New flavors come to Maadi: Latin American cuisine at La Tabla Luna
Courgette starters at La Tabla Luna

Another new Maadi installation, La Tabla Luna specializes in Latin American cuisine with dishes from countries including Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

The restaurant is located on Road 218 in Degla, a quarter that is quickly becoming a foodie hub with restaurants like the Italian gelateria Stavolta, an Indian fast food spot called Punjabi, Gaya sushi, a Swiss fondue joint and a number of others.

Our evening at Tabla Luna was marred by a power cut, so while we enjoyed the brilliant colors of the interior decor, the chalkboard menu and some starters for the first 20 minutes, the rest of our meal was barely visible by candlelight.

While Asian restaurants run aplenty in the city, many of the dishes on the Tabla Luna menu are new to the Cairene restaurant goer. The appetizer collection includes empanadas de queso and empanadas de carne — the Latin American versions of sambusak lahma and gibna — a delicious fish ceviche from Peru and shrimp ceviche from Ecuador.

Tabla Luna grows much of its own produce, including the cherry tomatoes and lettuce, so you’re sure your salad is full of freshness.

The main dish selection is equally varied and exciting, from a whole snapper to duck pancakes and our table’s favorite, “The Confused Argentinean” — a mouthwatering vegetarian gnocchi dish. The snapper was delicious, though navigating the many tiny bones in the fish was an ordeal in the darkness. The duck was also a table favorite.

The chili was not as full bodied as expected, however, and the corn bread was disappointingly dry.

Despite being stuffed, passing up on dessert was not an option for our party. We tried both the Torta de Tres Leches and the flan, which is similar to crème brulee. Both were devoured, and the sweetness and softness of the milk soaked cake was truly irresistible.

Tabla Luna’s prices run around EGP20 for appetizers and EGP50-80 for main dishes. Because the dishes and flavors are so interesting, it’s nice to order a few and share with the table if you have enough people with you.

The entire restaurant is non-smoking, so smokers must perch on the steps for their cigarette break. The restaurant is also very small — approximately six to seven tables depending on the number of guests at each — so try your best to reserve in advance for busy nights like Thursday and Friday.

La Tabla Luna, #41 Road 218, Maadi. Open for dinner 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm.

Nevine El-Shabrawy