Events

Fri 25
  • Destination CJC ft. Miesh & Felix Da Funk at Cairo Jazz Club
    Destination CJC ft. Miesh & Felix Da Funk at Cairo Jazz Club
    Apr 25 9:00 pm to Apr 26 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    DJ Miesh heats things up with a pumpin' house set at CJC, before Ibiza DJ, Felix Da Funk, hits the decks for a night dedicated to...
  • Cairo Fashion Festival II at Cairo Festival City Mall
    Cairo Fashion Festival II at Cairo Festival City Mall
    Apr 25 12:00 pm to Apr 25 11:00 pm - Cairo Festival City Mall
    With over 70 exhibitors, 20 runway shows, live entertainment and bucket-loads of fashion inspiration, Cairo Fashion Festival takes over Cairo...
  • Wasleens at El Genaina Theatre
    Wasleens at El Genaina Theatre
    Apr 25 7:00 pm to Apr 25 10:00 pm - El Genaina Theatre
    Youth initative, Wasleens, re-launches with a huge event at El Genaina Theatre that will see a host of speakers take to the podium and live...
  • Lena Chamamyan at Kasr El Nil Theatre
    Lena Chamamyan at Kasr El Nil Theatre
    Apr 24 8:00 pm to Apr 25 10:00 pm - Kasr El Nil Theatre
    Syrian-Armenian singer, Lena Chamamyan, performs at Kasr El Nil Theatre for two consecutive nights. For more information, call 02 25788024.
  • Nadah El Shazly at VENT
    Nadah El Shazly at VENT
    Apr 25 10:00 pm to Apr 26 2:00 am - VENT
    The uber-talented Nadah El Shazly performs at Downtown's VENT. For more information, call 0225747898.
Sat 26
  • Cairo Bites at Baron Palace
    Cairo Bites at Baron Palace
    Apr 26 11:00 am to Apr 26 11:00 pm - Baron Palace, El-Orouba, Heliopolis, Cairo
    Cairo Bites gathers of all your favourite cuisines and tastes for the biggest food festival Cairo has ever seen. Festivities include entertainment...
  • Recovery Saturdays at the Garden
    Recovery Saturdays at the Garden
    Apr 26 9:00 pm to Apr 27 12:00 am - The Garden
    Round off the weekend with a laidback night at the Garden's Recovery Saturdays. Reservations are highly recommended; call 01008263000.
  • Nashazphone Presents Alvarius B & El-G at 100Copies Music Space
    Nashazphone Presents Alvarius B & El-G at 100Copies Music Space
    Apr 26 8:00 pm to Apr 26 10:00 pm - 100Copies Music Space
    Alvarius B - aka Alan Bishop of the Invisible Hands and formerly of US band, Sun City Girls -  takes to the stage for a solo performance,...
  • Mister Ez / Agent Mo at VENT
    Mister Ez / Agent Mo at VENT
    Apr 26 10:00 pm to Apr 27 2:00 am - VENT
    Mister Ez and Agent Mo come together with an assortment of no-age music at VENT. For more information, call 0225747898.
  • Salalem & Rock n' Lol at Cairo Jazz Club
    Salalem & Rock n' Lol at Cairo Jazz Club
    Apr 26 9:00 pm to Apr 27 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Salalem bring their fun-filled indie pop to the CJC stage, before Rock n' Lol take over with their own 80's rock covers. Reservations at...
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Highlights

