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Giza, Cairo, Egypt.
Bamboo: Kitschy After-Hours Club in Giza
Taking up the ground floor of the Trianon boat in Giza, Bamboo is just a few steps downstairs from the increasingly popular Yasso. The club hopes to stay open with one big difference from its upstairs neighbour, and most others; Bamboo is slanted as an after-hours club.
The club is is open until 6AM, and so when club goers, not only from above but all over, need to leave their respected dancehall but aren’t quite ready to be homebound, they can find solace in the red lit and distinctly lacking-in-bamboo club- for a whole two-to-three hours more!
Amidst Bamboo’s gaudy backdrop and indulgent décor, taken not from its namesake but seemingly out of an African themed 80’s event, this reviewer found it to be a seamy sort of place that any respectable club goer might turn a cold shoulder to. However, most of us are frankly not respectable in any sense of the word by this point, making turning a blind eye a more suitable cliché for this scenario.
The music in Bamboo is what they call eclectic; ’California Love’ fades into ’El Donia Zay El Morgeha” with some Adele thrown in. Classic rock, hip-hop, and Egyptian music? It feels as if Bamboo knows the state clubbers are in by now, and just hopes that they won’t notice. Though the crowd, made up of those from Yasso cramped into the much smaller space that is Bamboo, danced and tried not to get burnt by people’s cigarettes, they seemed to enjoy it all the same.
There was a 100LE cover to enter Bamboo – again, competition with Yasso feels prevalent - with one free drink included. After the first round of drinks you will find that Bamboo is not a cheap club. Luckily though, you are paying for the fine atmosphere. One vodka and Red Bull must have run more than 100LE, because the three ordered took their toll costing 320LE.
In this reviewer’s opinion, Bamboo is just not worth the effort of a sole visit; leading one to wonder whether enough business will be generated to keep it running. Based on the assumption that clubbers will dismiss going home and walk into this Zebra-chair-backed jungle instead, or possibly just fall off the Yasso balcony into the Nile and thus discover an alternative; Bamboo may stand a chance.
With all of its shortcomings, Bamboo is still not a completely dreadful place. Staying open later than any other club, this arena is attractive in its own right. However, this reviewer would appreciate that when a venue decides on a name for their place - something to really pull people in - they would consider fusing both that name and whatever it is the place is trying to offer.
Cairo doesn’t have enough bars. At least, in this reviewer’s opinion, it doesn’t. Wherever the night starts, we always end up at some of our favourite nightspots around town. We heard that a new bar had recently opened up on the Nile Maxim boat across from the Cairo Marriot Hotel in Zamalek, and decided to take a look. Risas, as the bar is called, which is located on the boat’s lower level to the right side.
The best way to describe Risas is that it’s red. Very red. The lamps, the decoration and the couches, the chairs, the pillow and even the port-hole windows are red. We felt as if we were on board of the Red October and we expected Sean Connery to walk around the corner anytime to take our orders. Unfortunately, he never showed up.
Along the walls are flat-screen TVs showing different channels, including Fashion TV and MTV. The music is a bit depressing. It's a mixture of bad cover songs. An hour into this reviewer’s visit, the aforementioned red lights turned blue, before eventually turning red. It stayed blue for too long for it to have been a mistake, so we assume it was just a show of flashiness and versatility.
reviewer’s favourite, the Long Island tea wasn’t on the menu, we ordered the
Texas tea (46LE), which is basically the same but without gin and with Coke instead. As
much as we love alcohol, this cocktail was quite disappointing and we couldn’t
help but find it was saltier than the Dead Sea. The Tom Collins (45LE) on the
other hand was mixed better and bitter with a little taste of sweetness to
The Rusty Nail (45LE) was a mixture of Scotch and Drambuie, and reminded us a little bit of cough medicine and bad childhood memories. The tequila sunrise (45LE) was once again a bit salty; so we suspect the problem is in the tequila. Also, we couldn’t taste the orange juice. At the time of our visit, the crowd consisted mainly of patrons in their thirties and forties.
The best thing about Risas is that it’s fairly cheap. Beer only costs 20LE and a glass of wine will set you back 29LE. Many food items are priced under 100LE, such as sea bass for only 50LE or veal scaloppini for 75LE. Risas doesn’t impose a minimum charge either; so if you want a drink but don’t want to spend too much, this place is perfect.