Concept: Be. Good to You caters to the health conscious and conscientious.
Mantra: Be Healthy. Be Fit.
Be Happy The minds behind it: It all started with the concept created by Health Coach, Nadia Abu Taleb, who partnered up with Fitness Coach, Ali Mazhar, founder of BeFit Egypt and longtime friend and restaurant entrepreneur, Tarek Foda. Each of them brought their own expertise to the table.
Signature dishes: Sweet and Sour Beetroot Salad and Baked Falafel Salad
Menu overview: The menu covers all meals, from breakfast, to a quick bite (grab and go), lunch and dinner. The entire menu consists of healthy options, with everything relatively guilt-free. The dishes are labelled under gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and/or sugar-free. The idea is to always have a vibrant and seasonal menu, making the best of what´s in season.
Dishes sampled: After a thorough look through the menu, we started by sharing the Funghi Coconut Toast, one of the appetizer options. It consists of toast (in-house baked bread) topped with roasted mushrooms cooked in a rich coconut cream, with thinly sliced red chili peppers served with crushed pine nuts on the top. The dish was slightly spicier than we expected but nonetheless delicious. We chose two salads for starters: Sweet and Sour Beetroot Salad – goat cheese, arugula, green apples and strawberries, crushed pistachio, tossed raw honey vinaigrette – which added a zing to salad and was definitely one of the highlights of our meal. The Baked Falafel Salad – two oven-baked falafels, served with red hummus, mixed greens, feta cheese topped with a cilantro dressing. It was an interesting approach with this baked version of an old fried classic. The Chicken Fereek Bowl – chunks of broccoli and carrots with fereek, served cold, mixed with kale pesto, citrus dressing, and lukewarm slices of chicken breast. The creative spiral zucchini noodles – Zoodles – were served with homemade cherry tomato sauce. Surprisingly tasty and juicy – we didn’t even think it wasn’t real pasta. As we never say no to desserts we indulged ourselves in a warm, aromatic Apple Almond Crumble – roasted chunks of green apple and raisins cooked with raw honey topped with a crumbly almond crust, offering the crisp contrast of the crunchy and the moistness of the soft fruit underneath, accompanied by a scoop of homemade ice cream (dairy free). To wrap up our meal, alongside our coffee (which was served with almond milk on the side) we were treated to a sugarfree chocolate cookie that melted in every single bite, guiltless. Dishes were overall very tasty, nutritious and filling, given proof that you can eat healthy in a flavorful manner. Be. Good to You – Eat Well, Live Well Katameya Heights Delights Restaurant What’s up Cairo East
A Hearty Breakfast in Rivulet, Twin Towers
This all-day dining venue has just extended its opening hours to offer breakfast. A great idea, we say, as there is a ready customer base in the many commercial offices in the surrounding area. We, however, wanted something to sustain us through a rather bleak and chilly day, and the breakfast did just that.
Signature dishes: Apart from the popular combination breakfasts, which included variations of fried eggs, mushrooms, hash brown potatoes, beef bacon and oriental sausage, Capital Grill offers some original breakfast options in the form of burritos and baguettes. Filling for the burritos include cheese, potatoes and beef bacon. The Belgian-style baguettes feature either smoked salmon or smoked beef, topped with poached eggs and a creamy cheese sauce.
As we were looking for a quick breakfast to ward off hunger pangs through a long workday, we settled in with fresh orange juice and American coffee while we waited for our orders of Scrambled Eggs with Salmon and Scrambled Eggs with Chilli Beef to arrive. An ample quantity of freshly toasted bread arrived to sustain us in the interim.
The breakfast order arrived promptly, with a large iceberg lettuce and tomato salad as an accompaniment. The scrambled eggs were not cooked in the way we are familiar with, but nonetheless served as a good base for both the smoked salmon and caper version, as well as the minced beef chilli. The cubed garlic potatoes and the hash browns came in a generous serving, along with a mound of nicely cooked baby mushrooms. No need for lunch after that, we agreed.
Other menu options that appealed:
For those with a sweet tooth, Capital Grill has a wide selection of pancakes, waffles and crepes with mouth-watering toppings. Think along the lines of fresh fruit, chocolate, caramel and lashing of whipped cream and you get the picture. The Capital crêpes come with Nutella, banana, nuts and caramel sauce. Irresistible!
Low key, in shades of cream, beige and brown, with posters of international cities brightening up the walls, Capital Grill provides a suitable ambience for either a business breakfast, or a meet-up with family or friends. There is also plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the attractive water feature of Rivulet, perfect for summer months.
Beverages available: Plenty of fresh juices, smoothies and shakes as well as a good range of coffees, tea and hot chocolate.
