Events

Wed 17
  • 'Say Whaaat?!' Ft. DJ Feedo at Cairo Jazz Club
    'Say Whaaat?!' Ft. DJ Feedo at Cairo Jazz Club
    Sep 17 10:00 pm to Sep 18 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Its all about 'swag' this Wednesday night at CJC, apparently, as DJ Feedo unleashes the best r&b and hip-hop tunes. Reservations at Cairo...
  • Transcendental Meditation at Darb 1718
    Transcendental Meditation at Darb 1718
    Sep 17 6:30 pm to Sep 17 8:00 pm - Darb 1718
    Join the first Egyptian Transcendental Meditation instructor, Karim El Tobgy, for a free introductory session and learn how TM can improve your...
  • Karaoke Night at Bellini Cocktail Lounge
    Karaoke Night at Bellini Cocktail Lounge
    Sep 17 8:00 pm to Sep 18 3:00 am - Bellini Cocktail Lounge
    Every Wednesday, the InterContinental Semiramis' Bellini invites you to grab the mic - and the spotlight - for a night of karaoke, with the added...
  • Ladies' Night at Cavallini
    Ladies' Night at Cavallini
    Sep 17 9:00 pm to Sep 18 3:00 am - Cavallini
    Every Monday and Wednesday, Heliopolis nightclub Cavallini, presents an entire night dedicated to the femme-fatales of Cairo. For reservations,...
  • Jazzy Wednesday with Ahmed Harfoush at Bar 19
    Jazzy Wednesday with Ahmed Harfoush at Bar 19
    Sep 17 9:30 pm to Sep 18 2:00 am - Bar 19
    Cairo's own jazz superstar, Ahmed Harfoush, takes centre-stage at Bar 19 for an evening of smooth jazz and signature cocktails. For reservations,...
Thu 18
  • The Riff Band at Cairo Jazz Club
    The Riff Band at Cairo Jazz Club
    Sep 18 9:00 pm to Sep 19 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Led by soulfully voiced singers, Ahmed Harfoush and Noha Fekry, the Riff Band are back at CJC for a glamourous night of jazzy tunes....
  • Nasser Morali at Overtime Bar & Restaurant
    Nasser Morali at Overtime Bar & Restaurant
    Sep 18 10:30 pm to Sep 19 4:00 am - Overtime Bar & Restaurant
    Head over to Overtime Bar & Restaurant for a live performance from violinist, Nasser Morali, followed by a set of electronic mixes by DJ Emad...
  • TokTok 12 Release & Book Signing at Townhouse Gallery
    TokTok 12 Release & Book Signing at Townhouse Gallery
    Sep 18 7:00 pm to Sep 18 10:00 pm - Townhouse Gallery
    Townhouse Gallery mark the release of the twelfth edition of the increasingly popular satirical comic, TokTok, with a special event. For more...
  • Hassan Abou Alam at VENT
    Hassan Abou Alam at VENT
    Sep 18 10:00 pm to Sep 19 3:00 am - VENT
    Join local DJ, Hassan Abou Alam, as he returns to VENT with dancefloor-destroying mixes. Dancing shoes highly recommended. For more information,...
  • WANAS: Cairo's International Folk Musical Festival at El Sawy Culturewheel
    WANAS: Cairo's International Folk Musical Festival at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Sep 18 7:00 pm to Sep 18 10:30 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    The first edition of folk music festival, 'WANAS', sees local and international folk music bands at El Sawy Culturewheel's River Hall. Taking to...
Fri 19
  • Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project at Darb 1718
    Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project at Darb 1718
    Sep 19 9:00 am to Nov 22 10:00 pm - Darb 1718
    Addressing the issue of plastic garbage through an educational museum, Darb 1718 and the Drosos Foundation present the Out to Sea project which is...
  • Glass Onion at Cairo Opera House
    Glass Onion at Cairo Opera House
    Sep 19 8:00 pm to Sep 19 10:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Cairo's one and only Beatles tribute band, Glass Onion, perform in the Open Air Theatre of Cairo Opera House. Tickets are 25LE, available from the...
  • The Project at Cairo Jazz Club
    The Project at Cairo Jazz Club
    Sep 19 10:00 pm to Sep 20 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    CJC regular, DJ Ramy, saxophonist, Nour Ashour, and percussionist, Mizo, are on the bill for special night of music. Reservations at Cairo...
  • PanSTARRS at VENT
    PanSTARRS at VENT
    Sep 19 10:00 pm to Sep 20 3:00 am - VENT
    Local shoegaze act, PanSTARRS, returns to VENT for the first installment of the Downtown bar's series, 'The Quiet Versions'. For more information,...
  • Wust El Balad at El Genaina Theatre
    Wust El Balad at El Genaina Theatre
    Sep 19 8:30 pm to Sep 19 10:30 pm - El Genaina Theatre
    Wust El Balad are dusting off their instruments for a performance of the band's trademark Egyptian music with a cheeky modern twist at El ...
Sat 20
  • Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project at Darb 1718
    Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project at Darb 1718
    Sep 19 9:00 am to Nov 22 10:00 pm - Darb 1718
    Addressing the issue of plastic garbage through an educational museum, Darb 1718 and the Drosos Foundation present the Out to Sea project which is...
  • Retro Lounge at Graffiti
    Retro Lounge at Graffiti
    Sep 20 8:00 pm to Sep 21 12:00 am - Graffiti
    Take a walk down musical memory lane with Hisham Tiba at Grafitti's Retro Lounge. For reservations, call 010066677762.
  • Wust El Balad at Nile University
    Wust El Balad at Nile University
    Sep 20 6:00 pm to Sep 20 10:00 pm - Nile University, Juhayna Sq., 6th of October City
    Organized by El Sawy Culturewheel, local favourites Wust El Balad, perform their amazing blend of sounds, combining traditional Arabic music with...
  • Oshak El Nagham Ensemble at Cairo Opera House
    Oshak El Nagham Ensemble at Cairo Opera House
    Sep 20 8:00 pm to Sep 20 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Under the direction of Mohamed Abdel Sattar, the Oshak El Nagham Ensemble are live at Cairo Opera House's Open Air Theatre. Tickets are available...
  • Cairo Symphony Orchestra at Cairo Opera House
    Cairo Symphony Orchestra at Cairo Opera House
    Sep 20 8:00 pm to Sep 20 11:00 pm - Cairo Opera House
    Conducted by Ahmed El Saedi, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra will perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in the Main Hall of Cairo Opera House....
Sun 21
Mon 22
Tue 23