Restaurants

The Master Chef: Self-Proclaimed Family-Style Restaurant in Mohandiseen

The Master Chef: Self-Proclaimed Family-Style Restaurant in Mohandiseen

We all have our favourite restaurants in Cairo, but nothing gets us quite as excited as stumbling on the lesser known eateries. Mohandiseen has many a narrow road to get lost through and we happened upon the Master Chef by complete coincidence. The exterior is simple but pretty, with glass facades and a staircase up to the restaurant surrounded with plant pots. The interior, like the exterior, is simple, using a white and black colour themed and red glass tables with, unfortunately, uncomfortable chairs. Though the aesthetics are in no way offensive, the restaurant's boasts of being a family-style restaurant isn't reflected in the decor. We walked into the restaurant to find it completely empty with the exception of an elderly woman sitting whom we later found out was the owner. After a few minutes, and a couple of looks from under her glasses, she got up from behind the counter and called someone whose attire implied he was the chef. He handed us a menu full of breakfast options ranging between Foul and Falafel sandwiches (2.50LE) all manner of crepes (15 LE) and salads (20 LE). We say 'implied' because of his utter surprise at seeing customers and being asked about the 'dish of the day', as well us having to point at the menu to make our orders. Needless to say, we expected it all to go downhill from there. This was made all the worse when we took our first sip of mango juice (10LE) and realised it was of the packaged, supermarket variety. For main courses we opted for Sweet and Sour Chicken (35 LE) and Pepper Sauce Fillet (45 LE) and Chicken Cream Soup (12 LE). To our surprise, however, the chicken cream soup (12LE) was delicious, rich and creamy with a hearty serving of chicken and mushrooms. Moving onto the mains, sweet and sour chicken (35LE) was also full of flavour thanks, though there was a distinct overdose of onions. The dish came with homemade fries, which were fresh and crispy, and sautéed vegetables which were cooked perfectly; neither mushy and overcooked nor crunchy and raw. We also tried the pepper sauce fillet (45LE); while cut of meat was excellent, the preparation betrayed such a beautiful piece of beef. The meat was overly seasoned and marinated, while the pepper sauce had so much cinnamon that it became spicy, ultimately overpowering the taste of the meat. The dish was served with a white sauce pasta, which was creamy with a subtle hint of basil. Don't expect the chef to ask about the type of pasta you want; just be thankful you got to choose the sauce. The dessert menu was rather bland and generic, offering items such as jelly (10 LE) and crème caramel (12 LE). The owner recommended we try a new dessert called the Master Cake (15 LE); a layer of crème caramel over a chocolate sponge cake. While it was flavourful and fresh, it was it was just far too sweet. There's two ways to look at the Master Chef; you can either deem their food as wholesome and filling, or just rather unoriginal. 

Shopping

Kalla: Furniture & Home Accessories Shop in Sheikh Zayed

Kalla: Furniture & Home Accessories Shop in Sheikh Zayed

With spring and summer calling, there's no better time to deck out your garden in some brand new gear. For those who appreciate a charming furnished home with a modern, chic touch, fashionable shop Kalla has just opened its newest venue in Sheikh Zayed's Americana Plaza.  Providing a variety of contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture, the home fashion store has almost everything you can think of. Kalla offers the ideal necessities for those ready to furnish a new home; from sofas, coffee tables, side tables, bedroom and bathroom knickknacks, as well as decorative accessories, table tops, wall pieces, candleholders and ornamental lamps. While the venue seems neatly organised and widely spaced out to sustain comfort while browsing, the products were rather placed randomly around the shop making it difficult to spot certain product. Most of the items were colourfully suitable for the spring season; not too extravagant in colour and rather chic, using earthy colours – thin natural greys, creamy whites and delicate blues and greens, pleasantly mixed with attractive seasonal colours. A few living room couches were available at the time of our visit; a modern cream-coffee coloured L-shaped sofa (9990LE) stood out and decorated with a couple of colourfully patterned cushions ranging 175LE-185LE and a couple of plain ones ranging 55LE-65LE. Placed next to the sofa was a dark wooden side table (2900LE) with a crafted wicker lamp (750LE) placed on top of it. The products where all fitting in taste making the whole area ideally set together. A few beanbags were scattered around the shop; some were plain in design, yet striking with a solid colour (490LE) while others were embellished with flashy bright patchwork (550LE). A whole section is dedicated to bed and bath furnishings, complete with a collection of soft basic towels ranging 25LE-90LE, an overpriced colourful patchwork bedspread (1350LE) and glass-made bathroom necessities ranging from 145LE-250LE stood out. A variety of dinning and table accessories were also available.  We spotted a selection of glass cups ranging 25LE-35LE in different shapes and sizes, silver serving dishes at a rather steep 485LE-950LE, silver tea trays for 138LE-166LE and a collection of newfangled candlesticks. Kalla in Sheikh Zayed definitely presents a wide-range of tasteful home accessories; varying in style and colour, their products are ideal for everyday home necessities and basic home decor. 