Clientele mix: Couples, groups of friends.
Price range: Large portions, so good value for money.
Address: Rivulet, Twin Towers, 26th of July Corridor, Giza Governorate
Opening hours: 10 am to 12 am
Tel: 16265 / 01128880500
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/CapitalGrillCairo
Instagram: Capital Grill
Make the Most of Local Produce
Chef Andrew Mitchell Shares His Tips
When our cupboards are bare and supermarket shelves don’t always have the usual range of imported goodies to help indulge our taste for exotic meals, what can we do? Cairo West Magazine met up with celebrated chef and TV personality Andrew Mitchell to get his advice on creating healthy, tasty meals by making the most of locally grown items.
CWM: Chef Andrew, how has home cooking in Egypt evolved in recent years?
AM: I think that exposure to different cuisines from around the world and the constant and inevitable exchange of cultures has transformed home cooking in Egypt; techniques have changed, ingredients have been added and dishes have evolved.
Why do you think so many people, both men and women, have taken up experimenting with recipes from all over the world?
I think the Internet has played a huge role in introducing new dishes and concepts to our table. The restaurant craze we’ve witnessed in the past five years in Egypt has also helped audiences develop different palates and appreciation to what could have been a taboo cuisine (cupcakes, sushi, etc).
Now that imported ingredients are either difficult to find, or extremely expensive, how can we find substitutes locally?
I am a huge advocate of local produce. Believe it or not, many of the ingredients I use in my gourmet dishes are grown in Egypt and are an impeccable alternative to many of our more common imported items. Frankly, I think the awareness of what actually does grow in Egypt, and what is locally produced is what we should be concerned with, rather than worrying about a scarcity of imported ingredients.
Do you find similarities between dishes and ingredients from other regions and traditional Egyptian meals?
Of course! There’s a clear influence and similarity of technique, spices and ingredients across the entire Middle East and North Africa. Some areas rely more on spices than others, but overall you could probably use the same pantry to develop dishes for any country across the region. This however, doesn’t make them less unique; Moroccan dishes aren’t necessarily the same as Syrian or Lebanese, let alone Egyptian. But you’ll find that techniques, preference for certain spices, and the diversity of menu in most countries across the region are not that far apart.
Can you provide us with a short list of key items that are hard to find, and what can be used to replace them?
The list could go on forever and ever. Most people see recipes from abroad which use semi finished items like tandoori paste, or tempura batter mix. These items are hard to come by and expensive. What most people don’t realize is that these spice mixes and flour mixes can be prepared at home at a fraction of the cost. Searching the recipes for these items and doing it your self is usually a fraction of the cost and 100 times better!
Do you see an increasing awareness of the importance of nutrition, and is this reflected in new adaptations of traditional recipes?
There’s a general wave of fitness and health routines that has really been a protagonist the past couple of years in our cultures. With the increase, luckily, of health awareness and a strong desire to stay fit, requests for healthy and nutritious ingredients and dishes have been recurrent. As for the adaptations, our cuisine has always used highly nutritious ingredients from the very beginning; the only change I hope is happening and being implemented is the technique of cooking these traditional dishes. For example, I feel many homes have stopped using ghee and have started incorporating more olive oil or low calorie substitutes.
With imports being restricted, is there a movement towards growing new crops of herbs, fruit and vegetables for the local market as well as export?
I believe the movement has always been there, as Egypt is one of the strongest countries agriculturally. I for one, have been a loyal customer of Hydrofarms Egypt, which have done nothing but impress me with a wide variety of vegetables, and other ingredients which I use both at my restaurants and you can find in my fridge. Egypt has an impressive agricultural repertoire, but very little marketing is being done to promote local growth. Which is why I take every opportunity to introduce local ingredients into my dishes.
What new types of produce do you see the potential for growing in terms of the local climate and market requirements?
Recent customs increases have been placed on non-essential items that are suitable to grow in Egypt, such as avocado, which would be a good start. Some items such as apples, that we import tons of, unfortunately don’t grow well in Egypt due to the climate. By taking a look at the new duties on fruits and vegetables it’s easy to see which items they are encouraging local farms to produce.
Dining with Flair
The Lemon Tree Katameya
Concept: Upscale Casual Dining Signature dishes: Tea Smoked Salmon and South African Veal Tenderloin
Menu overview: The menu is concise. Brief, but comprehensive. Over the course of the past three years, The Lemon Tree has had 21 menus, showing how versatile the chef is and illustrating the seasonality of dishes. “The main aim, we learned, is to have total control over the production line – adopting a farm-to-table model and encouraging local producers,” explained Mirette Osama, Chef and Co-Founder.
