Events

Fri 30
  • Brunch at Eat & Barrel
    Brunch at Eat & Barrel
    Jan 30 2:00 pm to Jan 30 7:00 pm - Eat & Barrel
    Recently opened Giza lounge and bar, Eat & Barrel, kick off the weekend with a special all you can eat brunch with unlimited beer and wine for...
  • DJ Lina Marwan at Rooftop Lounge
    DJ Lina Marwan at Rooftop Lounge
    Jan 30 10:00 pm to Jan 31 1:00 am - Rooftop Lounge
    Garden City's Rooftop Lounge welcomes DJ Lina Marwan - one of the few active female DJs in Egypt. For more...
  • Haze-M at Riverside
    Haze-M at Riverside
    Jan 30 9:00 pm to Jan 31 2:00 am - Riverside Restaurant & Lounge
    Tunisian DJ, Haze-M, takes a break from tearing things up in Europe for a special gig at Zamalek's Riverside that will also see the Awadi...
  • The Sound of Music at Cairo Opera House
    The Sound of Music at Cairo Opera House
    Jan 30 8:00 pm to Jan 31 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    One of the most popular and revered musicals across the globe, 'The Sound of Music, comes to Cairo Opera House's Small Hall for two...
  • R&B & Hip-Hop Night: DJ Moneim at Cairo Jazz Club
    R&B & Hip-Hop Night: DJ Moneim at Cairo Jazz Club
    Jan 30 10:30 pm to Jan 31 3:30 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    DJ Moneim will be taking off his house hat, and putting in his hip hop do-rag for R&B and Hip-Hop Night at CJC. Reservations at Cairo Jazz...
Sat 31
  • The Sound of Music at Cairo Opera House
    The Sound of Music at Cairo Opera House
    Jan 30 8:00 pm to Jan 31 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    One of the most popular and revered musicals across the globe, 'The Sound of Music, comes to Cairo Opera House's Small Hall for two...
  • Rock ‘n’ LOL at Cairo Jazz Club
    Rock ‘n’ LOL at Cairo Jazz Club
    Jan 31 10:00 pm to Feb 01 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Mixing covers of classic Egyptian pop tunes with a healthy dose of humour, local band, Rock 'n' LOL, take to the stage at Cairo...
  • Cairo Symphony Orchestra Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Cairo Symphony Orchestra Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Jan 31 8:00 pm to Jan 31 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Under the conductorship of Nader Abbassi Major the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, F. Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 in E Flat the Main Hall of...
  • Nicole Roerick Contemporary Dance at Darb1718
    Nicole Roerick Contemporary Dance at Darb1718
    Jan 31 7:00 pm to Jan 31 11:00 pm - Darb 1718
    Join Darb1718 as they host Nicole Roerick's contemporary dance performance, Blink. The performance will be followed with a Q&A session....
  • Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Jan 31 10:00 pm to Feb 01 5:00 am - Bamboo
    Every Saturday, DJ Aly and DJ Kiko bring a little slice of Beirut to Bamboo as they play the hottest Lebanese and Oriental tunes aboard the...
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Highlights

