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Bodega (La), Cairo

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Cuisine: Bistros & Brasseries,Mediterranean
Contact: +20 2 735 6761
Open Hours: 7p-1a daily
With no expense spared, the site formerly known as the Balmoral has been transformed into Cairo's hottest bistro and lounge. Prepare to be dazzled. Recreating Belle Epoque design, each room is elegantly done out to recapture the grandeur of the roaring 20s. Visitors enter via a beautiful marble foyer. Most head straight for the bistro, where paintings hang on richly painted walls. Others make a bee-line for the u-shaped copper bar, while cigar afficionados have a room of their own. Exquisite oriental antiques and dark oak furniture await those venturing into the elegant lounge. Dress up and book ahead.

The management has hired skilled chefs to prepare choice Mediterranean dishes. Starters hover around the EGP 20 mark and are served on fine china. Entrees, such as the tender chicken brochette marinated in herbs (EGP 28), are well prepared and presented. Alcohol is served (but at exorbitant prices) and the bartenders are renowned for making heavenly cocktails.