Dishes sampled: We were kindly guided through the menu by the Chef. As suggestions are always welcome, we started with a set of appetizers. The Goat´s Cheese Truffles – cheese balls served with dried strawberries, so light, but at the same time rich in flavor, they were served with crushed nuts, golden honey and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The Puff Sausage Rolls – crispy dough bags filled with Armenian sausage with a hint of sweet chili were perfect for a bite or two. We also sampled the Vietnamese Shrimp Popsicles – shrimp dough with a hint of sesame oil served on sugar cane sticks – a chef´s adapted recipe from a classic Asian dish. They say you eat with your eyes first and the presentation of the food certainly enforced this saying. For a first course we decided to share the Prawn and Asparagus Risotto cooked in creamy rosemary and carrot broth, which was very well executed and we were wowed with it. As for main dishes, we opted for one meat and one fish. The Honey Orange Ginger Sole with ginger orange sauce on a bed of mashed potatoes and one of the house signature dishes, the South African Veal Tenderloin – succulent beef cooked medium rare garnished with grilled bell peppers accompanied by a mix of potato and sweet potato wedges. To round off our delightful dinner, we ended up sharing a very interesting dessert: White Chocomosa – little bites of pastry filled with white chocolate and nuts on a bed of gooseberry sauce. The Lemon Tree Katameya is about a passion for food and music.
Other menu options that appealed: The Cocoa Coffee Fillet and the Tea Smoked Salmon (house-smoked in a blend of tea leaves)
Décor: The restaurant atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming and warm. High white wood ceilings, rattan fixtures, a lot of wood and a sandy palette brought an unpretentious yet elegant feel. The seating arrangements are divided between high tables, tables for larger groups and two bars – one of them with an eating counter. The large windows give an exquisite view of the Katameya Club House pool. The fairy-lights adorn the branches that are hanging from the ceiling over the bar give a mystical ambience and extra charm to the place. The music is understated and complements the atmosphere and the dimmed lights make it rather inviting
Beverages: Full bar with Signature Drinks.
Clientele mix: Mixed age groups, trendy crowd. 25 is the minimum age.Price range: High-end
Opening hours: Weekdays from 7pm to 1am; weekends 7 pm to 2 am
Address: Katameya Heights Club House – New Cairo
Tel: 02 2759 2599 ext. 1298 (reservations are highly recommended)
Facebook / Instagram:
Everything Waffle and More
Marny´s – In the Heart of Degla
Concept: Café bistro and Bakery
Signature dishes: Marny´s serves waffles and crepes in a creative way.
Menu overview: Marny´s has an authentic and eclectic menu with a wide variety of dishes, from sweet and savory waffles and crêpes to salads, soups, pasta and beef dishes. The menu covers meals from breakfast to dinner – suitable for coffee, snacks or complete meals.
Dishes sampled: There were many tempting dishes we were curious to try, but our host made sure we made the most out of our experience by suggesting some of the house specialties. We started by sharing the Chicken Cone – a waffle cone topped off with crushed nuts and filled with golden, fried chicken bites, crunchy outside and tender and moist inside, accompanied by a mango sauce on the side. The chicken tenderness and its extreme flavorful is the result of a 24-hour marinade. For our main dishes, we had the Waffle Burger and the Potato Kebab. The Classic Burger Waffle is already one of a kind. A thick meat patty served with the regular burger toppings of cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion and pickled cucumber but in a waffle bread bun. We opted for potato wedges as a side. The Potato Kebab was a great hit as a vegetarian option. The kebab was made of shredded potato waffle cut into quarters and served in a skewer with grilled mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini, with sour cream on the side. There is also a spinach and fetta version of the same dish. While we were having our meal, a Croissant Bread Loaf was being sampled at Marny´s and we could not resist but try it. It was just plain good. For dessert we were especially surprised with the Churros and the Filled Date Waffle. The Churros pastry was light, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The same we can say for the Date Filled Waffle. A Belgium waffle machine makes these filled waffles. The Date option is served with mascarpone cream and caramel sauce. Nonetheless the Apple Cinnamon Crêpe was as delicious. Served with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles with gold raisins and caramel sauce. Their positive impression left us spreading the word around and we look forward to going back soon. Marny´s have mastered the art of waffles and crêpes.
Other menu options that appealed: Hot dog filled lollipop wafer and the beef crepe are our next picks.
Beverages: Coffees, smoothies, juices
Décor: Marny´s is set up in a cozy and elegant two-leveled shop. The Bakery is located downstairs and the Restaurant upstairs. The décor is simple, fresh with lots of wood paneling with floral accents.
Clientele mix: Groups of moms, friends, CACians and families.
