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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Le Deck Ramadan Tent: Fetar on a Floating Dock
Every Ramadan, there are always a few popular and trendy tents in Cairo that attract the largest crowds for fetar or sohour. This year, many of the big-name party organisers and hotels have put a lot of effort into making these tents a success. Sofitel El Gezira’s floating dock restaurant Le Deck offers great cuisine and shisha, a prime view of the Nile and a trendy Ramadan ambiance.
If you’re heading for fetar at Le Deck, it’s best to make reservations as soon as possible. Le Deck offers easy online booking through Tazkarty. However, we were surprised to find that, after making last-minute reservations and assuming the place was probably packed, it was quite empty; only three other tables were reserved.
tent certainly didn’t go with the traditional kheyameya design.
Set right in the middle of the deck, the tent’s fabric is a swirl of red and blue colours as well as star, crescent and calligraphy designs that lend the restaurant a Ramadan feel. Colourful star-shaped lanterns dangle from the rafters, adding to the light and colours of the tent. Comfortable chairs and couches surround the tent and border the deck for a great breeze, but they’re not necessarily convenient for people afflicted with seasickness.
Le Deck offers two set menus for fetar: one for 190LE and the other for 200LE, and the only difference is that the one for 200LE includes foul. For appetisers, traditional Lebanese and Egyptian mezzas are served alongside the mixed lessan asfour (ourzo) soup, such as hummus, baba ghanoug, mixed white cheese and tomatoes, and tehina with bread on the side.
The waiters are extremely friendly and always bring some humour to the table whenever they pass by your table. The main courses are two tagines of macaroni in béchamel sauce and sliced liver with green pepper, followed by a delicious, huge mixed-grill platter, which included kebab, kofta and grilled chicken. The food portions are definitely filling and more than enough.
As for dessert, we were served a small plate of oriental sweets and although we were already full; we had to try it. The restaurant’s zalabya is one of the best that we’ve ever tried; it was very soft and not too syrupy. After enjoying hot tea with mint by the Nile, one of the tent’s sponsors, Nestle offered us free servings of their delicious Mega and KitKat ice creams but with that, you also have to try Starbuzz’s amazing premium cocktail shisha for 35LE.
So if you plan on going to Le Deck during Ramadan, try both their fetars and sohours; it's worth going back to more than once to enjoy their scrumptious food and the laid-back ambiance.
Nightlife in Cairo is largely limited to the busier parts of town, meaning that residents of the newly developed areas are often at a loss when it comes to bars and clubs. Whilst 6th of October City is not wildly popular for its nightlife, there is undeniably growing demand for venues where one can enjoy a few quiet drinks with friends.
Convenient for those who don’t feel like visiting central Cairo, Indigo Restaurant and Lounge is located in the heart of 6th of October City. The atmosphere gives off a laid back vibe, with the addition of a European-Arabian menu, offering a variety of food and beverages.
Recently renovated, the venue has been expanded, taking on a second outdoor area. While we understand the need to expand any venue, in our opinion, the remodelling was unnecessary and appears a little out of place. Taking over the main entrance, several, unimpressive wooden tables and chairs are separated from the rest of the venue with panes of thick glass.
The inside contrasts with a more elegantly-chic vibe, complete with dim, romantic lighting, roomy dinner tables, neat tableware and an orderly-looking bar.
The older, third section of the lounge, sheds on a more casual, outdoors environment. Tented over, and arranged with low, wide tables and full-sized comfortable couches, the outdoor area seems cosier and more informal, perfect for meeting with friends. While the off-white and deep purple interior gives off a stylish, modern vibe, the atmosphere here sets off a laid-back mood.
For locals, the place is well known for their variety of cocktails. We ordered four different kinds; one Cosmopolitan (62LE), a vodka apple pie (77LE) – vodka, apple juice and cinnamon – as well as the house special, called Pico (77LE) – vodka, red bull, cranberry juice, orange juice and grenadine – and a Martini (62LE), which seemed rather too sour and lemony than an actual Martini. Although their cocktails seem a little overpriced, their mixtures were adequately balanced.
With a reputation for exquisite cuisine, we decided on splitting the Risotto Trio Mushrooms (74LE); a rich, creamy risotto with three kinds of wild mushrooms, topped with Parmesan cheese. Served in a deep dish, we’d go as far considering it the finest tasting risotto in town.
While the place is a little overpriced, Indigo is undoubtedly one of the better bars located in 6th of October City. With its chic décor, decent food and exotic variety of drinks, this is a bar that meets the needs of those looking for a venue with an easy-going but stylish atmosphere.