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.