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Al Dente, Cairo

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Cuisine: Italian
Contact: +20 2 735 9117
Open Hours: midday-1.30a daily
Inexpensive and cosy, this tiny restaurant in a quiet residential neighbourhood has a dedicated clientele of young Egyptians and ex-pats. With only six tables, Al Dente is positively miniscule. Rave reviews of the chef - who spent 15 years in Italy - fill one tiny wall. Fresh ingredients are laid out behind the counter and diners can watch the chef at work. Pasta is the specialty, and you can choose from spaghetti, fettucine, fusilli and penne, and then select one of 12 delicious sauces. Prices are incredibly cheap given the quality and large portions. The Al Veliero sauce (EGP 15) - a creamy blend of smoked salmon, shrimp and mushrooms - is out of this world. A small selection of fish and chicken dishes is also served, but alcohol is not.