Highlights

Restaurants

Chili's: Old Favourite in New Cairo

Chili's: Old Favourite in New Cairo

Sometimes, you just need a quick food fix. No one wants to play Russian roulette with their empty stomach, so we headed to an old trusted favourite, the popular Tex-Mex chain, Chili's. Located in the quite hushed Meeting Point Mall, Chili's offers both indoor and outdoor seating. As our waiter graciously welcomed us and asked for our seating preference, we requested indoor non-smoking seating and were immediately led to our table. The place was, fortunately, not that crowded and unusually quiet, but thrn it was a weekday afternoon. For appetisers, we opted for the Classic Nachos (49.99LE) and the Chicken Crispers (59.99LE) and the Margarita Grilled Chicken (59.99LE) for mains. As for beverages, we decided to be a bit adventurous and try the vanilla flavoured Pepsi (24.99LE). We were particularly hungry, so we also opted for the Molten Chocolate Cake (41.99LE). Our drinks arrived just a few minutes after we ordered them and were everything we hoped they would be; refreshing, flavourful and not too overpoweringly sweet. Our big platter of cheese covered nachos arrived shortly after our drinks and we immediately dove into its deliciousness; who can say no to cheese-covered crispy delights? The main courses arrived about fifteen minutes afterwards. The Margarita Grilled Chicken was perfection, with smooth, juicy grilled chicken breast covered with seasoned, grated tomatoes and two sides consisting of mashed potatoes with gravy and corn on the cob. The Chicken Crispers, however, were quite a let-down; they were too greasy for our taste. The fries and honey mustard that accompany it, however, were quite tasty. Already feeling full and regretting ordering dessert, we weren't really yearning for the Molten Chocolate Cake. As soon as we laid eyes on it and took the first bite, however, our opinions were definitely reversed. The brownie-like cake was warm and gooey and the scoop of vanilla ice cream that topped it was covered in a thin chocolate shell. Chili's, as usual, satisfied our rumbling bellies and left us with no recollection of any feelings of hunger. The service was on point, the place was spotless and the food and drinks were to die for with the slight exception of the oily Chicken Crispers.

