Events

Wed 04
Thu 05
  • Boogie Night Ft. Joe at Rooftop Lounge
    Boogie Night Ft. Joe at Rooftop Lounge
    Mar 05 10:00 pm to Mar 06 2:00 am - Rooftop Lounge
    Garden City's Rooftop Lounge welcomes DJ Joe for a night of funky, up-tempo music. For reservations, call 0106 657 2600.
  • Piano Recital at Cairo Opera House
    Piano Recital at Cairo Opera House
    Mar 05 8:00 pm to Mar 05 10:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Pianist Elena Dzamashvili performs in the Small Hall of Cairo Opera House. Tickets are 15LE/10LE and are available at the Cairo Opera House...
  • Student DJ Finale at the Temple
    Student DJ Finale at the Temple
    Mar 05 9:30 pm to Mar 06 4:30 am - The Tample, Nile Pharaoh Boat, Giza Corniche, Cairo
    The long-awaited finale of Electrum Records' Studen DJ finale is set to see Gaser El Safty and Nour Fahmy do battle on a a night that will...
  • A Tequila Tale of Silver & Gold at Alchemy
    A Tequila Tale of Silver & Gold at Alchemy
    Mar 05 8:00 pm to Mar 06 3:00 am - Alchemy
    Tonight, Alchemy celebrates Mexico's favourite tipple - Tequila - by mixing it into Cairo's favourite cocktails. For reservations, call...
  • Club Night with Justin Carter at Vent
    Club Night with Justin Carter at Vent
    Mar 05 10:00 pm to Mar 06 3:00 am - VENT
    New York-based DJ, Justin Carter, takes to the VENT decks, with 1127 and $$$TAG$$$ both on opening and closing duties.For reservations, email...
Fri 06
  • Riverdeep Dt. Heavy Pins & Junior at Riverside
    Riverdeep Dt. Heavy Pins & Junior at Riverside
    Mar 06 9:00 pm to Mar 07 2:00 am - Riverside Restaurant & Lounge
    Zamalek's Riverside hosts one of the biggest editions of Riverdeep yet, as Greek duo, Heavy Pins, return to Cairo, on a line up that also...
  • Habiba & Zeina at Vent
    Habiba & Zeina at Vent
    Mar 06 10:00 pm to Mar 07 1:00 am - VENT
    VENT welcomes the female DHing tag-team of Habiba and Zeina for an eclectic night of music. No reservations, needed.
  • Basata Band at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Basata Band at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Mar 06 8:00 pm to Mar 06 11:00 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Local favourites, Basata Band, are hitting El Sawy Culturewheel's Wisdom Hall for an evening of contemporary Egyptian music. Tickets are...
  • Lebanese Night at Cavallini
    Lebanese Night at Cavallini
    Mar 06 9:00 pm to Mar 07 3:00 am - Cavallini
    Every Friday night, Heliopolis nightclub, Cavallini, channels all things Levant for Lebanese Night. For reservations, call 010 611 911 00.
  • Cairo Fashion & Tex International Exhibition at Cairo International Conference Center
    Cairo Fashion & Tex International Exhibition at Cairo International Conference Center
    Mar 05 12:00 pm to Mar 08 8:00 pm - Cairo International Conference Center
    This year's edition of the annual three-day Fashion and Textile Exhibition takes places Cairo International Conference Center starting,...
Sat 07
  • Shady Ahmed & Ousso Lotfy at Balcon Lounge
    Shady Ahmed & Ousso Lotfy at Balcon Lounge
    Mar 07 8:00 pm to Mar 07 10:00 pm - Balcon Lounge - 26 Suhag St. , Ismailia Square Heliopolis,Cairo
    One of Cairo's most established singer/songwriters, Shady Ahmed, teams up with guitarist, Ousso Lotfy, for a laidback night of acoustic music...
  • Karaoke Night at Peking Lodge
    Karaoke Night at Peking Lodge
    Mar 07 10:00 pm to Mar 08 3:00 am - Peking Lodge
    Zamalek's Peking Lodge welcomes one and all for a night of karaoke, where prizes will be given out for the best three participants. For...
  • Oldies Night at Cavallini
    Oldies Night at Cavallini
    Mar 07 9:00 pm to Mar 08 3:00 am - Cavallini
    Heliopolis nightclub, Cavallini, takes a stroll down musical memory lane with Oldies Night. For reservations, call 0106 119 1100.
  • Mado at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Mado at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Mar 07 6:00 pm to Mar 07 8:00 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Make your way over to El Sawy Culturewheel's Wisdom Hall for an evening of acoustic music with Mado, who'll be performing songs from his...
  • Cairo Symphony Orchestra Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Cairo Symphony Orchestra Concert at Cairo Opera House
    Mar 07 8:00 pm to Mar 07 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Under the conductorship of Ahmed El Saedi, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra performs the works of Jean Sibelius at the Main Hall of Cairo...
Sun 08
Mon 09
  • Helmi El-Touni Exhibition at Picasso
    Helmi El-Touni Exhibition at Picasso
    Feb 20 12:00 pm to Mar 17 10:00 pm - Picasso Gallery
    Zamalek's Picasso Gallery hosts an exhibition by revered Egyptian artist, Helmi El-Touni, who's inspiration and interpretation of...
  • Fifth District at Mashrabia Gallery
    Fifth District at Mashrabia Gallery
    Feb 22 11:00 am to Mar 19 8:00 pm - Mashrabia Gallery
    Having been inspired when working as a painter at a villa in New Cairo's Fifth Settlement/District, Ahmed Sabry explores how Egyptian homes...
  • 'Generations' Exhibition at Art Corner
    'Generations' Exhibition at Art Corner
    Mar 05 11:30 am to Mar 24 9:30 pm - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts 'Generations; a new group exhibition by Egyptian artists, Effat Nagy, Esmat Dawestashy and Mohsen A....
Tue 10
  • Helmi El-Touni Exhibition at Picasso
    Helmi El-Touni Exhibition at Picasso
    Feb 20 12:00 pm to Mar 17 10:00 pm - Picasso Gallery
    Zamalek's Picasso Gallery hosts an exhibition by revered Egyptian artist, Helmi El-Touni, who's inspiration and interpretation of...
  • Fifth District at Mashrabia Gallery
    Fifth District at Mashrabia Gallery
    Feb 22 11:00 am to Mar 19 8:00 pm - Mashrabia Gallery
    Having been inspired when working as a painter at a villa in New Cairo's Fifth Settlement/District, Ahmed Sabry explores how Egyptian homes...
  • 'Generations' Exhibition at Art Corner
    'Generations' Exhibition at Art Corner
    Mar 05 11:30 am to Mar 24 9:30 pm - Art Corner
    Zamalek gallery, Art Corner, hosts 'Generations; a new group exhibition by Egyptian artists, Effat Nagy, Esmat Dawestashy and Mohsen A....

