Located at the entrance of the inevitably busy 26 July Street of the generally noisy Zamalek, the restaurant with the high ceilings of an early 20th century apartment building, the low lights of a smart interior designer and a properly adjusted AC temperature, U-Bistro manages to offer peaceful surroundings for a long and elaborate meal or just a business lunch.
As far as the menu goes, the chefs of U-Bistro would certainly have a reason to impress their clients with a precisely well thought through selection of starters and tapas and perfect main dishes that are designed to bring together the perfect mix of French and Italian cuisines to the heart of Cairo.
The shrimp fritters, where basil does make an intense presence, the roasted peppers that are perfectly marinated in olive oil and garlic and are just carefully topped with a very small bit of baba ghanoug are among the best tapas to opt for.
The chicken livers that are cooked in a balsamic vinegar sauce is another option – and it could change the minds of those who would have never touched chicken livers.
Starters and salad selections are also made to serve diverse tastes, but the popular items include the fried calamari -- with an incredibly golden colour and crunchy crust – and the tomato mozzarella that proves what really good mozzarella means to a simple and uncooked dish.
These starters and tapas might well be on the menus of other restaurants, but their quality is certainly higher than what is served in most other places, including some of the five-star hotel restaurants.
They are best followed by any of the selection of pastas that are all cooked with quality ingredients and are as simple and satisfactory, even it is basically a dish of linguine with pesto and a few shaves of parmesan cheese.
However, if it is only a business lunch, then there could simply be a short cut to the certainly adequate portions and good quality of the main dishes. Invariably there is always a good reason to trust the grilled salmon fillet that is served either with cream ginger spinach or with sautéed zucchinis marinated with slices of black olives.
A particularly popular choice is otherwise the entrecote that is served with homemade French fries.
The selection of soft drinks at U-Bistro is rather limited, though it has a good selection of wine and liquor.
The best part about a lunch at U-Bistro could be different things for different people, but if the clients are into homemade butter spread softly over nicely baked bread ahead of a meal, then they are set to be impressed.
A downsized lunch of a bottle of water, two main dishes and two single espressos would bring a bill of anything between LE1,000 and LE1,500.
U-Bistro (and Bar) is exactly the right choice for a pre-Ramadan lunch away from the heavy does of Egyptian-Middle Eastern cuisine. And it is certainly the place for a perfect lunch, or even better, an excellent dinner followed by drinks for those who do not observe the Muslim fast. Otherwise, it could well be next Ramadan's first lunch out choice.