Restaurants

The Backyard: Mean Burgers at Hidden Maadi Hangout

The Backyard: Mean Burgers at Hidden Maadi Hangout

Along the ever-changing Road 9, restaurants and cafes come and go so fast it's difficult to keep up – and it's even harder to predict which will flourish. With a multitude of age ranges coming through, some venues struggle to serve everyone, while others excel at having a single target market. Walking through a small hallway next to Wok and Walk reveals the aptly named Backyard; a Brooklyn-esque open area with graffiti painted walls, artificial grass and a very young crowd. The music is pretty loud and not quite fit for a quiet relaxing meal. We found ourselves seats on the wooden tables and chairs resembling garden furniture and, when a waiter saw us, he proceeded to place menus on our table.  The menu is built on a selection of appetisers, burgers and fries options and we tried the Bacon (51.50LE) and Guacamole (47LE) burgers with Curly Fries (18LE) and Chilli Fries Con Carne (23LE) as well as their signature Backyard Burger (59LE). Additionally, we opted for a Camembert Bites (20LE) appetiser. The Backyard also offers breakfast options and there's a pastries section in a separate building across from the kitchen which has an interesting selection of cakes, macaroons and other sweet delicacies. The Camembert Bites were served first with a perfectly crunchy exterior and a delicious garlic aioli dip. Shortly afterwards came the fries and burgers. Although we weren't asked how we would like the burgers cooked, the Bacon – which features a tasty 160g patty topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and very tasty beef bacon – was served at a very comfortable medium. The Guacamole, on the other hand, was slightly undercooked, leaving the patty slightly more pink than desirable. The tasty guacamole and nacho chip toppings made for interesting textures and the overall taste was definitely pleasant. The Backyard Burger, a monstrosity of beef, bacon, mushrooms on a donut - that's right a donut - was particularly tasty but extremely messy because the donut isn't as big as a bun. The savoury flavors combined with the sweet donut might seem much to some - but the overall result was very filling. The Chili Fries, while not so generous in serving, were topped with a lot of cheese and a tasty, albeit not spicy, chilli, though it certainly beats most of the other chilli fries we've tried around Cairo. The Curly Fries, while a classic, just weren't as interesting after trying the chilli fries. All in all the food is delicious, but the loud music and younger crowd might make it favourable for some, but not for others. Though the Backyard presents little novelty in terms of concept, the overall sum of the parts ensure that, with Maadi's steady stream of youngsters with disposable income, it'll will be around for some time.

Shopping

The Candy Shop: A Sweet Tooth’s Haven in Cairo Festival City Mall

The Candy Shop: A Sweet Tooth’s Haven in Cairo Festival City Mall

We all get sugar cravings that demand instant gratification, but fancy desserts are not always the answer. Sometimes, the nagging child within us occasionally craves sugary delights in the form of gummy bears and lollipops. The Candy Shop, with its bright sign and lighting, is quite the attraction in the always bustling Cairo Festival City Mall. As soon as we entered we found ourselves racing from shelf to shelf, letting go of any adult inhibition, trying to explore all of the candy options available. With big names like Haribo, Loacker, Chupa Chups, Wonka, Hershey's, and Twizzlers, amongst many others, the store is overflowing with well-known and much loved brands of candy. One stand, however, caught our eye: the Salt Water Taffy stand, which is situated in the middle of the store, offering a few flavours, including Vanilla, Chocolate-Mint, Strawberry, Mocha, and Watermelon, of the delicious treats (9.5 LE/ 100g). You get to handpick your own flavours and place them in a bag, which is then weighed at the cashier, as explained by our helpful sales personnel. We may or may not have gotten carried away with this. We also spotted a stand displaying Cavandish and Harvey fruit-flavoured candy drops (15.75 LE/ box). The true highlights of all displays, however, were the Jelly Beans (24 LE/100g) and M&Ms (30 LE/100g) displays, which consisted of big tubes containing the colourful candies, from which you fill your bag with. Chocoholics rejoice, for we spotted an abundance of chocolates, and chocolate-flavoured delicacies strewn around the store, from imported Cadbury, Milka, Kinder and Hershey's chocolate bars to Guylian chocolate boxes to the coveted Hershey's chocolate syrup. Candy-themed merchandise is also offered by the truly nostalgia-inducing store including M&Ms t-shirts, and cartoon-themed chocolate calendars, as well as Disney-themed Cake Decoration tools, and adorable snowman mugs. All in all, we had lots of fun twirling around the Candy Shop, pretending that we were six again, and picking out are favourite candies. The shop's meticulousness and organization made the whole experience all the more pleasant, as did the delightfully helpful but in no way irksome staff.