Cafés

Kayan: Outstanding Pastries at New Zamalek Cafe & Bakery

Kayan: Outstanding Pastries at New Zamalek Cafe & Bakery

It's no secret that many restaurants and cafes in Cairo flatter with gimmicks, only to provide a mediocre experience, with few standing out as truly unique. Situated at the far end of the peaceful Zamalek's El Adel Abou Bakr Street – immediately opposite Body Shapers – Kayan has transformed casual dining in the area. Perfect for a light brunch and leisurely session of people-watching, a green and white striped canopy shades four granite-topped tables outside. Cheery sunflower centrepieces coupled with the warm weather transported us to a more European, almost Parisian, location.   The interior reflects a country-chic but contemporary feel, with garish green walls and shabby-chic wall art. A glass cabinet – and several shelves behind – show off freshly baked, homemade pastries, as well as a wide range of artisan loaves and cakes. Greeted by friendly, welcoming staff, we immediately felt at home. Whilst the food menus are not yet printed, the owner himself took us through the available, delicious-sounding options. A variety of gourmet steak, chicken, turkey and cheese sandwiches are available, wrapped in baguette, toast or Panini bread. Salads are also offered, along with tempting, sweet and savoury breakfast options. Fresh coffee and juices can be whipped up in seconds; we’d thoroughly recommend their sweet, chilled tangerine juice (15LE). To eat, we opted for their triple decker chicken club sandwich (35LE) with avocado (7LE), which was nothing less than perfect. Stacked high on warm, buttered white bread, the filling was made up of the freshest ingredients; thick pieces of real chicken breast – as opposed to processed – were grilled to perfection, whilst egg and cheese melted over the ripe salad layers. The avocado was finely chopped and slight,  largely blending in with the rest of the flavours. We also took away a selection of four sweet pastries (14LE); one pistachio croissant, one peach and one raspberry turnover, as well as a cinnamon swirl. Baked to perfection, the pastry was practically flawless, whilst none of the creations were sickeningly sweet. Contrasting with the fruity flavours of the raspberry and peach jams, the pistachio croissant was subtly flavoured and scrumptious. Our only complaint would be that the cinnamon flavour of the swirl was a little too subtle.    Kayan offers delicious breakfast and lunch options in an intimate, urbane bistro setting, as well as fine, freshly baked bread and pastry options which can be delivered right to your door.

Nightlife

The Garden: Chic, Bustling Bar in Korba, Heliopolis

The Garden: Chic, Bustling Bar in Korba, Heliopolis

While the number of bars and clubs in Cairo is always on the increase, the nightlife scene in the capital is somewhat cliquey congregations, some with expensive minimums and tough door policies. Not blessed with a bar scene to speak of, the Korba district of Heliopolis has recently welcomed the Garden. Having suffered at the wrath of Facebook-users of Cairo for an alleged screening process that pries into Facebook profiles, we were glad our photos were up to par, managing to secure our group a table mid-week. Situated at the end of a small alley, right next to the Coffeeshop Company, the Garden is spread over a large outdoor patio and an indoor – but open fronted – bar area. Complete with bare-brick walls, hanging Edison light bulbs, copious numbers of potted plants and charming bright red shutters on the exterior windows of the building above, the Garden has been meticulously designed to be chic, contemporary and stylish for its mixed-bag of fashionable clientele. With DJ Hishram Zahran on the decks at the time of our visit, the place was filled with chilled out dance beats, at a decent level so that conversation was still a possibility. Despite being mid-week, the bar was packed, with most of the crowd standing inches away from one another and the staff running around like headless chickens. Choosing from a fully stocked bar and a long list of cocktails, we ordered several Smirnoff vodka (70LE) and Red Bulls (35LE), as well as a glass of chilled, Omar Khayyam white wine (50LE). We also took our own bottle (250LE for bouchon), and were afforded ice buckets to keep it cool. Whilst we could appreciate the place was busy, waiting around 45 minutes – and having to nag constantly for our drinks every time – seemed a little ridiculous and the same gruelling process applied when ordering the check. From a full menu of international appetisers, main meals and desserts, we opted for an Oriental sampler as a sharing platter (80LE). Also taking forever to arrive, and served cold, the best thing about the herby sogo', crisp cheese and meat sambousak, and rich liver, was the attractive presentation on a wooden chopping board. We also spotted a number of impressive-looking, thick hamburgers floating around, whilst hearing complaints regarding long waiting times from a large number of diners.        While the Garden's energy is buzzing, and the aesthetics are undoubtedly fabulous, the service most certainly is not – yet.

