By: Mariam Elhamy
Villa Caracas has already established itself as one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Cairo, and the branch located inside Mall of Arabia’s extension and overlooking The Park provides a spectacular Lebanese dining experience that you won’t find in many places. We just had to sample some of the 50 new items in the menu and give you a sneak peek at what to expect from this branch.
New on the Menu: Omelette Bel Bathengan, Eggs Bel Lahm, Manousheh with Eggs and Bastermah, Manousheh Habesh, Sojok Villa Caracas, Halloumi w Meraba Banadora, Manousheh Lotus, and Outhmalliyet Villa Caracas.
We started with the Mezze Mahdouma, a huge round platter with five cold or hot mezze of your choice. We chose the zesty stuffed vine leaves, Goat Labne with Honey and sprinkled nuts, Muhammara; a spicy Lebanese walnut dip, Shamandar bel Laban; beetroot with yogurt, and finally a classic Hommos.
We also tried some of the new Cold Hommos Mezze options; the Hommos with basil pesto sauce), the Hommos with avocado cubes, olive oil and sesame seeds and the Hommos with Ginger. The combinations seem bizarre on paper, but tasted surprisingly delicious!
Next we tried the tasty Salatet El Mama consisting of grilled halloumi cheese, aubergine, sliced cherry tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and pomegranate molasses sauce nestled on a bed of arugula leaves. The saltiness of the cheese combined with the fresh rocca leaves and the crunch of the pine nuts make this salad a must-try! We also tried the Tabbouleh, one of the best we’ve ever had, and the Red Cabbage Cake Salad, which was sprinkled with nuts and drizzled with pomegranate molasses sauce.
A sample of the Crispy Halloumi bites was a must. The cubes of warm halloumi cheese wrapped in crunchy fried vermicelli and a dip of sweet fig jam made us want more! Then came the Manousheh Bel Falafel which consists of a thin layer of pastry topped with refreshing greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, crunchy radish slices, pomegranates and scrumptious falafel. The usual oily feel of the falafel is nonexistent in this dish.
We were excited to try the Fanageel Kebbeh Bel Hommos, which is the exact definition of the name: small cups of Kebbeh filled with Hommos, and the famous Batata Bel Kezbara, mouthwatering and well-seasoned. Our last dish was Kofta Bel Karaz, bite-size meatballs cooked in sweet cherry sauce and topped with crunchy pine nuts and sliced almonds… a winning combination!
Our bellies were singing with joy but we still managed to cap the meal with dessert! The Aiesh El Sarayah arrived with clotted cream in between two layers of aish el sarayah and topped with crunchy Konafa and sugar syrup. We also tried the Tart Halaweh which comes with a chocolate tart base and halawa spread in the middle, topped with vanilla ice-cream and cotton candy.
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverages Available
On our next visit we would love to try the Mini Kafta, the Koussa Be Labban and Djaj Ras Asfour Bel Pesto.
Beverages options include Fresh juices, Lebanese cocktails, soft and hot drinks, detox and green juices, smoothies, Ayran and special Villa Caracas drinks.
The place is spacious and lavish looking, with a marble bar on the right as you enter and a tree planted right in the middle giving off a certain relaxed garden-like feel. The open area overlooks Mall of Arabia’s The Park so it has a nice view and lots of greenery.
Clientele mix: Families and groups of friends.
Price range: Moderate, with plenty of options in different price ranges.
Worth noting: They serve iftar and sohour in Ramadan, opening hours will begin from iftar until 2:30 am.
Opening hours: 9 am to 1 am
Address: Gate 15, Mall of Arabia
Tel: 0109 754 3679