Shopping

Wadi Food: Organic Mini-Market in Zamalek

Wadi Food: Organic Mini-Market in Zamalek

A common household name in Egypt, Wadi Food is a local brand known for its olive oil, olives and other varieties of pickles. Recently, walking along Mohamed Mazhar Street in Zamalek, we happened to notice that Wadi Food opened its very own shop; recessed within the block of buildings, the simple, fresh exterior was appealing and duly lured us in. Expecting to find a slightly expanded range to what can be found in your everyday supermarket, we were pleasantly surprised to find the Wadi Food shop to be more like a mini organic market, rather than a monotonous display of familiar products. The layout itself is clean and organised, with the two walls along the left and right sides of the rectangular space filled with foods. The colour scheme complements the branding, accentuating varieties of brown, green, and red, while the displays themselves are neat and quaintly accessorised. To the right of the shop us is the fresh produce. One can find the usual items such as tomatoes, cucumbers and other standard vegetables, while dry green olives are also sold in a bunch, while a packet of hot red peppers went for 3LE. Moving along the shelves, organic eggs, mini barrels of all sorts of whole, fresh olives that are spooned out and sold in a container. A portion of large Kalamata olives was the most expensive at 30LE. Special olive oils are available on tap further down the line, and come in a range of flavours including garlic, thyme, chilli and rosemary (20LE a bottle). On the facing wall, standard Wadi products are on display including canned foul, pickled onions, olive oils, olives sold in a jar and tepanade. Then there are all sorts of herbs, rubs, spices, condiments and other types of oil available as well. A handsome-sized container of ginger costs 22LE, as does one of cumin, while nutmeg is sold at 73LE; a bottle of rosewater stood at 11LE. There are a variety of oils that come in small bottles, including cardamom (6LE), zaatar (6.50LE), and bitter almond (4LE). A decent selection of honey can also be found, with one from Sedr Gabaly reaching 170LE a jar. At the end of the shop there is a freezer with a choice of meats such as rabbit (45LE/kl), quail (20LE for two), and cuts of chicken including chicken filet (50LE/kl). A fridge stands nearby with an assortment of cheeses such as halloumi, feta and goat's cheese, all ranging about 20LE for a packet,as well as other dairy products such as Syrian labna, which stood out with a price tag of 47LE. Overall, the Wadi Food shop sets out to provide a complete shopping experience focusing on fresh and organic produce.  The interior itself is pleasant and welcoming, while the staff at the time were helpful  without being invasive. However, with several factors working in its favour, we wonder if this little shop is getting the attention it deserves.

