Address: 30 Road 213, Degla, New Maadi
Tel No: +2 (02) 2519-8443
Timing: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Crave is the latest eatery to open in Maadi, Jan I think is when it opened its doors to the public. I believe they've had an outlet in Zamalek for a long time, and, only now, have ventured into Maadi.
Pasta & pizzas from Italy, burgers from the US, Jalapeno-stuffed mushrooms from Mexico, the menu on offer at the new eatery "Crave" in Maadi is a lesson in culinary geography. And just to ensure that you do get it right, each item on the menu has a stick figure giving a clue to the dish's region.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk in, is the incredible buzz to the place. At lunch time, it’s crowded, and, you can feel the vibrancy. The restaurant is full of light and is airy, the seating is modern and muted, and the walls have black panels running across the eatery with figures of different ethnicities caricatured in white.. It’s almost like the wall panels reflect the variety of cuisine that is on offer. The most interesting feature of the decor are the chandeliers - they have tableware hanging upside down giving a really cool and hip feel to the place. The restaurant has a smoking and non-smoking area and is reasonably large.
We ordered our drinks, and, my favourite lemon did not disappoint. The restaurant does not offer any alcoholic beverages like beer, whiskey etc nor wine. Neither are you permitted to carry your own and pay corkage. So its strictly juice and soft drinks.
We decided to order the Mushrooms Four Seasons. Actually, as a vegetarian, I really did not have too much choice for the starter, unless I wanted a Caesar’s salad, which I was sure I did not! At LE 33.95, the portions were decent enough for a starter for three without it filling you up completely. The mushrooms sautéed in butter were nice as were the deep fried ones.
For vegetarians, its Italian to the rescue again. There is a decent choice of pizzas and pastas. I settled for a Spinach and ricotta ravioli while one of my friends ordered a roccola and cheese pizza. The last order was Stake Diane. The waiters are extremely friendly and attentive, and willing to walk you through the menu if you so desired. Also the service is quick, and, we found the food at our table pretty fast.
I must warn you that the portions are really large at Crave. The pizza is actually good for two people if you've had a drink and a decent appetizer. My friend actually had to get her pizza packed cos she could not finish it.
My ravioli was ok. It was a little hard, and the tomato sauce a bit too tomatoey, but the filling inside was delicious. My friend said that her pizza was very good. The Stake Diane was not bad either.
We also ordered the Chocolate Fondant, which is described as a chocolate volcano, and I must admit it lived up to its name. The vanilla ice-cream is just what is needed to balance the intense gooey chocolate, and, it is a really satisfying end to the meal.
We enjoyed the meal thoroughly, and, I think more than the meal, we enjoyed the feel and the atmosphere of the place! For lack of any other words, it pulsates with life unlike many of the other eateries in Maadi which tend to be very quiet. Definitely, worth another meal, and this time, an evening out!
Edit 1: Went for dinner to Crave again. The food did not dissapoint. The crab covered with fried kunafa (LE 32) was delicious (and served very artistically), so was the risotto with spinach and mushrooms. The farfalle primvera was ok, while the vegetarian pizza was very good.
Ordered the Chocolate Fondant (volcano) again. The gooey chocolate oozing out of the cake and you dig into it, is sheeeeeer decadence...Its to die for!
Edit 2: Had some freinds visting from India. Took them to Crave for lunch. The food as usual was great except for a crab ravioli (LE 38) which smelt terrible. It appears that they do not use fresh crab, or they told us. The Chilli Shrimp (LE 62) and the Stir Fried Chicken (LE 38) was deliciously spicy, close to what the Indian palate is used to. The Fried Fish fillet with lemon suace (LE 42) was just right. of course, we had to finally end the meal with the Chocolate Fondant which, as usual, was to die for!! If there was a chocolate heaven on earth, it is here, it is here!!