Located on the fourth floor of City Stars’ Phase 2 in Nasr City, Chef’s Market is one of the latest offerings at the mall’s new dining area. Its location is peculiar. On one hand, you cannot miss it when you see it; the place makes itself known immediately as you step onto its floor with its spacious seating area and a clear sign. On the other hand, it is located in one of the busiest malls in Cairo – one residents love to hate.
While the ambience of the place is pleasant and gives off a clean, easy-going feel, it is easily forgettable. The food is not. After soft bread and salted butter, we tried their fresh tuna salad with buffalo mozzarella and marinated tomato (EGP 52). The combination of fresh tasty tuna and mozzarella was phenomenal. What impressed us most about Chef’s Market, was that the ingredients were very fresh, always at the right temperature and, more importantly, on time.
Our waiter was attentive, but not disruptive, and answered all our questions about items on the menu. We ordered Salmon, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Orzotto (EGP 85) and Chicken Thighs (EGP 74) for our main course.
The succulent salmon was tender and cooked to the right degree, while the orzotto and the risotto that came with the chicken thighs both had excellent texture and firmness. The only problem we found with our main dishes is that some parts were stronger flavoured than others and the contrast didn’t always work; the salmon’s strong flavour made the orzotto seem bland, while the other dish’s chicken, which was tasty nonetheless, also paled somewhat in comparison to the impressive risotto. On the whole, however, the food was excellent.
One item you will not find on the menu was the complimentary dessert the restaurant had us try. We got hot chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and nuts drizzled over it in a cup. The dessert was spectacular and was easily the best part of our entire day.
On the presentation front, Chef’s Market’s menu seems a little crowded. Not all English descriptions matched those written in Arabic; some had extra information in one language but not the other. Still, it was nice to see a restaurant take the time to write Arabic descriptions instead of relying on quick translations from English.
Chef’s Market is an excellent choice for any occasion, with ambitious recipes, great ambience (with music choices like Miles Davis and Billie Holiday), and wonderfully fresh ingredients. While it is definitely on the pricey side, we are happy to say that Chef’s Market does not add to the endless list of generic restaurants at City Stars and strives to offer something different with every dish. Coupled with complimentary fruit juice drinks and, for now, dessert, there is no better time to go pay it a visit.