Cafés

Pottery Café: Laid Back Branch of Popular Café in New Cairo’s Meeting Point

Pottery Café: Laid Back Branch of Popular Café in New Cairo’s Meeting Point

Egypt's endless collection of cafés seems to have a single identifier: excessive noise. While occcasions often call for the hustle and bustle of a Cairo cafe, one needs to hang out somewhere hushed and more relaxed every now and again for the sake of one's sanity. Located in one of New Cairo's Meeting Point, Pottery Cafe offers a small indoor seating area, as well as a less attractive, semi-indoor, tent-covered seating area.  Opting for the indoor seating area, we took our seats amongst the almost exclusively white interior, with the exception of a single, brightly coloured wall. The café was neither packed, nor noisy in any way during our visit, making for a generally tranquil ambiance. A waiter made his way to us a couple of minutes later, with menus in hand. For those not familiar with the popular chain, Pottery Café surprisingly offers an adequate selection of dishes, considering it does not label itself as a restaurant. From salads, pizzas, pastas, fajitas, steaks, sandwiches and burgers to basic desserts, one can definitely assemble a filling meal here. As for drinks, everything from frappes, smoothies, milkshakes and juices are offered. As soon as we made up our mind, our waiter came by and immediately jotted down our order, arriving back with it about 30 minutes later. Our margarita pizza (33LE) came with the requested toppings of black olives (10LE) and mushrooms (6LE) and was satisfactory yet unspectacular, as was the Quattro Formaggi pizza (42LE). Both were cooked well and without any disastrous faults, but simply lacked any flair or points of interest, so to speak. The Fettuccini Alfredo pasta (39LE) was, on the other hand, quite lip-smacking with the cream sauce having just the right consistency and the penne pasta being well-cooked. It did, however, lack a considerable amount of chicken cubes. In a nutshell, though branding itself as a café, Pottery Café does a sufficient job at offering an ample array of food options. Though the pizzas were, at best, average, the pasta was quite delectable. And, lest we forget, the café's general quietness is refreshing and its service to be on point.

Nightlife

The Tap: Refreshingly Unpretentious Maadi Bar

The Tap: Refreshingly Unpretentious Maadi Bar

Residents of Maadi are very proud – and a little protective – of their neighbourhood. Having possibly taken the lead ahead of Zamalek as Cairo's epicentre of cafes and restaurants, there is one field that it has never really excelled at: nightlife. This year alone, two bars – Tipsy Bar & Lounge and Syren Bar – opened in the same spot to much fanfare, only to close with a whimper. Equal, if not more, fanfare accompanied the opening of the Tap, but things seem to be running on a much more even keel thus far. In the run-up to its opening, the unrelenting power of social media sold it as a British-influenced bar – not quite a pub, but certainly borrowing many of its elements. Said elements aren't quite as explicit once you're settled in the venue. Nonetheless, it balances enough visual quirks with a self-assured unfussiness to keep the atmosphere interesting. Red bricking is the most notable decorative feature, but its overall welcoming simplicity doesn't render the distinct decor jarring in anyway. What is slightly jarring, however, is the space's corridor layout which, during busier nights (especially those that attract patrons of the clubbing variety), can be hard to navigate. In addition, the bar-space is rather small and, if you haven't booked a table that affords you table-service, you may find yourself carefully squeezing your arm through a line of seated people to try and catch the staff's attention. In fairness, however, said staff are attentive and pleasantly indiscriminate in service. Drinks (50LE-70LE) are, generally, well made and the staff aren't shy, but in fact rather generous, when it comes to making cocktails, never skimping on the alcohol; try the Banana Daquiri or the Amaretto Sour - you won't be disappointed. The owners of the Tap seemed to have deliberately downplayed the dining aspect, despite offering an eclectic menu of bar-friendly snacks and full-blown mains – and it's a clever move that has saved the Tap from falling into the same pitfalls as other pseudo-gastropubs in Cairo that have wrongly assumed that the city's (overly) discerning nightlife collective can digest the concept. This, however, bares no reflection on the quality of the food itself; buckets of BBQ Buffalo Wings (60LE) are excellently made (and come with customary disposable gloves) and dishes like the BBQ Ribs (110LE) are executed to near perfection. The meat is of noticeably good quality and is cooked to a perfect tenderness and flavour, thanks to an excellent hickory barbeque sauce. Unlike its predecessors, the Tap has laid a foundation that will almost certainly see it be a major player on the nightlife scene for a long time to come – knock on wood – and already has plans to open another branch in the SODIC's West Town Hub, which is still in a very early construction period.  The biggest reason for this is that the owners gave themselves enough time to find their footing, refraining from launching into a stream of needlessly complicated concepts and gimmicks. It's not the F1 simulator, the arcade system or even the three-litre personal beer-tap that makes the Tap stand out - these are all sidenotes; its real quality is in its brave simplicity. Essentially, the Tap speaks for itself – and for bar that that has been birthed from the basics of a British pub, it speaks rather well.