Highlights

Restaurants

Creperie Des Arts: Sweet & Savoury Crepes in Maadi

Creperie Des Arts: Sweet & Savoury Crepes in Maadi

Crepes aren't unheard of in Cairo, quality crepes are though. So, we decided to visit one of few venues that specialize in crepes; Creperie Des Arts. Sporting an unchanged cabin look, the restaurant is very intimate and relaxed featuring off-white walls decorated with Mediterranean paintings and ornaments, while the doors, windows and shelves are all coloured turquoise and feature stained glass. With an easy on-the-eyes venue and pleasant staff, it was time to focus on the food. The menu features sweet and savoury crepes, but also peculiarly offers main courses, salads, pastas and sandwiches. We opted for a Normandy Salad (27.5LE) and a Hollywood Crepe (31.5LE), as well as a Beef Fillet (73.5LE) and a Banana Soho (26.5LE). The Normandy Salad was served first and brought together sliced chicken breast, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, boiled eggs and a honey mustard dressing. The portion was ample and works out to be good value-for-money. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, with all the flavours combining very nicely, especially the chicken which was also generous in amount. The Hollywood Crepe was quite the creation; chicken, walnuts, béchamel sauce and gruyere cheese. In theory, it sounds delicious, but unfortunately, we found that the béchamel overpowered the dish completely, with the taste of the cheese all but absent. In addition, the walnuts were relatively scarce and th flavour of the chicken inconsistent. The Beef Fillet, ordered medium with a side of French fries and green beans, was uneven. The fillet itself tasted decent, but was served medium well, which isn't a disaster, except when you combine it with the average soggy fries and tasteless green beans that weren't topped with so much as a pinch of salt. The Banana Soho sweet crepe, which was stuffed with chocolate sauce and bananas, and topped with vanilla ice cream, was the best dish of the night – this despite the fact that the kitchen was out of the promised whipped cream and the chocolate sauce being disappointingly flat. But when combined with the melting vanilla ice cream and generous portion of bananas, it all came together. Why Creperie Des Arts chooses to serve these items is understandable; the reason there's so few crepe specialists in Cairo is because it just isn't a sustainable business in Cairo. We left feeling a little let down; it isn't what it once was and the Maadi eatery's non-crepes items are rather uninspiring. 

