Just a few steps inside the fancy, black facade of Piazzini restaurant feels like getting inside a time machine, where nostalgia takes you to the classic era of the 1800s, and one can feel nothing but the warmth of antiquated décor taking over his soul.
Daily News Egypt’s team went for a quick brunch at the classy restaurant to explore the food of one of the world’s oldest restaurants.
Within the blocks of the gray city, the place is designed as an old, warm European house, and with November’s breeze, the magic of Europe’s vintage soul is complete. With the classic tables, wide dark brown wooden chairs, and dimmed lighting, vibes of intimacy control the atmosphere.
Piazzini offers guests two areas for enjoying their meals: outdoors, where a decorated garden surrounds people and tables are quietly separated and private, and indoors, where coziness dominates the scene with smaller, closer, yet more elegant, wooden tables.
While the outdoor garden might seem more appropriate to many people, the rural district welcomes November with strong winds. So if you prefer having a smoke in the outdoors where you can sit freely, don’t forget to bring a heavy coat for a warmer stay.
Piazzini offers Swiss-Italian cuisine. The vintage place serves a wide range of healthy, organic dishes that are prepared “with genuine love and authentic passion”, as the staff promises. The menu contains Swiss-Italian cuisine’s most famous dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“Homemade with love” is the slogan of the food, and that slogan is successfully applied.
For our brunch, we decided to go for the “Homemade Sandwich” section, going for the most traditional route by choosing “La Ciabatta” and “Pollo” sandwiches.
A mix of mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil stuffed inside Italian ciabatta bread were the components of the first sandwich, which is served with green salad and roasted potatoes with pesto and balsamic vinaigrette sauces.
The freshness of each and every component of the meal was the first, most noticeable comment.
The delicate bread wrapping the gooey, moist mozzarella pieces, along with the crunch of fresh basil with tomato and sauce, creates the balanced combination for a non-salty, garden-fresh sandwich.
“It is like they just took the basil straight from their garden directly to the sandwich,” one of us stated after the first bite.
Nonetheless, it would have tasted better if the bread was a bit warm and toasted. The coldness of the bread made it hard to detect if it was refrigerated in order to maintain its freshness, or whether it had cooled very quickly due to its inner components. But that only affected the taste for some of us who prefer having their meals warm.
As for the “Pollo” sandwich, it is a combination of juicy, grilled chicken breasts with iceberg lettuce, tomato, and crunchy, delicious raw onion rings.
Served with cocktail sauce and roasted potatoes, the plate created the closest version of grandmother’s homemade sandwiches.
Unlike the “La Ciabatta”, the fair crunch of the warm baguette bread with the chicken’s tenderness and the freshness of the added components created a balance for the sandwich, making it one of our favorites.
Both sandwiches had the option of being served in whole grain, brown, baguette, or ciabatta bread.
Potatoes were light, crunchy, and above all, mouthwatering.
Despite being a high-end restaurant serving Cairo’s elite community, the restaurant did not serve a breadbasket or any breadsticks, unlike most of the other Italian restaurants that are known for pre-serving bread with olive oil toppings.
For the desert, we had pretzel cake, one of the most requested sweets, as suggested by the staff.
Made out of pretzels, salted caramel sauce, a topping of chocolate chips, and served with one scoop of vanilla ice cream, the desert was moderately sweet.
For people who are not into overly sweet deserts, the mixture of the salted caramel sauce and the cake create the perfect balance that is very fulfilling.
The service was very good, although only two tables were occupied at brunch time, so one cannot judge.
The restaurant offers weekly nights of live performances of famous artists in the region, including Hany Adel. Every week, a schedule of the live performances is announced through the restaurant’s official Facebook page, opening the door for phone reservations.
Prices of main dishes ranged from EGP 180-350, while pasta and pizza started from 100. The place is considered highly priced, yet, it attracts Egypt’s upper class with its location in Fifth Settlement.
Piazzini opened its doors as a small, cosy restaurant for the first time in 1882 in Italy at the hands of chef Giovannina Pizzini and her Swiss-Italian family. For more than 200 years, it has remained a mark of quality.