By Kareen Edward
Located in the heart of Cairo, the Four Seasons Hotel is a bastion of international, local and oriental cuisine. The luxury hotel overlooks the Nile River and houses a number of the city’s most prominent cafes and restaurants. In an effort to distinguish itself among the myriad of showrooms and lofts dotting the corniche, the Four Seasons offers eclectic cuisine and venues, and Beymen Café is no exception.
On the ground floor of the Four Seasons, nestled at the heart of Beymen, the extensive, multi-brand store, Beymen Café offers shoppers a quick respite from their aching feet and heavy bags. With a cuisine of light snacks, it is ideal for breakfast, brunch or a quick dinner.
With its modern design, light furniture and beautiful stained glass ceiling, the small cafe is bright and airy. The circular area is spacious, with booths at a comfortable distance to allow for intimacy among separate parties. The bright lights and colours contribute to the cheerful and vibrant atmosphere; however, the music was not too loud, allowing for quiet conversation while enjoying the meal.
The staff was extremely attentive, accommodating and friendly. The cafe had several other patrons; however, service was speedy and the venue was seemingly thronged with satisfied customers.
To start off, I had the Beymen Salad as an appetiser; salmon gravlax, endive, crispy parmesan and apple slices, avocados and asparagus lay on a bed of fresh greens with a vinagrette dressing of white honey, brown sugar, mustard and balsamic vinegar. The salad was fresh and the dressing the right amount; it was tangy, constituting an even balance of sweet and pungent.
I had the fillet au poivre with potato wedges as a main dish, with basmati rice as an additional side. The dish was executed beautifully, with the thick slice of beef tenderloin lightly drizzled with delicious, creamy pepper sauce and a bowl of white basmati rice sprinkled with parsley. However, although the fillet was asked to be cooked medium, it was served medium-well and was not tender. The wedges were seasoned and flavourful, but undercooked with a solid interior.
For dessert, I had the raspberry tart with creamy white chocolate. The burgundy pastry with white and rosy layers was gushing with light cream cheese and sweet raspberry puree. The taste was enhanced by the sharp pang of sour raspberries which starkly contrasted with the sugary richness of white chocolate, creating an exemplary equilibrium of flavour.
Beymen Café is an extension of the diverse, modernised hotel in which it is situated. Light, modern and creative, its location at the core of one of the city’s most prominent and trendy shopping centres is fitting.