Photography courtesy Marlyn’s Photography courtesy Marlyn’s

et bites: Dining at the euro-chic Marlyn’s

Mon, Aug. 13, 2018
One sunny afternoon, we headed off to Marlyn’s to indulge in their Euro-chic atmosphere and dishes. And right in the heart of Heliopolis lay that little piece of Europe, in every single detail, from the menu to the branding concept.

A subtle interior design peppered with light pink and flowery patterns holds a bright and simple outdoor seating area with wrought-iron and flowers decorating the venue, making Marlyn’s ambiance truly akin to that of a Parisian afternoon. The restaurant serves assorted European cuisine including French, German, Swedish and Spanish dishes.

To satisfy the shisha craze, Marlyn’s also serves the much Egyptian-loved shisa, but with various twists in flavors. If you’re not a fan, they have a non-smoking area. The private balconies and outdoor area are perfect for taking in the sun and a cool breeze during the long summer, while nibbling on their various menu concoctions.

“People who travel a lot tend to eat a lot of different foods that aren’t available in Egypt. In Spain, they like the paella and tapas. They’ll come here and they’ll have [exactly that],” says Marlyn’s owner Mohamed El Nemr, who sat down with us for a chat after our meal. “In the beginning, we put food items on the menu that will be appealing to the Egyptian customer. After a while, when people started hearing that we serve different food, we started bringing in more dishes from different countries in Europe.”

To bring Europe home, Marlyn’s will soon launch a new concept, where they will build a theme around one country from Europe each month, and will invite their community for a special menu tasting with that country’s authentic dishes. “We are trying to bring European culture into the Egyptian market,” says El Nemr.

With clients from various age groups, be it young adults or people in their 60s, the place has something for every taste. “Every part of the day attracts specific people, and every part of the restaurant attracts specific people,” says brand manager, interior designer and concept creator Nour El Rashidy. “Most of the time the big balconies attract groups of friends, while the small balconies bring those coming for dates, anniversaries and proposals. The outside [area] mainly [attracts] groups of friends.”

Marlyn’s serves breakfast, brunch and dinner. We went for an early dinner and tried their fried potatoes stuffed with minced beef, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, then had the Marlyn’s Chicken dish, marinated with spices and lemongrass, topped with labneh and sweet carrot puree, and served with crispy wedges and cherry tomatoes. We were then served a selection of their tapas; traditional Spanish bite-sized skewers of grilled chicken, glazed chicken liver, grilled halloumi cheese, spicy sweet potato cubes and black olives. For the main dish, we had the Salmon Fettucine, served in a light cream parmesan sauce, and then we topped the indulgence off with The Milky Way; a drink of espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, caramel sauce, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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