El Konafa Reviews: The White Owl
6 months ago
The other day I happened to stumble upon a bunch of my Maadi friends discussing a place called The White Owl (by stumbled upon, I mean the post they were all commenting on popped up on my FB newsfeed; our generation’s version of “stumbled upon”).
As someone who goes to Maadi once in a blue moon, and thus has no idea about what the hell goes on in that part of the world, I took notice that my usually restaurant-jaded friends were discussing The White Owl with suspicious enthusiasm. That was enough for me to leave my island (both figuratively and literally, seeing as I live in Zamalek) and head to the mazes of Maadi to see just what this White Owl is all about.
The White Owl prides itself on its handmade pasta; they have around 10 homemade pasta dishes, and a few starters and dessert items (they also have breakfast, but I personally didn’t check it out).
The restaurant itself is on a main street in Degla, but hidden from view because you need to take a few stairs down to reach it (which also lends an element of privacy to the restaurant). Inside, it’s brightly-lit, with an urban aesthetic and an open kitchen.
We ordered the green pea, potato and mint soup and Caprese salad (the sundried tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes was a nice touch) and for our main dishes we got the Pink Cream and Vegetable Tagliatelle (the interesting part of this dish is that the cream is actually made from coconut milk, making the dish essentially vegan) and the Spring Vegetable Fettucine (cherry tomatoes, aubergine, bell peppers, chili and thyme). They also have a few signature non-alcoholic drinks, and we got the pink lemonade with mixed berries puree.
It was my first time to have a vegan cream sauce pasta (albeit by accident), and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously it’s a much healthier option than a pink sauce drenched in butter and heavy cream, and it tasted really good as well. Every dish we had was obviously made from really fresh ingredients, and the open kitchen gives the restaurant an air of trust. The only negative in my experience was that there seemed to be too many waiters hovering in the background – hard to enjoy your pasta when you feel you’re being watched throughout.
In a nutshell: great pasta place if you’re in Maadi. Vegetarians and vegans alike should take special notice.