Arts & Culture

Picasso Art Gallery: 'The Interplay of Marble, Stone &  Glass' by Ketty Abdel Malek

Picasso Art Gallery: 'The Interplay of Marble, Stone & Glass' by Ketty Abdel Malek

Art, in the broadest sense of the word, is a tricky thing. The finished product rarely communicates the process that produced it – none more so than with mosaic-work. It's not just a matter of sticking things next to other things; the influence of architecture means that between preliminary sketches and picking colours, to breaking up your medium and finally piecing it backing together, it's an art-form that is every bit as complex as it is fantastical. Despite its intricacy, it remains one of the oldest art forms and one that is still largely popular in art and architecture today. Egyptian artist, Ketty Abdel Malek, is one such practitioner of mosaic-work.  Having French Literature before moving into inking and sculpture, she eventually found her way to world of mosaics, which she studied in Rafina, Greece. She excelled in her pursuit in the art-form by freely using different types and colours of stones on a single canvas, unhindered by traditional schools of thought. Currently a member of the British Association for Modern Mosaic and the International Association for Contemporary Mosaics, she has been featured in numerous international galleries the last of which was the Museum of Contemporary Art in Macedonia. Her current exhibition, The Interplay of Marble, Stone and Glass, at Picasso Art Gallery, is split into two; the first contained a large number of medium-sized mosaics, tied together by a bright and almost cheerful colour palette. The works involve classical themes, but approached in a more contemporary sense. An example of this is a mosaic of the Virgin Mary carrying the baby Jesus, where the artist depicts the characters with Oriental facial features. Another piece that attracted our attention was a 100x70 piece titled Aton. Pharaonic reference aside, the portrait depicts the sun over the river Nile, using a mixture of dark blue tiles mixed with hot coloured tiles to depict the sun and life flowing from it. Abdel Malek hasn't only proved she is one of the big names in contemporary mosaic-work, she also exhibited classical pieces as well, including one very special piece titled Segada; translating to 'carpet' or 'rug', it's traditional in the sense of its motifs and symmetry. Though seemingly much simpler in conception than the other pieces, the intricacy and detail is no less. The second section contains collages made with very different mediums. The portraits are abstract in nature, but one can create harmony between the different shapes made from pieces of the same medium. One in particular stood out, with the use of black ink and splashes of brown paint combined with shreds of paper. This technique is employed several times through the exhibition and, although abstract than the mosaics, it still manages to be simple, lively and visually engaging.