Cafés

Cold Stone Creamery: Mouth Watering Ice Cream in Cairo Festival City

Cold Stone Creamery: Mouth Watering Ice Cream in Cairo Festival City

Cairo has no shortage of ice cream parlours. What it does fall short on is ice cream which oozes of pure flavour, rather than oozing artificial flavour. Cold Stone has, in all ways possible, offered us exactly that; delicious, flavourful, icy goodies. The smell of baked waffle cones attracted us from afar in Cairo Festival City mall and we found ourselves immediately heading towards its source; the intimidating and crowded Cold Stone Creamery.  With heaps of people in line ready for their ice cream fix, we almost turned right around, but the colourful display of huge tubs of called out to us. We patiently waited in line and began to inspect the 'creations' menu hanging on the wall. Our attempts to secure a table whilst also waiting in line failed miserably due to the seating area being too small to accommodate all the customers at the time of our visit. We had no choice but to enjoy our ice-cream on the go. Cold Stone offers its ice cream in different sizes; ; 'Like it' (12LE/29LE), 'Love It' (24L/35LE) 'Gotta Have It' (36LE/46LE), 'Mine' (48LE/69LE) and 'Ours' (80LE/110LE), with the 'creations' being more expensive than the regular scoops. As soon as we were in front of the ice cream freezer, the server immediately welcomed us and offered us free samples. We tried all kinds of flavours before settling on Cake Batter, Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Mystic scoops with the first two in a cone and the second two in a regular cup.  Our pick from the crazily named creations was the 'Cheesecake Fantasy.' Upon payment, we dug into our ice cream with no hesitation and immediately fell in love with each and every flavour. If you're one of those people who like to lick cake batter of a spoon whilst baking, you'll find the Cake Batter flavour a God-sent gift for your taste buds. The Dark Chocolate flavour was intense, but not too sweet; perfect for true chocoholics. Tasting purely of freshly roasted pistachios, the Pistachio flavour was truly authentic, while the Mystic flavour, a play on Mesteka, was traditionally sugary and delightfully elastic. The true showstopper was, however, the 'Cheesecake Fantasy'; filled with strawberries and biscuit bits, it was truly mouth-watering. All in all, our ice cream cravings were righteously satisfied by everything Cold Stone Creamery had to offer. All the flavours were nothing less than delicious and the staff was also generally friendly and swift. The one let down, however, was our inability to find anywhere to sit and enjoy our ice cream due to the shop's small size and overwhelming crowds.

Nightlife

Wahawi Ramadan Lounge: Chilled Ramadan Sohour by the Nile in Zamalek

Wahawi Ramadan Lounge: Chilled Ramadan Sohour by the Nile in Zamalek

Cairo isn't a city that takes special occasions lightly and there are few bigger occasions in Egypt than Ramadan. But despite the hullabaloo of it all, Wahawi Ramadan Lounge brings a much-needed serenity to proceedings. Following its success last year, the Ramadan kheima – which sits pretty along the Nile on the breezy rooftop of Le Pacha 1901 in Zamalek – has once again emerged as a perfect alternative to the big, brash rationales of the traditional Ramadan tents. Attracting a much younger crowd than many of the other Ramadan tents around the city, Wahawi doesn't rely on the gimmickry of nostalgia and the increasingly elusive pursuit of a 'quintessential Ramadan experience'. Instead, Wahawi keeps things unfussy and laidback – because there's nothing worse than being force-fed the sounds of an unenthusiastic takht group, as can be found at this time of the year across the city. The setup and decor plays as big a part as any other element; use of the traditional khayameya print is kept to tasteful touches here and there, the music is subtle and the dimmed lighting is perfect – it really is the little things that count. Similarly to last year's setup, tables with couches for large parties line the edges of the space, with small, more intimate tables taking up the centre. Each seating arrangement is appropriately positioned to give patrons a pleasing type of seclusion and cosiness without sacrificing its overall amiable hustle. Each of the larger tables is afforded a flat screen TV – with World Cup matches being shown – and a Playstation console, as well as a range of different board and card games. In terms of the food, frequenters of Le Pacha will be pleased to find the venue's usual selection of dishes with the addition of a few extras across both Egyptian and Lebanese cuisines. On a breezy evening, our party of four headed to Wahawi and we left with bulging bellies and pleased palates. Of the cold mezze options, the cheese with zaatar (24LE) was excellent, while the cheese-stuffed safayeh (30.90LE) – a Lebanese version of dumplings – were equally as delicious. Beyond the picking-dishes, if you will, there are also full blown meals more suitable for fetar – which Wahawi also offers. And, of course, what Ramadan kheima would be complete without shisha, which is served and attended to alertly by staff. Yes, Ramadan is big, loud and gaudy; but Wahawi streamlines the sohour experience, making it a great place to unwind.

