While many businesses in Egypt are struggling to survive, new restaurants pop up on a regular basis. Crust is one of the latest additions to Maadi’s ever growing selection of restaurants, and as the name indicates, they make pizza. And not any kind of pizza: Italian, wood fired pizza. Since this sounded appealing and they are conveniently located nearly next door, we decided to find out how different the wood fired pies would taste.
The restaurant offers both indoor and outside seating; the latter would be appealing on a sunny day, but since it rained when we were there, we went for the inside option. The seating section was a little bare and anonymous, which did not add a lot of atmosphere, but the semi-open kitchen where you can watch the chef prepare the pizzas meant the place smelled delicious.
We tried the Stuffed Pizza Puffs and Arugula Salad as appetisers. The salad was a tasty combination of very fresh gargir, caramelised onions and candied walnuts mixed with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It normally also sports feta cheese, but since this reviewer eats a plant-based diet, we asked for the cheese to be omitted. Lacking the saltiness of the cheese, the salad could have been too sweet, but the balance was perfect with the rich taste of the balsamic vinegar.
The Stuffed Pizza Puffs looked and smelled delicious, were baked to perfection and filled with a scrumptious combination of cheese and salami. The puffs could have easily been too heavy, but the thickness of the dough and the amount of stuffing was balanced perfectly and the little side salad of gargir provided a nice contrast to the richness of the puffs.
The menu offers a large variety of pizza options in addition to the opportunity to compose your pizza to taste. We ordered the Seafood Pizza and I took advantage of the Crust – It Your Way option and chose a thin crust with tomato sauce, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and zucchini, again without the cheese.
The seafood pizza did not look as appetising as it tasted; the seafood was spiced with a variety of herbs which gave them a light greenish tinge, but the taste was excellent. The amount of cheese was not overpowering, and had it not been for the devouring of all the delectable puffs, my friend would have happily finished the pizza. Luckily, take away boxes are available.
Ordering a pizza without cheese draws attention to the quality of the tomato sauce like nothing else can. Crust did not disappoint there either. The sauce was rich in flavour and filled with herbs; the vegetables were fresh and tasty, with a sprinkle of extra seasoning on top that did not overpower, but complemented the individual tastes of the sauce and veggies.
Naming your restaurant Crust means you better make sure this part of your pizza is delicious and the restaurant delivers great quality here as well. The dough is light but dense enough to provide a good base, and the chef knows how to bake the pies to perfection.
Our only negative comment is about the paper wrappers of straws that littered the floor, giving an impression of messiness. But all in all, Crust is a great addition to the Maadi food landscape, serving perfect pizzas for a reasonable price.