Health & Fitness

Skin Säde: Expert Finnish Skin Clinic in 6th of October City

Skin Säde: Expert Finnish Skin Clinic in 6th of October City

While the pulsing neon lights and energetic pace of the capital provide an atmosphere that cultivates adventure, the arid winds and dense smog easily extinguish the verve of even the most zealous city dweller. The healthy balance of mind, body and spirit is an integral aspect to surviving Cairo and there's no better way than pampering the barrier that protects you from the harsh elements of the city. Skin Säde is a Finnish skin clinic that promotes natural and non-invasive treatments and facials that diagnose and provide skin with exactly what it needs. This attitude is what differentiates Skin Säde from other dermatology centers in the city. Located in the El Motameyaz District of 6th of October City, Skin Säde operates from a large villa shared with a dental clinic. After reserving over the phone, we walked into the beautifully decorated reception area and were immediately greeted by our selected clinician. The clinic has a framed 'menu' with all the provided facials from the Classic Facial Massage (100LE) to the more inclusive Lift BTX Facial (500LE). We were then led inside to the treatment room and given a general medical sheet to fill out and then told to remove any jewelry and loose clothing. We were left for a few minutes to soak up the relaxing atmosphere and soothing music. In addition to the warm environment, the tools and machines were impeccably organised and were either completely sterilised or used disposable parts. After getting comfortable in the plushy chair, our therapist began the Hydrating Facial (450LE) by first cleansing and removing make-up with a cleansing milk, then followed by a toning gel. The products used are all of the same line by renowned brand, Oxynergy Paris. After the cleansing process, our therapist began inspecting our skin under a light to assess the type and the following procedures required. Determining that our skin type was 'oily' and identifying the areas that need extraction, our therapist prepared a chemical peel with the active ingredients of salicylic and glycolic acid. She explained the difference between chemical and enzyme peels and how each is appropriate for a specific skin type. Talking us through each step, she assured us that the peel will cause a slight tingling and heat sensation that is completely normal and is no cause for alarm. After a few minutes, the peel was removed and the steaming process began. Used to open pores to prep the skin for the extraction process, the steam was kept at a comfortable distance and allowed for normal breathing. Including ozone in the steam, we were told that it would disinfect and soothe our skin after the chemical peel. When our pores were sufficiently opened, the extraction process commenced. Gentle and entirely delicate, our therapist expertly tended to our problem areas with extreme tact and dexterity. To close our pores after the extraction, a frequency machine was used. Completely painless and rather relaxing, the nozzle was made of a felt material and was used on the entire face. After the frequency machine, a serum was applied and a galvanic machine was used to aid the skin to completely absorb the serum. The final treatment was a luxurious shoulder massage using essential oils and a face massage using a collagen pack and, as our appointment was in the evening, a night cream. Comprehensive and professional, Skin Säde employs the most experienced skin therapists that we have personally encountered in the skin care industry. With reasonable prices and amazing packages, Skin Säde has a reputation built on honesty and professionalism.