Arts & Culture

Cairo Opera House's 2014 Summer Festival

Cairo Opera House's 2014 Summer Festival

Grand by name, grand by nature; Cairo Opera House is one of the few places in Cairo that immerses you in its history and class - they don't do things by the half over there. With Ramadan done and dusted, the Zamalek-located venue are preparing for a month-long, nationwide Summer Festival beginning on Tuesday 5th of August. The festival, which will run till September 5th, will take place at Cairo Opera House's Open Air Theatre, as well as Alexandria Opera House and Damanhour Opera House and will feature some of the best local talent around. Things kick off at the Open Air Theatre on Tuesday with talented violinist, Rasha Yehia, before contemporary Egyptian band, Al Leil We Al Mawal, take to the stage on Wednesday . On Thursday, the immensly talented Dina El Wadidi takes the spotlight for the first time in a while, while Dina Abdel Hamid and Ghassan El Yusuf celebrate classic Oriental instrument, the Oud, with a special evening on Friday. The festival's first week is rounded off by seasoned musician, Mounir Nasr El Din, and his group, Sweet Sound Band.  The rest of the festival is a veritable smogasbord of musical variety, with particular highlights including Adham Roshdy's group, the Wave Jazz Band, on Tuesday 12th of August, jazz musician, Ahmed Rabie, on Wednesday 13th of August, marimba player, Nesma Abdel Aziz - and band - on  Tuesday 19th of August and legendary jazz pioneer, Yehia Khalil, on Tuesday 26th of August. Stay tuned to the Cairo 360 events calendar for details on all the Summer Festival concerts. For more information, call 02-2739-0188 or 02-2739-0299.

Health & Fitness

Ahmed & Abdou: Bustling Beauty Salon in New Cairo's Cairo Festival City Mall

Ahmed & Abdou: Bustling Beauty Salon in New Cairo's Cairo Festival City Mall

New Cairo is currently booming with new shops, restaurants, lounges and spas, with Ahmed & Abdou being the latest chain of beauty salons to jump on the bandwagon. We can never say no to some pampering and so, amidst shopping around the growing Cairo Festival City Mall, we found ourselves heading towards the beauty parlour for some much needed relaxation. Located on the 2nd floor of the still pristine mall, Ahmed & Abdou gives a rather luxurious high-end vibe with its grey and white colour scheme and modern furnishings. Much to our relief, there were no stereotypical, tacky decorations, or cheap and cheesy pictures of dolled up celebrities in sight.The overall design of the place was quite classy and the coveted salon offers all kinds of hair and nail treatments. Upon entrance, we were greeted by the cashier and receptionist who asked what treatments we wanted. Upon requesting a trim and blow-dry (200LE altogether), he typed in our names and mobile numbers and escorted us inside. The place was, much to our surprise, smaller than we thought it would be and packed to the brim with customers. We were seated on the rather uncomfortable couches and remained so for about 20 minutes before we were taken to the hair sinks.  The quick and efficient staff massaged and washed our hair with top-notch shampoos and conditioners and skilfully untangled our hair without yanking almost any strands out. Our hairdresser immediately came by and patiently listened to our requests; no-fuss trims that kept the length of our hair pretty much intact. He began to snip away with our demands in mind and, shockingly, used quite unusual trimming methods - but our gut instincts told us to remain silent and trust him. He finished cutting away, massaged some serum into our strands and began blow-drying them. Much to our dismay, we started smelling some burned hair and the heat immediately began stinging our faces; he was using extremely high heat. The finished look was not quite how we expected it would be. The trim was on-point and he definitely listened to pleads for our hair to remain lengthy but the blow-drying was nothing special, with our hair lacking the anticipated volume. All in all, our experience at Ahmed & Abdou was satisfactory but lacked any wow factors; we were pleased with the trim, yet unamused by the overall styling. The fact that the place was crowded also meant that it was noisy and did not allow us to unwind and relax at all. We, however, thought it's a nice staple salon to hit during beauty emergencies. 

