Homemade ice cream sandwich

Restaurants, restaurants, and more freakin’ restaurants!  It seems that every day we’re hearing of a new restaurant opening in Cairo – Zamalek to be more specific.  But which restaurants have the quality, atmosphere, and experience that will keep their guests coming back and doors open for the long haul?  One new venue is shooting for the stars and thinks they’ll be around for a while.  What happens when you get three good friends with the same idea? Trio of course.  I got the chance to catch up with the very busy three owners, Rawy Rizk, Mohamed Farouk, and John Basta, to tell me about their experience so far.

 

 

Prime: What is Trio?

John: Trio is a different eating experience where people have the chance to go to a restaurant with a modern yet cozy atmosphere. We believe people deserve quality food with consistency without having to pay a lot to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Trio is chic, but affordable.

Rawy: It’s the new way to enjoy your meal like never before with a friendly staff and attentive chef to check on you during your meal.  We have the first American female chef in town who will allow you to taste things you’ve never tasted before at a reasonable price.

Mohamed: It’s new, it’s delicious and it’s an experience that will keep you coming back for more.

 

Trio’s La Cabra Salad

 

Prime: Where did the name Trio come from?

R: We went through a few names, but finally decided on Trio because there’s three of us and it just worked.

 

Prime: How did you become partners?

J: It was a bit by chance, one day we were sitting together and Rawy heard the place was for rent and the three of us didn’t hesitate for a second.  We just went for it and the process started.

R: We were friends already and had talked a little bit about opening a place then it just all fell into place.

M: We were friends before and had the same idea so we didn’t really think twice about partnering together.

Non-alcohol cocktails done by non other than Amici.

Prime: How did you come up with the concept and why open a restaurant of this kind?

J: We believe having a healthy lifestyle is not negotiable and when looking into the type of restaurant Cairo needs, it led us to choosing California cuisine paired with the slow food movement. California cuisine is a mixture of the various cultures that have been infused into the restaurant industry there. Adding to it the slow food movement concept where “everyone has the right to good, clean and fair food.” We believe Cairo shares the idea of the melting pot as well and the partnership between these two styles is just what Cairo needs right now.

R: We thought there was a lack of proper competition.  There’s a lot of places to go, but not with the same quality that Trio offers.

M: We saw a niche that needed to be filled and there’s no other place that offers as much variety as Trio, it’s like a new experience every visit.

 

 

Trio’s view from outside

Prime: What’s so different about Trio that will make it stand out from everyone else?

J: I believe everything about Trio will make it stand out; the concept, the design, the green food.  We are also going green regarding our waste and will be dealing with recycling suppliers to help with a greener Cairo.

 

Prime: I heard you got a chef from the States, who is she and why did you choose her?

J: Jane Hernandez is our kitchen queen who has years of experience in California cuisine and the quality of her food is like nothing you’ve tasted before.

R: Jane has a team of amazing Egyptian chefs, but we chose her as the executive chef because of her experience, taste and consistency in food that we thought was the best for Trio.

M: Her food really speaks for itself and once you try it, you’ll know exactly why.

 

A grilled organic half chicken, marinated in chimichurri sauce, potato rosti, together with a warn arugula salad.

 

Prime: What are you guys most excited about with Trio?

 J: I’m really excited about opening a restaurant that really cares about the guests’ needs and pays attention to detail, not just one size fits all for everyone.  I’m also excited that we’re one of the first to go green.

R: I’m excited about the location of Trio, the fact that it’s completely different than everyone else, and that it’s the first time in Egypt that a female is the head chef in a restaurant.

F: I’m excited about everything really and seeing our concept and hard work be brought to life….And of course the food. *laughs jokingly*

 

Prime: What has been the hardest part about the process?

 J: One of the hardest parts was the construction because we basically had to demolish the whole place and start from scratch.  Choosing the right menu and implementing it was a big challenge and finally putting everything together ready for operation.

R: The construction definitely. I also thought the designs were a difficult part with all of us agreeing to everything.

M: I thought it was all of us agreeing on everything as far as designs and final concept. and the food tastings, there were so many! *laughing*

 

Prime: What are your future plans for the restaurant?

J: Of course to expand into a chain of restaurants with the same quality as we started with.  Also to change and tailor the experience with the clients needs.

R: To expand Trio everywhere.

M: To take over the world!…But seriously, to expand into a chain that we’re proud of.

 

Prime: Why do Egyptians do it better?

 J: Our generation is doing a great job with creativity and matching people’s needs in the various markets. A lot of people are talking about a recession nowadays but you’d be surprised with the number of projects the youth are starting these days. Our country needs our help now and investments are the way up for ourselves and the country.

R: I’ve already taken the risk before with Amici before and have been successful so expanding into another place was a no brainer for me.  Our generation has taken risks and is going with the entrepreneurship route more so now than before and are becoming successful which is a good thing for everyone here.

M: Because we’re the best in the world of course….Seriously, I think our generation is changing the way things are being done and how they’re looked at.  We’re taking the risks, doing things our parents didn’t or wouldn’t do and really making names for ourselves.  We have a sense of pride in our country and people that you don’t really see very often nowadays in the rest of the world.

 

Read the full Ramadan Issue of Prime HERE
Trio Facebook HERE
Trio Twitter HERE

 

By: Sarah Daoud

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