Bogali is one of the best Fine Dining spots in Zamalek, à la Club Vibe on Nile Maxim.
Cuisine: Eclectic, with a Mediterranean vibe.
Décor: Cutting-edge contemporary styling, with an ice-toned palette of silver, heavy glass, and black napkins, all set off by mustard-toned high seating. The layout is conducive to mixing and mingling, a large oval central bar takes pride of place over the slightly lower level, and the DJ station is central to the action. High seating predominates, with lower seating kept to the area overlooking the Nile, allowing guests to ease back and enjoy an intimate dining experience.
Ambience: Trendy, relaxed, sophisticated. The stylish interior is enhanced by an impressive high quality sound system, with speakers discretely arranged throughout the whole area. The sound distribution is expertly managed, as is the music selection, and can be adjusted in each area to suit the diners’ moods and preferences. Now, that is taking attention to detail to a totally new level…
Signature dishes: The menu is well thought out, and does not fall into the trap of offering countless similar items to confuse diners. Popular dishes are the flavour-packed Sliced Beef Rib-Eye, the Seafood Spaghetti and the Steak Tartare, prepared to taste at the table. There is already a strong fan base building for the Moules et Frites menu on Sunday evenings, something to note.
Dishes sampled: As soon as we had snuggled into the blissfully comfortable silver chairs at our Nile-side table we were given a serving of green olives and mini- bruschetta to nibble on while we browsed through the menu. A nice touch, it set the tone for what was to be an exceptional dining experience.
We opted to share plates in order to enjoy a variety of dishes, a good decision. We kicked off with a generous serving of deep-fried breaded goat cheese on a bed of fresh salad, then followed with a platter of beer-battered prawns with tartare sauce. Big juicy prawns encased in a light batter that will be a ‘must have’ on any future visit for us. We followed with a steaming bowl of Moules à la Marseillaise, tender mussels swimming in a drool-worthy sauce, with depths of flavor. The moules were succulent, and the sauce simply begged to be mopped up with crusty bread.
The Steak Tartare that followed was expertly blended with just the right amount of seasoning, a carnivore’s delight, and was melt-in-the-mouth tender. Never mind you vegans out there; there are plenty of scrumptious salads to choose from as well!
Following the Mediterranean mood, we dug into a creamy asparagus risotto, and a pan-steamed seafood pasta crammed full of mussels, prawns, clams and other goodies. We couldn’t miss out of the highly recommended Sliced Rib Eye beef, cooked exactly to taste, with a rucola salad, liberally sprinkled with pine nuts, on the side. The beef was every bit as tender as we had been promised, it well deserves a try.
To be honest, we had eaten so well that we hadn’t even considered dessert, but when a substantial serving of tiramisu miraculously appeared on the table it really was ‘no holds barred’ as the spoons got into action. The textures and flavours were memorable; it was a perfect way to wind up a great meal, in stimulating company.
Beverages: As can be expected, Bogali has a full bar, with a comprehensive range of drinks. We couldn’t resist the signature retro-style cocktail shaker, loaded with a potent mix of vodka, passion fruit and pineapple juice. Served ice cold in shot glasses, it was a great way to get an evening with friends under way. There is no shortage of soft options for non-imbibers as well.
Worth a mention: Rather than attracting one particular age group, Bogali has thoughtfully planned that each evening follows a ‘theme’ or specialty, encompassing different age groups and tastes. Sunday is totally ‘Gallic’, offering Moules et Frites, baked camembert, and suitably nostalgic music for a mature set. Johnny Hallyday would feel right at home.
Tuesday focuses on fondues, both savory and sweet, and Thursday evenings see a packed hip-hop clique clubbing the night away to non-stop music spinning from top DJ’s. Fridays also bring more music, with a surprise DJ each weekend. Summer plans include opening up the terrace overlooking the Nile, to take advantage of the stunning setting.
Clientele mix: Urbane, trendy, couples and groups of friends. Perfect for a quick drink and early dinner straight from the office as well.
Price range: Quite reasonable, while in line with the standards.
Address: Nile Maxim, Saray El Gezira – by Cairo Marriott Hotel in Zamalek.
Opening hours: 5 pm till 1.30 am.
Tel: 0100 663 5529 / 0110 0051 098