Arts & Culture

Art Talks: 'Beauty & The Beast' by Sabhan Adam & Hossam Dirar

Art Talks: 'Beauty & The Beast' by Sabhan Adam & Hossam Dirar

While art is rampant across Cairo's galleries, rarely does an exhibition manage to take our breath away. 'Beauty and the Beast' – a dual exhibition of 'The Beast' from Sabhan Adham, and 'Beauty' from Hossam Dirar – is a demonstration of jaw-dropping talent, perfectly intertwined at Zamalek's Art Talks. Born in Syria in 1973, Sabhan Adam is a self-taught artist and has exhibited his works extensively worldwide. Unleashing his pain and anger onto paper, Adam reflects the suffering and events happening in his homeland, resulting in dramatic, awe-inspiring portraits. Largely using mixed media on canvas, the majority of his paintings are large and almost life-size, looming over the audience in a menacing manner. His figures are half-human and half-animal; while the clothing humanises his characters, the faces are scribbled and sketched, appearing with animalistic features. Some of the faces sport icy blue eyes, but lack any other colouring, while the clothing is colourful, often incorporating captivating glitter and gold accents. In one of his paintings, a man-beast sits condescendingly, cross-legged and confident in a colourful suit, tie and formal shoes, his fingers long and spindly, with piercing blue eyes. In another, a man-beast is dressed in what appears to be a galabeyya. Disturbingly, the face of this piece is distorted, with an extra eye and nose, and splatters of red paint dripping from the mouth. Had the exhibition been solely made up of these beautifully ugly depictions, the collection may have felt a little too intense and hard-hitting. It was for this reason that his paintings were hung alongside Hossam Dirar's contrasting collection. Born in Cairo in 1978, Hossam Dirar is an award-winning graduate of Helwan University and has since also exhibited around the globe. Depicting beauty on the surface, Dirar's work follows society's, and his own, definitions of attractiveness. With the aim of capturing unique identities, his subjects are often passersby; women he sees whilst going about his everyday life. Fragmented, without too much emphasis on their features, Dirar attempts to radiate their beauty and personalities from within, quickly, so that the memory of the moment doesn't fade. His large canvases show the heads and bodies of beautiful women, blurred behind a collage of audacious paint strokes. His work is pleasant, attractive and easy on the eye, using a rainbow of bold, cheerful colours and thick, textured layers of chunky acrylic paint. Despite being visually similar in technique, each painting manages to give off a different vibe; 'I Think We Met Before in My Dreams' exudes a kind of peaceful, dreamy innocence, whilst the mesh of creams, oranges and burnt autumnal colours give it a fading, calming feel. In contrast to this, 'Mirror Mirror on the Wall' boasts the most intense stare, along with a stern expression. Alongside the main exhibition, several abstract sculptures from the acclaimed sculptor, Sobhy Guirguis, are displayed in his memory.             Beauty And The Beast puts a fresh new, realistic and artistic twist on the innocent childhood fairytale. Both artists are undeniably talented and their works fit together flawlessy, making it one of the most visually and theoretically stunning collections we've come across.        

