For those in Sheikh Zayed or other west Cairo areas who yearn for their old haunts back in Zamalek, one of Zamalek’s best restaurants has expanded. La Bodega at the Galleria 40 Mall offers a similar ambiance to its more established sister who some could safely argue is one of the best restaurants in Sheikh Zayed, but also has a very distinctive flavour (literally) of its own. Cairo West Magazine went along to find out what’s on the menu.
Concept: Breaking away from the established La Bodega in Zamalek, which serves a Mediterranean based menu, this new outlet in Sheikh Zayed boasts a new chef from Johannesburg, who has brought with him a distinct South African twist to the menu. South African food is famous for its multicultural fusion, so prepare to be taken on a gastronomic whirlwind ride…
Type of cuisine: South African fusion
Signature dishes: Speaking with chef Johnny Lement, we established that what really makes this new menu fresh and unique are the sauces accompanying each dish. For example his ‘expresso barbeque’ with real coffee, ‘red pepper tartar’, ‘cilantro jalapeño’, and ‘citrus mayo with chipotle’ are each a little adventure on their own. Your taste buds will be tantalized trying to detect the original ingredients!
Dishes sampled: Beef Skewers Espetada with Chilli Crème Fraiche (deliciously spiced meat on baby skewers with two side accompaniments, zingy carrot with citrus and the cooling crème fraiche); Chicken Liver with Chipotle Expresso Dipper (the livers encrusted and deep fried); Duck Rolls with Ginger Honey Soy and Sweet Chilli Dipper (delicately fried and very more-ish, with a kick in the sauce!); Gorgonzola and Pear Salad with Walnuts and Greens (genuine vintage Gorgonzola and lightly sautéed pear). We followed these with a main dish of Spicy Thai Chicken Curry, cooked in a delectable mango sauce. The rice came garnished with caramelized onions – something well worth remembering to try at home. To finish we couldn’t resist the Death by Chocolate and Sticky Toffee Pudding desserts!
Other menu options that appealed: Honey Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goats Cheese and Pistachios; Cashew-nut Encrusted Beef Filet with Madagascan Pepper sauce and Coriander.
Beverages: Fully licensed with a comprehensive drinks menu, plus delicious fresh juices (try the orange and peach cocktail), tea and coffee.
Décor: Sophisticated but eclectic with a range of textural ingredients that include velvet, concrete, wood and chrome – but it works! Jewel colours and ambient lighting.
Ambiance: Chill-out music with a bit of pop (there’s a DJ on the weekends), not too over-powering.
Clientele mix: People who like to eat. And drink! Age range twenty-five to forty-five (younger at the weekend, older during the week.)
Top Tip: If you’re going with friends, try ordering a range of ‘Nibbles’ and ‘Appetizers’ to pass around like a Tapas bar. That way you can savour as many tastes as possible.
Price range: Moderate.
Address: Galleria 40, Unit 105, El Sheikh Zayed
Telephone number: 27350543/01005232923