Film

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legendary Shelled-Heroes Return to the Silver Screen

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legendary Shelled-Heroes Return to the Silver Screen

Careless and seemingly unable to find its own footing, the lack of heart and originality found in the latest reimagining of the '80s comic-book and film series franchise is disappointing and while there are moments of praise to consider, its shortcomings are a little difficult to disregard. The streets of New York are terrorised by an underground criminal organization called the Foot Clan, commanded by an ominous figure known as Shredder (Masamune). At the heart of it all is the ambitious TV reporter, April O'Neil (Fox), who – despite the continuing objections from her clearly-besotted cameraman, Vernon (Arnett) – is looking to break out of reporting irrelevant news pieces and move on to much bigger stories.  Her timing, as it happens, couldn't be better when, while out investigating a lead one night at the docks April witnesses members of the Foot Clan in a hard-hitting confrontation with a group of shadowy ninja-like figures.  Determined to reveal the identities of these so-called vigilantes, April soon finds herself face-to-face with the talking and walking six-foot masked turtles, otherwise known as Leonardo (Ploszek), Raphael (Ritchson), Donatello (Howard) and Michelangelo (Fisher). Raised in the City's sewers by their rat-master, Splinter (Shalhoub), the four turtles have been training for years to stand up to Shredder and they are soon given that chance when they learn of the plans of a poisonous gas being released over the city. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity in Jonathan Liebesman's approach to the subject at hand and the challenge of reviving a thirty-year-old iconic franchise proves to be a rather tricky task for the Wrath of the Titans director.  Written by an army of writers and produced by Michael Bay, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles suffers from an sloppy script , awkward pacing and, despite efforts give the very concept a little more depth the end-result feels shallow and undercooked.  Luckily, the action and the visual effects are pretty refined and while the surprisingly potent violence can be a little bit too much to bear, you can tell that a lot of time and effort went into the digital creation of the mutants themselves and the world around them. Regrettably, the performances are just as unmemorable as the story itself; this applies to Fox most, who seems to be stuck with the same staggered expression the whole way through. The motion-capture translates quite satisfyingly, though the menacing presence of Shredder and the righteous aura of Splinter is never fully realised. The film as a whole is polished but is short on subtlety and complexity, never finding the charm and nostalgia that initially triggered so much interest in the project.

City Life

The Date Festival: Slow Food Cairo's Annual Celebration of Dates Returns for 2014

The Date Festival: Slow Food Cairo's Annual Celebration of Dates Returns for 2014

In 2012, Egypt was acknowledged as the most prolific producer of dates in the world by the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation. In the grand scheme of things, that may seem like a trivial crown to hold, but it's an indicator of the peculiarly deep history that this country, and the region, has with a fruit that is seldom appreciated in other parts of the world – particularly the west. It also provides some insight into the country's agriculture – something that the Cairo chapter of global non-profit organisation, Slow Food, has been championing with a series of food-related events that puts the focus on local produce. One of its landmark annual events is the Date Festival which is set to return this month on Friday 26th of September at Fagnoon Art School in the Saqqara area of Haram, Giza, in collaboration with "responsible and inclusive business hub", ice_ribh, and local NGO, Nawaya, whose approach to permaculture has slowly but surely made an impact in a country where recycling and gardening culture is at a premium. Celebrating that simple yet versatile little fruit called a date, the festival is set to feature a range of activities and entertainment including cooking lesson – for both adults and children – , lectures, live music and, of course, plenty of treats to taste. The latter is made all the more appealing by the fact that Zooba's Chef Moustafa el Rafaey will be working the same magic that has made the restaurant so popular. For more information on the Date Festival, click here.
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