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Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Basmatio: Delicious Fast Food with Delivery throughout Cairo
While the fast food industry is a vastly growing business in Cairo, big fast food chains often fail to provide Cairenes with fulfilling meals that are easy on the budget as well. Luckily, just when a fresh addition to the delivery/takeaway scene was needed, Basmatio comes to the rescue.
Basmatio started out as a fast food joint in Heliopolis, offering delivery literally all over Cairo – We still don’t know how they do it! With its affordable meals and sandwiches, it quickly became a favourite delivery joint for work lunch breaks and group hangouts. Basmatio deserves a gold star for its food’s neat packaging that keeps it warm and protected.
Introducing a concept of fast delicious meals that are close to tasty homemade food, Basmatio’s menu is packed with mouth-watering choices. Basmati meals include chicken, beef or seafood toppings that will satisfy every fan of oriental flavour. If you’re on the go and need a quick bite, they offer value meals that have less toppings for as little as 9LE.
The kabab meal (15LE) was quite the introduction to Basmatio’s cooking genius: the meat was perfectly cooked and chewy enough without being dry. We had high expectations of the basmati rice – as it is their specialty after all – and luckily those expectations were met; the thin grains of rice were as light as air and healthily prepared without a hint of oil.
While the chicken fungi sandwich (11LE) featured savoury mushroom sauce and generous slices of chicken, the shire chicken meal (14LE) disappointed our hopes of sampling an exotic Eastern sauce. The chicken was well-done, but its flavours tasted exactly like that of a typical shawerma.
Worried about your diet? Don’t worry; Basmatio has diet meals that are just as tasty, minus the rice and with bread and a salad instead. The marines fish fillet dish with Caribbean sauce (36LE) is one of those tasty and satisfying diet options. Although the Caribbean sauce was too spicy, the best thing about the fish fillet is that it’s healthy and nutritious.
In addition to the diet meals, Basmatio provides vegetarian, kids and family meals as well. Offering delicious food, moderate prices and swift delivery service, Basmatio is definitely worth the try.
The more traditional restaurants in Cairo never fail to bring back memories of yester-year, drawing us in with their ‘eat on your feet’ charm. Largely famous for its popular shawerma and mango juice, we headed to Roxy's time-honoured restaurant, Abou Heidar, with plans to delve deeper into their surprisingly eclectic menu.
We headed upstairs to their small, stuffy seating area on the second floor; it was soon evident why this place is better for take-out. Aside
from shawerma, the menu boasts a selection of Alexandrian liver, sogo’, Dawood Basha kofta, burgers, sausages, fried chicken and roomy cheese – all of which are served in burger buns (6LE), Syrian bread (16LE) or large French bread (20LE-25LE). Also on offer was Lebanese kobeiba (6LE), salads and pickles (4LE), or pasta with beef béchamel and a side of turley (8.5LE) – a small tomato based tagine of egg plant, potatoes, courgettes and string beans, that one might compare to ratatouille.
An unfortunate and peculiar absence of chicken shawerma led us to order one large beef shawerma (16LE), a plate of Alexandrian liver (6LE), pasta béchamel (8.25LE) and pickles (4LE). After enquiring about the salad, we were told we’d have to wait quite a while whilst it was freshly chopped – and we waited with no avail.
With a long standing reputation for also offering delicious juices, one fresh orange (6.5LE) and a mango juice (7.5LE) took our fancy and both turned out to be even better than we’d anticipated. Both were evidently made with the ripest and sweetest of fruits.
Wrapped in fluffy, freshly baked bread, the shawerma meat-mix was both unique and delectable, combining garlic, tomato, vinegar with an unusual addition of fresh, flavourful mint. The meat was a little fattier than preferred, though the succulent Alexandrian liver dish made up for it. Although perfectly acceptable, there was certainly nothing exceptional about the pasta béchamel or its misfit side of turley.
Despite quick and attentive service, we wouldn’t recommend eating in – standing on the street with some of the best shawerma in Heliopolis is the best approach – you know what they say; when in Rome!