Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Teriyaki, Mohandaseen

The unique prospect behind this is that not only is the food prepared fresh in front of you, it is also cooked with water instead of oil. Making it an extremely healthy wholesome meal.

Teriyaki has one location at the al Rehab foodcourt, the other is in Mohandaseen at the intersection of el Gazayer and Gameat el dowal el Arabia. Take the turn at Papa Johns and keep going straight, you will see this on the right. They home deliver too. Call 2522 2221.

The interiors at Mohandaseen are bright and cheery although, it was quite deserted when we went there.

Options are Teriyaki rice meals (26-37Le) which is chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu (or a mix of 2 types) teriyaki served with Japanese rice and fresh vegetables.

The same meal can also be exchanged for Yakisoba - Japanese style flat noodles. (28-39LE)

They were both quite tasty. There are 4 sauces available on the side that you can use to supplement the flavours to your liking.

My only wish is that they provide stronger cutlery at the outlet for dine-ins. The plastic forks are too flimsy for Japanese flat noodles, the spoons too small for the Noodle soup Bowl (26-30).

They have some salads and wraps which are often not available.

they also have some sushi dishes (8pieces for 25 LE) that we did not try.

Light (less than 3gms fat in the chicken and tofu options) healthy, flavourful and filling. Wonder if the healthy alternative will catch on Cairo though?

Teriyaki comes form the same people behind Cinnabon

Cinnabon, Cairo

Cinnabon is one of my favourite things in Egypt and among my top 10 list of things that I will miss when it is time for me to leave.

This is what I carry home with me as a gift for my siblings and now my cousins who all request this tasty treat as an Egyptian treat. Never mind that it is an American chain (founded 1985 in Seattle Washington) that entered Egypt as recently as 2003!

There are 3 basic rolls.
The first is the basic cinnamon roll where the pastry is rolled with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar and then baked - Cinnabon Classic
The second is the Caramel Pecanbon which is the Classic with the addition of yummy caramel sauce and roasted pecans.
The third is the Chocobon which is a chocolate frosting kind of filling in the roll topped with chocolate sauce.

They all come in 2 sizes - regular (11-16LE) and mini(8-10LE) and some of them come in bite size pieces

I particularly like the cinnasticks (11le-5 pieces) too which are awesome when they are fresh out of the oven and eaten hot with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, roasted pecans all these are available as extra toppings for an additional 2-8LE each.

The basic mixes all come from one location, but the actual baking and rolling happens on site, which is an exciting show to watch as you eat your own cinnabons. In my opinion, the City star pastry chefs are faster and more adept than the other locations (could be because of the faster turnover)

Tacoma coffee and some house blends are available for those so inclined. They are 3-5 varieties of salads and sandwiches for those who would like something non sweet.

Oooh and they home deliver too. This was when we figured our cat has a sweet tooth. After KFC this is only the 2nd home delivered meal she insists on sharing with us :)

Carvel ice-creams are now available a some of the locations.
The cheesecake(18LE) is ok, but I've had better. Same goes for the cookies (8LE)

The Rools are the Star! Fattening but worth an extra hours work out. Awesome stuff!

Mezzaluna - Italian

Next to Bull's Eye Pub
32 Jeddah Street
02 3335 3273

According to wikipedia A Mezzaluna is a chopping instrument consisting of a single or double curved blade with a handle on each end. They are often used for chopping herbs or very large single blade versions are sometimes used for pizza or pesto. Mezzaluna is the Italian name (meaning Half Moon after the rough shape of the blade) for the item and is the most common name used in the UK.

I had eaten here once before and really loved the food, but I'm not a frequent Italian food eater. I find a lot of the dishes served in Italian Restaurants (not to be thought of as comprehensive introductions to Italian food) to be high on white sauce and cheese.

We decided on the spur of the moment to visit Bulls Eye pub since we were in the area, but since we did not have reservations, we were kindly guided to their sister restaurant.

They do serve alcohol and I had an awesome tequila for 20LE which did not need to be disguised with salt or lime. (Yes, thats the mark of a good tequila) Vodka was 25LE. They do serve some wines but they also have free corkage on imported wines if you would like to carry your own .

They offered a free starter of bruschetta with an olive tapenade dip, which was great. Light and appealing.

We ordered the fried calamari (32LE) Please ignore the order as a craving for deep fried sea food. I don't think this is a real Italian starter but it was tasty served on a bed of shredded lettuce and with a salty butter dip.

The piece-de-resistance was the Jambon cuit au gratin(24LE) which was a slice of bruschetta with a rolled slice of ham on top, white sauce inside the roll and cascading down the sides. yummo!

Their menu keeps changing regularly, so you may not get tomorrow what you enjoyed today, but there will definitely be some items on the menu that you can enjoy.

Husband had a ravioli gorgonzola (blue cheese stuffing and walnut dressing) - 28LE, which was quite good but not as good as the apricot and chicken stuffed ravioli with almond slivers that I had, had the good fortune of tasting on my previous visit.

