours.
Thread onto skewers and grill.
Kafta Maajooka Sandwich (Lebanese Style)
Finely chopped fresh onion
Finely chopped parsley
Special spices: equal portions of allspice, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and dry coriander.
Mix all ingredients by hand for twenty minutes until reaching a smooth consistency.
Chill in fridge for four hours, shape into thick finger-shaped patties then barbeque on grill.
Serve on Lebanese bread
Spicy homemade mayo
A Chocoholic’s Paradise at Arkan Plaza
Type of product: Hot and cold beverages. Inventively sublime sandwiches, breakfast, and a welcome inclusion of a host of traditional Greek pastries, both savory and sweet. In addition to the freshly baked goods, including bread, pastries, cakes, tarts and flans, there is more chocolate in every shape and form than you could ever conjure up in your wildest dreams.
Truffles, of course. In a range of 15 flavors, all of which are totally, indulgently addictive. Think along the lines of banana, Kirsch liqueur, cinnamon ganache, double espresso extract with mascarpone ganache, all created with Belgian chocolate and you will start to get the idea…
Fortunately this review is anonymous; we don’t want to go down in history for our epic gorging on some of the most delectable goodies we have happened upon since our earliest birthday party memories. And even those would be hard pushed to meet this standard.
We also had a celebration lined up for that day, so we went from savory to sweet, launching with a great range of Troufa breadsticks. Whether your taste runs to sesame, cheese, multigrain, sunflower seed, wholegrain or spinach, there was something for everyone.
Cookies came next, but not your standard offering. These are the melt-in-the-mouth variety, with hints of vanilla, butter and rich dark chocolate. With a generous selection from the range, we were spoilt for choice.
Naturally, chocolates had to be the star act. From dark and rich, bitter to milk, white with cranberries, Oreo cookies or cranberries, every nibble was an invitation to take one more. Soft-centered, or with pistachios, cocoa butter, double-roasted feuilletine flakes; each chocolate had its own personality, and all were divine.
Ah, and not to overlook the excellent coffee.
Other items that appealed:
Considering that Troufa currently has a menu offering over 300 products, and based on our first encounter, we would say, “A bit of everything, please”.
True to the design of this Greek brand, the Egypt flagship branch follows the smart, contemporary styling of Troufa Daily. Daily, because it is the place you can pop into each day to pick up your freshly-baked goodies. The color scheme is based on natural wood, dark brown, with beige and accents in black. Imposing glass display cabinets showcase the products in an irresistible way, leading you to order much more than the simple croissant you originally popped in for, we mused.
Relaxed and welcoming, with an added bonus of amazing aromas of wonderful ingredients wafting through the air. A pleasure attack on the senses. The subtle jazz filtering through from the background just adds to the enjoyment.
Fresh juice, fredo, excellent coffee and other hot and cold choices.
Eat in/ Take-away: Troufa is ideal for breakfast, brunch, a mid-morning, afternoon or evening get-together, but even better, you can have the items as take-away as well. Catering and home delivery are both in the plan.
Top Tip: With summer on the way, don’t miss out on their decadent gelato.
Clientele mix: We caught Troufa on the opening day, but we are sure it will become a regular haunt for cosmopolitan ‘foodies’ in the area.
Price range: Good value for money.
Address: Arkan Plaza.
Opening hours: Daily – 8 am to 1 am.
Tel: 02 379 66670 / 0100 707 0160
Facebook page: Troufa Bread & Chocolate Egypt
South African Flavors Spot On in Maadi
Signature dishes: Bunny Chow
Menu overview: Zulu has a very ethnic South African menu that reflects the cultural depth and creative mix of the country. The menu is a showcase of the most typical dishes from South Africa, with the original names and clear descriptions of the dishes. The menu covers appetizers, salads, mains, grill options and desserts.
Dishes sampled: We needed some introduction from the owners themselves as we navigated through the menu options. We began with some appetizers: Dhaltjies Chili Bites – a favorite South African finger food or snack – which we could say is the equivalent to our taameya. It is served with chili sauce on the side. Potato Samoosas, typical Indian snack, triangular deep-fried pastries stuffed with curried potato (which are very popular in South Africa as well). Peri Peri Chicken Liver accompanied by corn bread, to soothe the spiciness of the peri peri sauce – from the famous chain Nando´s selection. Bobotie – spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. A slight resemblance to Shepherd’s Pie. The dish is accompanied by a fruity chutney casserole and yellow rice. Bunny Chow with Durban Curry is a traditional fast food dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry and your choice of filling, which in our case was Mutton Curry. The dish was extremely spicy in the first two bites but soon we got seduced by the heat of the spices and couldn’t stop eating it.
The Ostrich Burger was also a first for us. The meat is quite dry but the cranberry balsamic sauce and the arugula leaves give more moisture to the patty. The burger is served with potato wedges and vegetable skewers on the side. From the grill (Braai – barbecue in the South African style) we chose the most typical option, which is the Boerewors sausages served with Stywe Pap (a sticky and stiff porridge) and Sheba (a tomato chutney).
The portions in general were quite big and filling. The dishes are well spiced so it is advisable to be prepared or ask in advance for a less spiced dish. Overall the experience was pleasant and quite adventurous. We enjoyed learning about the South African cuisine and their specialties.
Other menu options that appealed: Flame Grilled Nando´s Style Half Chicken
Décor: Zulu is tucked away in a basement floor – as you walk downstairs you soon come across a spacious, colorful and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant walls are decorated with personal books and souvenirs and funny quotes we guess only South Africans would understand.
Beverages: Soft and hot drinks and a full bar
Clientele mix: Food curious, Maadi crowd, expats.
Price range: Reasonably priced
Opening hours: Daily from 12 pm to 12 am
Address: Building 9, Street 100, Maadi
Tel: 23598328 and 0106 91 46208
Facebook / Instagram: @zuluincairo