Price range: Reasonably priced
Opening hours: Daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Address: 32, Road 213 (Corner Road 231) Degla, Maadi
Tel: + 2 010 202 55 555 or 02 252 10 679
Facebook / Instagram: @Marnysbites
Ingredients (enough for 1 person):
- 3 eggs
- 30 g tomatoes
- 30 g bell pepper
- 30 g onions
- 3 g parsley
- 4 g salt
- 1 g black pepper
- 1 g cumin
- 30 g tomato paste
- 20 g corn oil
Wash all ingredients well, and leave oil on stove to heat. Clean and chop onions and bell peppers and add them to the pan, sauté until cooked. Add tomato paste to the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute in a fresh pan. Then place in an oven casserole or pot, add previous mixture, add the eggs to it, and sprinkle with parsley. Place in the oven and bake until cooked.
For the Loveliest Weekend Zamalek Brunches
Type of Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean and Modern Cuisine
The new brunch series by Pier 88 has come to be one of the brightest ideas. Since it’s dazzling opening last February, Pier 88’s brunch “Floribus Mane” brings people together to enjoy the weekend in a sleek-and-chic atmosphere. We’ve tried a couple of the delightful plates on the menu and we’re definitely going back to try more!
Looking through the menu, a lot of plates appealed to us, we reached for help from our dear host Giovanni for his special picks, he suggested we try the Prime-Rib Burger and the Steak Ciabatta Sandwich, both of which were truly superb! The burger was juicy and came topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, cheese, with a side of fresh salad, just perfect.
The Steak Ciabatta Sandwich served up some very tender beef accompanied by sundried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, all in fresh Italian bread. Beautiful. Both sandwiches came with baked fries and salad and some kind of great sauce.
Other menu options that appealed: The menu has a large variety, from simple omelets to more complicated plates; it depends on the time you get there. Must-tries on our next visit are the Salad Del Re, the Crespelle and the Pancakes. We will definitely leave some space for dessert, as it has quite a reputation there!
A chic dining setting taking advantage of the sunlight and the Nile view. Mirrors, brass, black leather, and a huge bar in the center of the indoor area lend an air of sophistication. In addition to a more laid back outdoor setting with uninterrupted views of the Nile.
Ambience: Buzzy, charming and classy.
Beverages Available: The drinks menu has lots of options, from alcoholic beverages, to milkshakes, smoothies and juices. As well as coffee and tea available throughout the brunch time.
Top Tip: Try the Ultimate Green Juice for a healthy all-good-things-packed drink.
Clientele Mix: Couples, families and groups of friends. Classy crowd.
Price Range: Value for money.
Address: Imperial Boat, Saray El Gezirah Street, Zamalek, Cairo.
Opening hours: Brunch on weekends 12 pm to 5 pm
Nights all week 6 pm to 3 am
Tel: 0120 811 1140
Pomme de Pain
A Zamalek ‘Must Visit’
Type of cuisine:
The Bakery – all bread and pastry are freshly baked, as well as Le Villageois – grilled chicken strips in a freshly baked baguette. Pomme de Pain is famous for its fresh gourmet desserts with multiple flavors of éclairs.
The menu had a huge variety of French items, from soups, to salads, sandwiches, pastas, desserts and coffee. After much contemplation we decided to go for Le Villageois, a delicious freshly baked baguette with grilled chicken cut into strips, paired with mustard mayonnaise, lettuce and pickles.
We were later treated with Pomme de Pain’s signature soft éclairs that came in a variety of flavors, from Chocolate Chip, to Chocolate Banana, Strawberry Sugar, Banana Caramel, Nougatine, Blueberry and more. Our choices were the Banana Caramel and the Strawberry Sugar, both of which were indulgent and satisfying.
Other menu options that appealed:
On our next visit we would like to sample the croissant with special filling or the Le Grilladin sandwich straight out of the oven. The salad with special French dressing also appealed.
Their interior is simple, light and elegant. The freshly baked goodies in the window display lures you into a light an airy space that combines the colors white and purple and gives a warm welcoming French vibe.
Casual, friendly, and easy-going.
Pomme de Pain offers a wide range of beverages, from coffees, to fresh juices and sodas.
Eat in/ Take-away/ Catering/Home delivery:
The bakery is a must try! Go with empty bellies!
Since the location is in the heart of Zamalek, Pomme de Pain appeals to the urban young and hip to the older well-traveled customer.
4 El Brazil St. El Zamalek
pomme de pain egypte
Grilled chicken strips paired with mustard mayo, lettuce, and pickles in a freshly baked baguette
Freshly baked baguette
Chicken cooked on the grill
Cut grilled chicken into strips. Mix the Dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and vinegar. Open baguette, spread some sauce and lay strips of chicken on top, and add fresh lettuce and tomato.