Shopping

Imprint: Well-Stocked Stationary Store with Customisation Services in Zamalek

Imprint: Well-Stocked Stationary Store with Customisation Services in Zamalek

Old-school stationary shops in Cairo are becoming more and more rare, thanks in part to the spread of bookshop chains across the city that conveniently provide similar, if not the exact same, products. However, Imprint in Zamalek plays the role of stationary shop, print shop and even gift shop. Offering products that can be customised to any personal taste, anyone who gets a special kick out of stationary – and there are plenty of us – should definitely stop by. The decor of the venue relies on black and white paint to contrast the very colourful products. The store's facade features prints of pop culture figures like Marilyn Monroe, while the inside of the shop's walls features paintings of Ghandi, Elvis and Dali among other historical and popular figures. 'We Print Your Dreams' is written out on a blackboard inside – it's a little bit of an overblown statement, but Imprint offers more than stationary when it comes to customisation; mugs, t shirts and other random items can printed with a picture or photo of your choice. They also offer a service of turning your own photos into pop art. Regardless of whether you provide the photograph or not, the prices are unified. A 20x20 size poster, for example, costs 125LE while the larger 50x35 size costs 300LE. Some of the sample posters are displayed and the results look immaculate – we were particularly taken by a poster of the Beatles. Away from customisation, the collection of ready-to-sell products is large and includes a diverse set of designs. Many focus on band logos like the Rolling Stones, for example, but other generic designs are used on notebooks that come in three sizes;the large and medium cost 30LE and 20LE respectively, while the smaller notebook with a hard cover costs 35LE. We also found a collection of pencil cases costing 50LE and two types of coasters, the wooden costs 10LE while the acrylic costs 15LE. Across from the counter we also found simple folders and binders costing 11LE. Imprint is a well stocked shop but suffers from one of the most excruciating problems that arise when shopping in Cairo; many of the items aren't marked with prices. To make matters worse during our visit was that the staff seemed to be almost reluctant to tell us the prices of some of the items without us committing to purchasing it. It's a shame, because it made the whole visit a little awkward and we don't think wanting to know the price of an item before buying it is too much of an ask.

Cafés

Häagen-Dazs: Cairo Festival City's Go-To Ice Cream Parlour

Häagen-Dazs: Cairo Festival City's Go-To Ice Cream Parlour

Summer in Egypt can be unbearable and the heat is all the excuse we need to self-medicate using the cooling and soothing properties of that delicious thing called ice cream. In colder months – example being the time of publishing – the temptation is just as great, even if motivated more by a visceral yearning for indulgence. One such source of frozen treats is Häagen-Dazs; the worldwide brand has had mixed luck in Cairo – with several braches having closing down – but the branch in New Cairo's Cairo Festival City Mall has a steady stream of customers. The café-like space Häagen-Dazs occupies is quite small, dimly lit with deep maroon walls and a huge display of ice cream favours and pastries. The seating area fairly small and was semi-occupied during the time of our visit. We were greeted by a friendly server who insisted on making us try a few of the flavours before making any decisions. Quite shamelessly, we readily obliged and accepted his cordiality – don't judge. The Raspberry flavour was lusciously tangy, light and tasted fresh yet a little too syrupy; whilst the Hazelnut Caramel Chocolate was mouth-watering, with the addition of caramel to the traditional mainstream hazelnut chocolate flavour elevating its overall taste. The Belgian chocolate was as sinful as it sounds, boasting the intense flavour of high quality, dark Belgian chocolate. We finally settled for a scoop of Caramel Biscuit and Cream and another of Midnight Cookie and Cream (18 LE/scoop) in two freshly baked waffle cones (4 LE/ cone); both did not disappoint. The former was light yet decadent with little crunchy biscuit pieces wrapped within its creamy layers and the latter tasting irresistibly chocolaty. Other dessert options Häagen-Dazs offers include muffins, cookies, cakes, tarts, pies, crepes and waffles, as well as special ice cream creations. We noticed a delicious-looking Blueberry Cheesecake (22 LE) alongside an oversized Double Chocolate Chip Cookie (13 LE). All in all, Häagen-Dazs passes with flying colours thanks to its evident use of high quality ingredients, as well as its amicable staff who went the extra mile to make our visit a pleasant one. Sure, the prices are a bit steeper than those of most ice cream parlours, but some things in life are worth an extra penny – or two. 

