It all started with an exceptional woman. But then, stories worth telling usually do. To learn more, you really need to head over to newly-launched Serena Eatery and take a leisurely wander through the beautifully presented menu that chronicles Serena’s life, her travels, her thoughts, and importantly, her recipes. This is seriously good food, showcasing well-known dishes alongside the less familiar, so enjoy your own gastronomic journey!
Signatures Dishes & Dishes Sampled
Signature dishes include the Fatta, in a range of tempting versions. Choose from Moza, Djej, Qraides, Batenjan, Hummus, Djebel Freek, and Lesan. Serena Eatery is also famed for its Arayes, and 12 hummus dishes. But, based on our experience, we would consider everything a standout dish. Diners will find an Egyptian twist to some dishes, all enjoyable.
We overindulged, unashamedly. And would happily do so again. Lebanese cuisine is very much about mazza, or shareable plates, so we launched with Muhumarra, perfectly spiced with walnuts and pomegranate glaze, Shrimp Hummus, Beetroot Hummus, Tabbouleh, Manakeesh with Cheese and Spinach, Warra Einab, Soujouk bil Mustard and a Serena Salad. The presentation was stunning, authentic and showed an immense attention to detail, without being overly fussy. There was plenty of freshly baked Lebanese bread to scoop them up, even though we had used a bit to dunk into the zataar, olive oil and sesame dip offered before dinner. The Serena Salad, with a combination of quinoa, raisins, chopped apple, grilled carrot, cherry tomato, spices and creamy Greek feta cheese was unique and refreshing.
We could have easily considered that a meal, but still welcomed the excellent Shish Taouk, grilled to perfection, with creamy tomaya dip, huge fluffy fries and al dente grilled vegetables. The Qraides, or Shrimp Fatta came in a generous portion, laid on a bed of rice as a nod to local tastes. It worked well, in our opinion. We could barely tackle the spicy Batata Harra, even though they were spot on, with just the right kick of chili and aroma of coriander.
Which brought us to dessert. Should we or shouldn’t we? We did, and loved every morsel of our Halawet El Jebn, creamy mouthfuls of sweet cheese, pistachio sprinkled and drenched in rosewater syrup. The sizzling hot cheese stuffed Osmanllieh that joined it came straight from the oven, with its gooey cheese filling encased in konafa. A fitting way to end a totally enjoyable evening.
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverages Available
We wouldn’t hesitate to try it all, and definitely plan to pass by to enjoy the breakfast menu. Who could resist an hour or two’s respite from the hustle and bustle of Mohandeseen in such a lovely oasis?
The beverage menu is almost as impressive as the food menu. All soft options, but there is something for all tastes, from juices, shakes and mocktails to an extensive list of hot beverages. Our lemon juice and Nutrition cocktail were both spot on. Who would have imagined a mix of celery, ginger, mixed berries, strawberry, orange and green apple could be so good… A shisha menu is also available, offering traditional flavors, as well as more modern blends.
Serena Eatery is special. The airy atrium-like space has a glass ceiling, allowing a view of the inky star-filled sky at night, and a pleasant filter of sunlight during the day. Seating is comfortable, and offers different options and table sizes. Choose to suit your mood. Careful planning has allowed for privacy, the tables are well-spaced and interspersed with plants and lighting features. The mood is relaxed, with low key music playing at just the right level, and the service is smooth, friendly and unobtrusive.
Clientele mix: Urbane, chic and cosmopolitan, the clientele was mainly 25+ on our visit. Although it was only a matter of a few days since the launch, Serena Eatery was full by the time we left at 8:30 pm. The word has certainly got around.
Price range: Moderate, and great value for the quality.
Thumbs up: Drinking straws will soon be switched to paper for environmental reasons.
Worth noting: There is a well thought out kids’ menu, making this a family friendly spot. Entertainment is planned for Ramadan, and there are plenty of flat screen televisions placed discreetly around the walls, so pop in to catch the latest match.
Takeaway and delivery: Both available, but it would be a shame not to enjoy the great atmosphere at Serena Eatery.
Opening hours: 9 am to 2 am.
Address: 22 El Koroum St., behind Midan Mostafa Mahmoud, Mohandessin.
Tel: 0106 040 3766
Facebook / Instagram: serenaeatery