El Konafa Reviews: Crimson
6 months ago
Next time you’re wondering about where to take your mom for dinner, or your girlfriend on a date, or just want a place to have a drink and kick back, look no further. It’s pretty hard to deliver equally on all of the above (or even one of the above, if you want to be honest here), but Crimson somehow manages to do it.
Crimson is a bar and grill on the rooftop of the Riverside building in Zamalek, a block or two before Sequoia. Walking in, you can automatically tell that their first claim to fame is the view; sitting down, you can tell their second is their décor and flatware (I wanted to take a picture of their gorgeous teal ceramic plates but didn’t want to be “that person”).
We went on a Friday in the late afternoon and called 15 minutes prior to reserve a table, which luckily was available. It’s best to reserve if you’re going on weekends, because while it was far from crowded, the place definitely does fill up. And the good thing is, it doesn’t fill up with drunken kids – the crowd was a mix of late 20s/early 30s all the way to our parents’ generation.
The menu is comprised of hot and cold appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, and dishes straight off the grill. My friend and I ordered the salmon gravlax rolls (salmon rolls stuffed with cream cheese, shrimp and crab meat topped with caviar), grilled octopus served with roasted pepper puree and lemon butter dressing, potato cheese balls (mashed potatoes stuff with cheddar cheese and fried), and the ravioli Rosa, which was freshly-made ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese in a creamy rosé sauce.
The food definitely delivered with each plate, but the ravioli was a bit undersized for its price. And speaking of prices… the cocktail menu is enough to make you weep. 280 EGP up to 550 EGP for a cocktail, before tax and service – uh, why? Why would I ever spend that much on a cocktail? This is Egypt, for God’s sake. We’re not paid in dollars. Even the local beer and the wine was definitely higher-priced than other Zamalek bars, so they can’t say they were using special alcohol extracted from unicorns.
In a nutshell: go for an ambient dinner or lunch, and make sure your credit card is ready to be hit with a bomb, should you choose to drink.