Nightlife

Red Onion: Maadi Bar Hasn't Changed One Bit, For Better & For Worse

Red Onion: Maadi Bar Hasn't Changed One Bit, For Better & For Worse

When it comes to Cairo nightlife, there's an increasing variety of bars, clubs and pubs to choose from. There are, however, staples that have become second homes to nocturnal Cairenes; venues that have been there for what feels like forever; ones that you can turn to when experimenting with the newer venues is just too much of a hassle. For Maadi residents, the Red Onion has been one such place. Looking quite small and demure from the outside, the bar and restaurant is located on one of Maadi's quieter side streets and is almost easy to miss. Stepping inside, you find yourself in a stuffy, dimly-lit space with off-white walls and several small tables occupied by loud crowds. A rather confusing and loud playlist does nothing to compliment what looks to be a traditional Mediterranean theme that the interior design is trying almost too hard to portray. Ragheb Alama sings his heart out on one of his 2007 tracks followed by Usher's infamous 'Yeah' – you get the picture. A waiter scurries amongst the clouds of smoke filling the air and is immediately by our side ready to take our order. When asked for menus, he simply said "we offer everything, just shoot" – a rather odd and quite perplexing response. Not actually wanting to order food, we dismissed the waiter's peculiar answer. Whereas a can of regular soda will set you back 13LE, a Stella beer will cost you 20LE – it doesn't make sense, but little in Cairo ever does. While cocktail prices vary, they do so within reason. We opted for a Tequila Sunrise (30LE) and a whiskey and Coke (69LE). Our drinks came within a few minutes accompanied by a small bowl of salted popcorn and another of Lupini beans, which were devoured within minutes and were, sadly, not refilled throughout the night. The Tequila Sunrise was very peachy and refreshing, while the whiskey and Coke had a surprisingly large serving of whiskey – we aren't complaining. Service wise, the waiters are quite efficient and you can always spot one standing somewhere nearby. The drinks arrived swiftly and were of sufficient quality, as well as comparatively very low prices. All in all, Red Onion has retained its satisfactory level of service and its interior hasn't changed at all. The loud crowds and even louder, outdated background music can, however, be a tad unsettling especially if you're simply looking to unwind after a long day. To compare the Red Onion with Cairo's more modern bars would be unfair, however; this is one nightlife spot that very much relies on a steady stream of regulars. You can by all means enjoy a night there, just don't expect five-star anything. Or four-star anything for that matter.

