Cheap food options, especially koshary, are slim pickings when it comes to the Cairo neighbourhood of Zamalek. It's a staple in many Egyptians’ lives, and most people crave a tub of fresh, hot koshary every now and then. This Egyptian fast-food outlet not only serves koshary; but other options as well.

Although it’s just a hole in the wall on Taha Hussein Street just before Yamama Centre and Munch & Bagel, Alex Top seems to keep Zamalek patrons satisfied. Many opt for takeaway or delivery, but dining is available inside as well. Reminding us of a bingo hall, chairs are lined along card tables; providing more of a communal dining experience.

Our favourite part of dining on site is the little pitchers that they provide, filled with oil and spices. If you prefer ordering takeaway or delivery, you will receive those pesky little plastic bags oozing with sauces. When it comes to koshary, Alex Top likes to get creative. Sizes start with the Super Exclusive and go up to include the Fuel and Special. If you’re feeling extra hungry, the Alex Top Family is huge and costs around 9LE.

For 4LE, the Super Exclusive portion always does the trick. While it could have done with more chickpeas and deliciously fried onions, finishing the entire bowl has always been feasible. When comparing to other koshary places around, their koshary tends to have a more even flavour. The oil’s garlic is in abundance while the spicy sauce is never too hot, providing great texture to the dish. Alex Top doesn’t stop there; for 10LE and up, other dishes are offered, including a variety of tagine dishes featuring chicken and beef.

When you're in Zamalek and in need of a cheap, quick meal, Alex Top is your best bet. The customer service is efficient and quick; both on site and in its delivery. As for delivery experience, the koshary is still warm by the time it reaches us, and considering the delivery charge is only 2LE – it’s a safe bet.