The veal Ossobuco (55LE) was falling off the bone and was served with a mildy flavoured turmeric and parsley risotto. A far cry from the traditional saffron flavored risotto except for the colouring, the mild risotto was a perfect foil for the heavy tomato and garlic based ossobuco. The risotto tasted best with the marrow from the bone which was light, yet buttery.

We ended the meal with a decadent chocolate fondue (32LE) which was served with banana, peaches and apricots. I had so hoped for cake and ladies fingers. Hence, I ended up drinking the fondue when I could take no more of the fruit. The chocolate had a fine hazelnut taste which leads me to suspect that it was no more than a melted & diluted nutella. But whatever it was, it was extremely tasty.

Loved the food on both visits and highly recommend it to anyone seeking Italian food in Cairo.

For more reviews check Egypt Today or Al Ahram

Trianon Cafe, Mohandaseen

Well, inspite of my middle opinion of Trianon in Alexandria I still went ahead and prdered home delivery from them in Mohandaseen.

The first time I ordered the Trianon grilled steak with pepper sauce and mashed potatoes (40LE) the steak was tiny, the sauce and mashed potatoes were awesome and in hindsight the size of the steak was just right for my stomach.

The second time I ordered it, I asked them to make it a little less than well done, (because last time it got too hard) and forgot to mention the extra spicy bit. The steak was done to perfection, but no sauce at all. It was just some pepper flakes sprinkled on the top. I don't know if this is because they completely forgot the sauce or because the previous time I had ordered extra spicy sauce.

The sauce is what gives the steak and the mashed potatoes the kick. Buttery and peppery goes great with the meat and the taters
The Ceasar salad last time had a bit too much of anchovies in me and the fishy taste overpowered all other flavours. Plus the salt had formed clumps which exploded unpleasantly in my mouth.

This time's Spaghetti bolognaise (27 LE) was a better experience but too much fat content and not enough sauce. I could feel the cholesterol building up as I nibbled through my husbands dish.

The mocha eclair was large and lovely if it had been left basic. The extra sugar icing on top was just too sweet, but once we scraped that off, we really enjoyed the underlying eclair and lightly flavoured mocha cream.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wessaya, Cairo

Multiple Locations
11am - 2am

Wessaya is a local fast food joint with a subway sandwich kind of menu. Take a look at the menu here

They are owned by the same company that owns Sbbaro and Cantina Laredo.

Their outlets on the whole are small with limited seating space and they focus on the take-away and home/office delivery clientele.

Their bread is soft and moist when eaten fresh. But because of the toasting it may harden if kept for too long.

The spicy sandwiches are truly spicy and suit my Indian palate, so for me thats a good thing. Go for the regular options if your spice tolerance is low.

My personal favourites are the
Lahaleebo (spicy fried chicken fillet + lettuce + mayonnaise) Large 12.65Le, Medium 10.45LE
Chicken Panee (fried chicken pane + lettuce + mayonnaise) Large 12.10LE, Medium 9.90LE
Mexican Hot Dog (hot dog slices + spicy Mexican sauce) Large 9.90LE, Medium 7.70LE

Their fries are good and not overly salted for a change.
Nuggets are good but not as good as KFC/Hardees.

Since they are open till 2am and they deliver home for a 4LE charge - they are quite good for the midnight munchies.

If you are interested in the business angle behind Wessaya, Read this article from Business Today, Egypt

Friday, May 02, 2008

Trianon Cafe, Alexandria

Trianon Cafe,
Green Plaza

The same menu as their Cairo counterpart.

Nice setting in the Green Plaza Their sandwiches were yummy as were the fries. The pizza looked good, but I didn't try that.

The Viennese coffee did not look as exciting when it came to the table as it looked in the menu picture. But it did taste pretty good.

I had the angel hair pasta in cream sauce with chicken. It was interesting. Not outstanding, but pretty good.

The pasta and the Viennese Coffee with tax and tip was about 60LE.

Brownies, Alexandria

Green Plaza,

On the high recommendations of a friend and her niece, I decided I would not leave Alexandria without a stop at Brownies on my next trip to the City.

Brownies is located in Green Plaza in Alexandria which is part of the Hilton Complex.

Unfortunately, we had already had a late lunch and coffee, before we got to Brownies. So as a compromise, I decided to get them packed, so I could reheat them at home for consumption. The menu showed a range of coffees and some desserts and crepes. The brownies aren't on the menu, but they are available all the time.

10Le (tax included) gets you a lovely brownie with a scoop of ice cream and tons of chocolate sauce.

When I reheated the stuff today, the brownie was quite good, good texture but not nutty enough. The fudge melted amazingly well on reheating and regained its consistency once it was poured over the ice cream and brownie. The ice cream was a disaster, that was to be expected since it had obviously melted on the 4 hour ride from Alexandria to Cairo and refreezing it wasn't a good idea. Fortunately I had a tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer which I used for the brownie. It did taste pretty good.

Not as good as the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae at Hard Rock Cafe, but pretty good competition. But this one cost just 1/4th of the HRC sundae, so its more VFM. (HRC sundae now costs about 40LE)

Nice open area to sit in the garden, if you plan to eat in. Guess I'm gonna do that next time and enjoy the service too.


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