Health & Fitness

Baby Yoga: Mother-Baby Bonding at FLOW Wellness Centers

Baby Yoga: Mother-Baby Bonding at FLOW Wellness Centers

The benefits of yoga cover a range of physical, emotional and wellness issues in adults – but what it could do for babies?  Most mothers strive to foster a happy, healthy home, however finding the right balance can be a little tricky. For all mothers and mothers-to-be, the new Mother and Children Movement and Wellness Center, FLOW, has just opened up in Heliopolis, welcoming all women to a soothing and comfortable environment. Founded by three successful young mothers, Jamie El Helw, Mariam Kamel, and Rania El Masry, these inspiring women are all certified as Infant Massage Instructor's and Mom-Baby Yoga teachers, and have set out to create a relaxed space for mothers and children to engage in balanced activities. Baby Yoga affords mothers and babies an hour each day in a carefree environment, allowing the time to bond, interact and relax. Guided by certified instructors, Baby Yoga encourages mothers to understand the importance of spending time with their own bundles of joy, by practicing a positive form of activity together, helping to develop a connection with their child, along with encouraging their wellbeing.  Mothers get to support and massage their babies as they perform basic yoga movements that enhance their physical, rational and emotional development. With that said, baby yoga becomes a beneficial aspect to both mothers and their toddlers, by increasing their strength, flexibility and coordination, as well as stimulating their sleeping patterns, boosting their immune system and take the edge off of common physical ailments. Offering several different classes, including baby massage & yoga, family classes and women's yoga sessions, sessions are held from Sundays to Thursdays between 8AM until 2PM at FLOW in Heliopolis, as well as other classes at the Nun Center in Zamalek and Kattemeya Heights Compound. With baby massage & yoga, the classes vary with age. 'Infant Massage' classes are designed for mothers with babies from 4 weeks to 6 months old; mothers gently massage their babies and move them harmoniously as they hold them, as well as practice post-birth recovery techniques and relaxation methods. The class aims to promote positive, quality time spent between mothers and their babies. Offering two stages of baby yoga, 'Baby Yoga 1' is designed for ages 3-12 months old, where babies are exposed to basic yoga stretches and movements on their stomach's, backs and in their mothers arms, joined with rhythmic songs for a more enjoyable and interactive experience. In 'Baby Yoga 2', the little ones are between 12 and 18 months and are able to move around unaided. These classes combine a more active playtime, balancing physical contact with their mothers and free movement, ending the class with mother-baby relaxation time. For ages 18months to 4 years old, the center offers 'Toddler Yoga', promoting a more advanced exercise program called 'SMART', where mothers and children engage in stretching, moving, and relaxing together, in more energetic ways that stimulate the child's self-awareness, contributing to their language and listening skills. At family yoga, FLOW offers a variety of creative classes including 'FitTods' for ages 3-5 years, 'Music & Moves' for 6 months to 3 years old, 'ART' for 18 months to 4 years old, and 'Story Time' where all ages are welcomed. The classes tend to explore new activities that encourage the children's sense of imagination and self-expression. Because FLOW also supports women wanting to get in shape, as well as to improve the quality of their health, the center offers 'Women's Yoga' consisting of three different classes, varying in the participant's goals. 'Prenatal Yoga' helps pregnant women stay in shape and strengthen their muscles in preparation for delivery. The second class, 'Postnatal Yoga', focuses on recovery for new mothers by strengthening their abdominal, pelvic and back muscles, while relieving tension in their necks, shoulders and upper backs. Lastly, 'Power Yoga' is for women to enjoy basic yoga postures, renewing their energy in a relaxed and undisturbed environment. With yoga being a popular practice to create harmony between mind and body, credit is due to FLOW for applying this philosophy and offering a positive form of exercise for both mothers and their children. While at times all mothers do need their own personal space, most will agree that spending an hour of quality time with their children creates the bond of a lifetime. To find out more about FLOW and their yoga programs, click here.

