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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Dar El Amar: Tasty Oriental Takeout in Maadi
Budget takeout meals in Cairo often mean a lot of carbs and very little protein or fresh vegetables. While we support staying on budget, getting your vitamins is also important. Fresh salads, juices and quality meats are within your reach, and for the perfect balance between price and health; Dar El Amar is the takeout option of choice.
Although we love having a well-rounded meal delivered to our doorstep, Dar El Amar’s Maadi branch makes a great casual dining pit-stop. With a large dining room and friendly service, the restaurant is definitely the place to go to for a high-quality meal at a bargain price. However, beware of parking issues: the restaurant is located on the busy Nasr Street in New Maadi; so break out your creative driving skills.
Dar El Amar offers a great selection of authentic shami dishes from the classic salads including taboulah, fatoush, baba ghanough and hummus, in addition to perfectly prepared mana'eesh and succulent grilled meat. The fresh juices are up to standard, and the rice pudding– topped with cinnamon and plenty of nuts– is a perfect ending to any meal. We love the fact that this unpretentious restaurant does things right: the meats and salads are as good as any that this reviewer has tried in Palestine and a bite of fresh mana’eesh transports us to the mountains of Lebanon.
For the perfect feast, start with a selection of salads (8LE to 15LE). The hummus and fatoush are particularly delicious and not to be missed. For the main course, order a mixed grill (45LE) or kabab platter (35LE) and a man’oucheh or two (8LE to 15LE) and split with friends. The grilled meats are meticulously prepared, spiced and served shami-style with thin bread and fresh garnishes. Ask for extra tomeya, the delicious garlic sauce that goes perfectly with freshly grilled chicken, lamb and beef. The mana’eesh selection is extensive. Choose from thick or thin bread and a variety of fillings, including zaatar, the famous Shami thyme spice mix, halloumi cheese, vegetables and labnah.
Although not on the menu, we recommend ordering a mana’eesh with zaatar and halloumi cheese; when you taste it you won't be sorry. If you are a French fries fiend, don't miss the house fries (5LE), which are crisp, light and perfectly seasoned. Finish the meal with a rice pudding (8LE) and wash everything down with a fresh juice (8LE) for extra vitamins.
Two can dine at Dar El Amar for under 100LE, so what are you waiting for? If you love delicious salads, freshly baked bread and perfectly prepared meat; Dar El Amar is your new favourite restaurant– dine in or take out.
With Mcdonald’s and Pizza Hut pretty much monopolising Dokki’s Messaha Square – just look at the always empty Papa John’s – it’s always a surprise when something new opens there. However, that didn’t stop Wienerwald from opening a new branch next to the ill-fated Papa John’s.
With the apple-green ceiling, wood floor, random cartoonish chicken silhouettes, the interior of Wienerwald pretty much follows the same colour scheme of the international branches. There are very limited number of tables and chairs, though.
Wienerwald’s menu is all about different variations of chicken, salads, sides and a lonely hot dog item. After checking the menu, we opted for Half Rotisserie Chicken Meal (50LE), Schnitzel (47LE) and Backhendl (36LE).
Served with perfectly cooked French fries, the rotisserie chicken had a beautiful golden brown crispy skin, exquisite seasoning with a unique smoky flavour to it and was all-round tender – plus, it didn’t have the bad poultry odour you usually find with roasted chicken. Despite a second side of bland rice, it was a flavourful and affordable meal served in a generous portion.
Moving to the Schnitzel, the German classic dish was served with a mini bowl of unremarkable coleslaw and a cold mashed potato that was otherwise very creamy and tasty. As for the schnitzel itself, it was breaded perfectly and had a perfect crust and the chicken very tender, but it wasn’t as thin as schnitzel should be, though a simple squeeze of lemon on top added a great zesty flavour.
Meanwhile, the Backhendl was rather disappointing. Coming with French fries, coleslaw,and 3 pieces of fried breaded chicken – a traditional Austrian dish – was, unlike the previous dishes, very dry, lacked seasoning which and tasted bland, while the crust was super oily.
We finished our meal with a German Apfelstrudel (19LE). The pastry is stuffed with an apple-cinnamon mixture, topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Though it sounds great on paper, it turned out to be another disappointment. Even though the pastry had perfect layers it was very tough and while the apple had a spot-on tender consistency, the cinnamon flavour was far too strong – we felt like we were being tricked into taking the cinnamon challenge.
All in all, our visit at Wienerwald had its ups and downs. For a fast food chain, their food is clean and feels homemade. At the time of our visit, though, we experience the classic fast food problem: inconsistency. Some items were great and others had their flaws – a few too many.