Arts & Culture

Safar Khan Art Gallery: Salah Abdel Kerim Exhibition

Safar Khan Art Gallery: Salah Abdel Kerim Exhibition

Located in a relatively hushed side street in the ever picturesque Zamalek area, Safarkhan Art Gallery has always been a leader in its field, hosting exhibitions for Egypt's most prominent artists and just generally being a must-go for all Cairene connoisseurs of the arts. All throughout the next month, till the 27th of February, the gallery is displaying the works of one of Egypt's most talented and renowned artists, the late Dr. Salah Abdel Kerim, including some never-before seen pieces. His works, which range from oil paintings to felt-tip portraits to shaded landscapes and theatrical sets to wooden and wrought iron sculptures all suggest surrealist muses. Being one of the most established names of modern art in Egypt, Salah Abdel Kerim's works have attracted a lot of local as well as global praise due to his use of several diverse mediums in his art and his versatility. Some of the national and international prizes the creative artist received include the San Vito Romano prize in painting and the prize for sculpture at the Biennale of Alexandria, as well as an honorary distinction in sculpture in Saint Paolo in 1959. On display front and center in the gallery is his most famous, award-winning sculpture 'The Cry of the Beast', which was featured in Rene Huyghe's book Art and Man alongside the works of Picasso and Muller - the former being an obvious source of inspiration and admiration. Visitors can also get a first-hand look at his design wirk, done in collaboration with Salah Jahin, in celebration of Cairo's first millennium. His illustrations for Al Ahram newspaper can also be seen hanging on the walls of the gallery's top floor, as do some of his drawings of landscapes. Some of the other truly breath-taking pieces currently being shown at the gallery include Abdel Kerim's owl sculptures, and the different décors he put together for theatrical productions. Dr. Salah Abdel Kerim's works are, without a doubt, some of the most striking in Egyptian art history thanks to his skill, creativity, talent and openness to experiment with countless methods and materials. Rarely does a single exhibition capture such a wide range of one single artist's work like this one does. As a collection, the links between Abdel Kerim's inspirations and style are obvious and the whole exhibition flows. 

Health & Fitness

Mohamed Al Sagheer: Men's Department at Zamalek Branch Botches Haircut

Mohamed Al Sagheer: Men's Department at Zamalek Branch Botches Haircut

For a man in Cairo, getting a haircut is something of a terrifying prospect. You risk all manner of calamities such as fauxhawks, excessive gel and god only knows what else. Luckily, more and more high-end options for males are cropping up, and what better place is there to test out than Cairo mainstay, Mohammed Al Sagheer. On walking into the popular Zamalek branch, you will be immediately greeted by well turned out doormen. The men's section is on the first floor, but that won't prevent the elevator attendant from shepherding you into their glamorous little box. When approaching the desk, the receptionists are more than polite, offering refreshments and asking if you wanted to see a specific stylist. The stylist leads you round the corner to where the seats and wash basins are. You are given the choice of whether you want hot or cold water, and the fragrant shampoo makes for a pleasant experience. However, the chairs for the basin are not adjustable, which may leave the more vertically gifted amongst you uncomfortably contorted. The stylist will then lead you the seat in front of the mirror and ask what you want.  The request was simple; a faded short back and sides, and a simple trim on the curly top; not an unusual or difficult request. However, instead of fading the lower sections, the stylist simply shaved it all one level on the sides, and applied a very rudimental fade to the back section. Instead of a trim, he took about a millimetre off of the front section of the hair. At this point, you will be directed back for a second wash, and then return to the seat for styling. Usually when you get a haircut, the stylist asks you how you brush your hair, and what, if any product you use. Instead, this stylist added a very heavy wax without as much as a word. The application was heavy-handed, uneven and left the final hairstyle looking rather greasy. When met with requests to trim the top further, he refused, instead trying to reassure this reviewer that it looked fine and then simply walked away. For 70 L.E., it's reasonably priced, but the customer service on this occasion left plenty to be desired. It wasn't until later in the day when the awful product was washed out that the full disaster became clear. It looked like a mess without being professionally styled and coiffed, with lower sections of the top still being far too long and the shaved back being noticeably uneven. The moral of the story? Be very clear, very firm and don't take no for an answer.