City Life

Cairo Weekend Guide: Live Music, New Party Series & New Art

Cairo Weekend Guide: Live Music, New Party Series & New Art

Hello Cairo! A three-day weekend beckons and the gods have gifted us with warmer weather. If ever there was a time to shake off the inevitable temptation of weekend idleness, it's now. Although, staying in bed and watching something on a laptop is also pretty sweet, actually. Whatever the case, there are plenty of parties, gigs and exhibitions across Cairo! On Thursday, a new series of parties titled CIVILIZATION Live debuts at Omar Khayyam boat featuring Carlos & Vega and Coyu on headlining duties, while the Brass Knuckles take over Cairo Jazz Club stage with explosive rock tunes. VENT resident, Ahmed Samy, takes to the decks with Zeina for a night of house and techno, while Fairmont Nile City's O Bar host the deep house sets of Ihab Saleh. Also at Fairmont Nile City, Napa Grill welcomes seafood lovers for another extravagant Seafod Festival buffet, while belly-dancer, Leila, performs at Bab El Nil and Noha Taha leads a night of live music at Saigon Restaurant & Lounge. Zamalek's Riverside kicks off the weekend with resident DJ Tamer Hegazy, while Bamboo hosts Bamboo Night into the wee hours of the morning with residents Kiko, Bob and 3bkarino. Alchemy lures the crowd with its special daiquiri recipes at Forbidden Nectar and local band, Screwdriver, perform at Garden City's Rooftop Lounge. On Friday, VENT host the mainstream music night, SUPsidy, on a Friday to eliminate excuses, while DJs Shenzo and Tahawy play everything from indie dance to tech house at Cairo Jazz Club. Riverside hosts another edition of Riverdeep with DJs SHawky and Ahmed Eid, while O Bar welcomes DJ Mido Maher for a night of nu disco and progressive house. Meanwhile, it's Hip Hop Night at Amici Zamalek and Vintage Bar & Lounge welcomes the shameless for Karaoke Night. Egyptian songstress, Lana, brings her vocal talents to Saigon Restaurant & Lounge while Alchemy hosts the gallery of master painter and expressionist Hala ElSharouny. On Saturday, CJC welcomes back Basheer for a Nubian-inspired weekend closer, while Bamboo celebrate Lebanese Love with DJs Aly and Kiko. Also, Amici invites you to leave the city behind at their Oriental Night. New art this week comes at Mohandiseen's Al Kahila Art Gallery, where joint exhibition, Dilemma, sees the work of sculptor, Ammar Sheha, and painter, Tasneem El Meshad, exhibited. Other notable exhibitions worth checking out include Souad Mardam Bey's Playing with No Toys at Zamalek Art Gallery, Nada Baraka's Fractals at Mashrabia Gallery and Makan's exhibition at Karim Francis Gallery. For more events this weekend, check out the Cairo 360 events calendar.

Music

Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

Punk rockers-turned-electronic lovers, Fall Out Boy return with their seventh studio album – their second after their hiatus – with the same renewed energy and matured sound that carried their sixth album, Save Rock and Roll. Venturing away from the trademark radio-friendly brand of rock, FOB find themselves venturing more deeply into a musical transformation of sorts. Their strategically planned comeback has taken the form of growing out of their emo/punk rock days and into a more structured, anthemic arena rock inspired sound. Seemingly unabashed by the mixed reception of Save Rock and Roll, the quartet have amplified their new sound. From the get go, the album asserts its quirky identity with a horn-solo as its opener on 'Irresistible'. As a whole, the album doesn't shy away from catchy choruses or electronic beats, nor does it refrain from nostalgically drawing serious inspiration from other artists. 'Centuries", the album's first single, takes the background melody of Suzanne Vega's 'Tom's Diner' and puts an rock spin on it, while 'Uma Thurman' draws on the memorable beat of the theme song of 60s TV show The Munsters. Such heavy incorporation of an in-your-face kaleidoscope of iconic references is quite a daring move; one which may well blow up in the face of the pop-punk quartet. Nevertheless, FOB have always been fans of taking the road less travelled when it comes to their, often over-the-top, musical endeavours.   The band's harmonious dynamics are, one must note, echoed in the cohesiveness of the whole album, with all the songs coming together like Lego pieces. Patrick Stump, the lead vocalist, adds life and provides a vocal identity to Pete Wentz's lyrics, ferociously belting out "I don't feel a thing for you" on 'Novocaine', as well energetically chanting "you and I were fire, fire, fireworks that went off too soon" on 'Fourth of July'. The one concern, however, is the album's lack of any strong guitar or drum solos to highlight the talents of lead guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley. Until the very last track, the gothic closer, 'Twin Skeleton's (Hotel in NYC)', the album does not slow down its grandiose rhythmic vibes, nor does it put a halt on the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. As Pete Wentz told Digital Spy, the band wants to stay "culturally relevant" and "make art that is meant to influence pop culture" and that is what the foursome have managed to pull off with American Beauty/ American Psycho.
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Win! Dinner for Two at Kempinski Nile Hotel's Osmanly
Win! Dinner for Two at Kempinski Nile Hotel's Osmanly