Film

The Pirate Fairy: Colorful Fairy Prequel to Peter Pan

The Pirate Fairy: Colorful Fairy Prequel to Peter Pan

Tinker Bell, who made her first appearance in 1953's animated picture Peter Pan, returns in the fifth installation of her popular Tinker Bell franchise, The Pirate Fairy; an infectious and thoroughly charming story of friendship and sisterhood. Directed by Peggy Holmes, The Pirate Fairy follows the adventures of Tinker Bell – a.k.a Tink – (voiced by Whitman) and her five fairy friends; the Garden Fairy, Rosetta (Hilty), water fairy, Silvermist (Liu), light fairy, Iridessa (Raven-Seymone), wind fairy, Vidia (Adlon) and finally, animal fairy, Fawn (Bartys). The girls live in Pixie Hollow; a magical fairy community where everyone has been given a duty based on the talent revealed to them at birth. Life is seemingly peaceful for the five friends but trouble soon comes knocking when Zarina (Hendricks), the new fairy in charge of the production of fairy dust, decides to perform a forbidden experiment with the rare Blue Dixie Dust – an important ingredient used to make the fairy's gold-blue dust powder – resulting in a near-catastrophe at the lab. Relieved  of her position as the Dust Keeper, Zarina flees Pixie Hollow, only to return a year later for the Dixie Dust.  It's now up to Tink and her friends to pursue Zarina, who they soon learn has become the captain of a pirate ship, and convince her to return to where she truly belongs; in Pixie Hollow. However, Zarina's new friend, James (Hiddleston), a pretend-cabin boy has other plans for the fairies and the fate of Pixie Hollow altogether. Serving as a prequel to Peter Pan's 2002's Return to Never Land, The Pirate Fairy will please fans of the franchise, who will be happy to see their favourite fairy – and her devoted group of followers – return with their peace-loving ways. It's a simple story with just enough colour and vibrancy to keep things moving along. Although its animations and overall technical quality is nowhere near the likes of Pixar productions, for example, the story is strong enough to compensate for its drawbacks. Whitman, who has been with the franchise since the beginning, returns as Tinker Bell and once again shines as the determined and lovable leader of the fairies.  However, it's Hendricks – popular for her role as Joan Harris of the TV's Mad Men – who steals the show as the feisty and the often misunderstood Zarina who manages to get herself mixed up with the wrong crowd. Similarly, Hiddleston – better known for his portrayal of Thor's evil brother, Loki – is superb and deliciously devious as cabin boy James whose destiny as Captain Hook is yet to be fulfilled. Ultimately, The Pirate Fairy is a story about friendship and understanding.  It may not be as big or majestic as Disney's last outing, Frozen, but it's still engaging enough to stand on its own feet.

City Life

Cairo Guide: Celebrating Easter 2014 at the City's Top Hotels

Cairo Guide: Celebrating Easter 2014 at the City's Top Hotels

Hello Cairo! The Easter/Sham El Nessim weekend is right around the corner, and while everyone would love to get out of the city for a much needed break, most can't, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve a break too! For those who have to stay in the city this weekend, we've put together a small list of what's going on around the Cairo hotels so you can take out your family or enjoy a break without having to venture too far. First off, the Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza is offering special rates on rooms for the weekend, plus several different Easter and Sham El Nessim buffets options to choose from. Similarly, the Four Seasons Hotel First Residence is offering special room rates that extend until April 26th and a lavish buffet on their semi-rooftop restaurant, Aura, with tonnes of children's activities so you can enjoy yourself with no distractions. Fairmont Heliopolis offers the second night for free if you book a room on April 20th with complimentary breakfast, while Fairmont Nile City hosts an exquisite Easter brunch at Sky Pool that includes a kids program. The Marriot Zamalek promises a legendary Sham El Nessim breakfast at Omar's Cafe and a BBQ grill and brunch buffet at the Garden Promenade Cafe, while the JW Marriot Hotel Cairo  is planning a delicious barbecue and plenty of Sham El Nessim activities for the kids. At Dusit Thani Lake View you can spend the weekend or just the night including the famous Branzino Brunch, or head on down to the Kempinski Nile Hotel for a diverse and fine selection of seafood, homemade bread and pasta, European cheese and Turkish specialties at Osmanly and The Blue restaurants. The InterContinental Cairo Semiramis offers a weekend package that includes breakfast and brunch, or an authentic Sham El Nessim brunch by the pool, while the InterContinental Citystars host a lunch around the pool including live cooking stations, live music and a special kid's corner. Le Meridien Cairo Airport, meanwhile, is going all out with special room rates, a special Easter brunch and plenty of kids' activities including face-painting, egg-colouting competitions and more.  We hope you have a great weekend even if you don't get to leave the city, for more on what's going on this weekend, including music, festivals and bazaars,  check out the Cairo 360 events calender.
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Win! Dinner for Two at Marhaba Restaurant & Cafe!
Win! Dinner for Two at Marhaba Restaurant & Cafe!