TV & DVD

Starred Up: Gritty, Award-Winning British Prison Drama

Starred Up: Gritty, Award-Winning British Prison Drama

Titled from a popular term which describes the early transfer of a young offender from a juvenile detention facility to an adult penitentiary, Starred Up is by no means an easy watch. However, as much as it is difficult to digest at times, there is a certain poetic beauty behind its seemingly violent and destructive quality that makes it difficult to look away from. Shot within the walls of an abandoned Belfast prison, the film opens with troubled nineteen-year-old Eric Love (O'Connell) undergoing an embarrassing admittance process, involving a complete body strip down, as he's transferred into an adult reformatory.   Immediately marked as a "single cell, high risk" type detainee, it doesn't take long for Eric – whose frequent and violent outbursts got him relocated there in the first place – to stir up trouble and make enemies both with fellow inmates and security guards.  After a mistaken attack on another inmate lands the young delinquent into the disciplinary hands of the law, Eric is soon approached – and rescued – by the in-house therapist, Oliver Braumer (Friend), who believes that he can help the young man rehabilitate. Unfortunately, getting to the root of Eric's problems - and getting him to open up - is no easy task and Oliver - together with the other rehabilitating convicts - often find themselves the targets of both verbal and physical abuse. To top it off, Eric has to find a way to learn to share the walls of his new confinements with his estranged father, Nev (Mendelsohn), who is currently serving a life-sentence in the same prison. Penned by first-time screenwriter Jonathan Asser – a former prison psychotherapist whose own experience with the British penal-system adds a hefty dose of authenticity and realism to the film – Starred Up, told through a series of wordless and violent expositions, is fuelled with gripping intensity which is hard to shake off. Relying on action, rather than words, the uniqueness – and the heart - of the story lies with the father-son narrative, whose bonding difficulties are depicted through the oppressiveness of life in prison. Contributing to the movie's relentless and uncompromising approach to despair and violence, O'Connell – mostly known for his role in the British TV-series Skins and recently seen as the lead in Angelina Jolie's war-drama Unbroken – is an absolute standout; feral and unpredictable, his performance carries the film, while Mendelsohn is equally superb as a man whose persona and motives are seemingly hard to read.  Powerful, emotional but never too sentimental, Starred Up is a true British-prison drama classic whose quietly yielding power and passion for storytelling will leave you feeling captivated and  moved. 

Music

Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors

Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors

After their 2012 debut album, alternative-rock band, Imagine Dragons, were propelled into relative stardom. On top of going multiplatinum, Night Vision topped charts and its singles have since been featured in several movies and TV series, with 'Radioactive' even winning a Grammy. The band further drew in critical acclaim whilst touring by proving that they are just as strong live as they are on their studio-recorded hits. The quartet returns once more to the scene, giving 2015 one of its most intriguing albums to date; Smoke + Mirrors. Right from the get go, listeners are drawn into a mixture of music genres that is hard to classify into a single one, but if there is one dominating theme for the album, it is 'the more the merrier', resulting in an instrumental fiasco of sorts. The band's attempt at taking their efficacious debut and expanding it into something more is evident with their sophomore release's full-fledged electronic-streaked songs. Whether this attempt was for the better or for the worse, however, is quite debatable; certain moments along the album descend into a bewildering calamity of overwhelming sounds that seem to have been uncomfortably crammed into a single album. All throughout the album, it is easy to notice how the foursome has drawn inspiration from various other artists. In album opener, 'Shots', lead singer, Dan Reynolds, echoes Bon Iver's hauntingly high-pitched vocals, which are then accentuated by an alternative-rock-meets- dance-anthem backbeat. Moreover, The Black Keys' signature blues-infused garage rock can be evidently heard in 'I'm So Sorry',  whereas Coldplay's signature lingeringly soothing choruses serve as the muse for pretty much the second half of the album. But it's not all bad. 'I Bet My Life' harks back to the sound that carried Imagine Dragons' debut.  On the other hand, whistles, folky guitar strums and tormented, slow-mo vocals accentuate 'Gold'; perhaps the most eerie-sounding tune, one that is perfectly fit to be the soundtrack of the apocalypse.  Best described as a lyrical juxtaposition, Smoke + Mirrors is seemingly fuelled misery-infused, highly emotional lyrics that are then heavily contrasted by booming moments of euphoria. Reynolds flatly croons "I'm a reckless mistake" on 'Polaroid' and then later on calmly belts out "open up your eyes, open up your mind" on 'Summer'. As a whole, Smoke + Mirrors does have its moments of sheer musical genius, that perhaps are more noticed after the ear becomes more and more familiar with the album's initially confusing collisions. It is, at the end of the day, the result of the band's experimentation with different sounds, which has done with a notable effort. Do we, however, miss the heavy alternative rock sound of Night Vision? Sadly, yes. Definitely and tremendously. 
Vote

Loading...

Win! A Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2!
Win! A Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2!