Sign in using your account with
Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Shatshat: Spicy Fast Food in Nasr City
Egyptian sandwich shops seem to be taking a step up in style and innovation when it comes to presentation; from the names of their meals to the menu design and ordering process. It is also one way to compete with the bigger fast food chains and stand out amidst the growing numbers of sandwich joints in Cairo.
Shatshat is a new sandwich venue in Nasr City with a menu of mouth watering, enticing and spicy food options. You can pick one of the El-mefalfel rice meals with chicken liver (7.50LE) with some tahabeesh on the side, or, if you can handle it, some seriously spicy hawawshy or 'hawawshatshat' as the venue calls it (10LE).
For shawerma fans, Shatshat will be a disappointment as it's one of the few sandwich places in Cairo that don't make shawerma sandwiches. They've made up for it though with the Miami chicken sandwich (11.75LE), which is more or less a shawerma sandwich with green and red peppers that add a sweet flavour to the chicken.
If you're not much of a spicy food lover, the chicken pané sandwich (12LE) will be a safe choice, and the good news is they don't just fry some chicken out of a frozen box like other fast food joints do; the chicken is marinated and cooked as you'd make it at home, which makes the portions less crunchy but flavoursome.
Though we ordered our kofta meal (25LE) with fries on the side, we received it with rice instead, and they sure make their rice spicy, though it was also fresh and well-cooked. The kofta was served on a bed of tomatoes, onions and peppers and looked a bit pale, but it was fortunately grilled to perfection with a serving of coleslaw and tomeya dip on the side.
If you're not up for cooking on your day off, Shatshat celebrates the weekend with special family meals. The four-meal weekend menu includes a mix grill meal (80LE), which is a mix of chicken, shish tawouk and kofta; all seasoned with Shatshat’s special mixture of herbs. The menu also lists the seafood bamboti meal (80LE), which is served with rice, salad and bread.
Shatshat may not have the hang of things quite yet but they’re getting there. Their sandwiches are good and the service is efficient for the most part; just make sure to double check your order before leaving.
Remember when we used to order pasta from Tomato Street and sandwiches from Wesaya? Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a new Egyptian fast food chain, which made the arrival of Chicken Fil-A all the more intriguing.
There’s not much to be said for a fast-food dine-in experience and, let’s face it, fast food is all about delivery, so we ordered in. Chicken Fil-A’s menu is all about fried chicken sandwiches, with the exception of a dish that brings together grilled chicken with their Flying Rice (15LE-30LE), and they also have a fair amount of sides and desserts.
Sadly, however, Chicken Fil-A failed the delivery and customer service test; after receiving the order after an hour and a half, our complaints were met with sarcasm. It wasn’t a great start, but we were hoping for better with the food.
The sandwiches are largely very similar with just different toppings, so we decided to go classic with the Fil-A Deluxe (28LE) with a side of Hell Fries (19LE). The sandwich came as three pieces of fried chicken strips topped with ‘French cheese’ and lying over a bed of lettuce, tomato and the restaurant’s special sauce, but what was far from what we saw on the menu. The chicken had a very soggy and slightly burnt crust and we couldn’t tell what type of ‘French’ cheese was used, due to how little there was of it, but on the bright side, the chicken was very tender, the bread and the veggies were fresh, and the amount of ‘special’ sauce – which tasted suspiciously like mayonnaise - was spot on.
Coated with Chicken Fil-A’s special spices, the fries, meanwhile, were topped with cheddar cheese sauce, slices of jalapeno pepper and hell sauce. We really couldn’t feel the presence of the spices due to the overpowering spiciness of the jalapeno and the ‘hell sauce’, which turned out to be sriracha sauce. As for the cheese sauce itself, it had a good consistency, but it was on the bland side in term of flavours.
We also couldn’t not go for one of ‘Akbar Sandwiches Frakh Fe Mas’ (the biggest chicken sandwiches in Egypt); between the The Godzilla (38LE) and The Fil (40LE), we went for the latter.
After a rough start, The Fil saved the day. Two pieces of chicken fillet are stuffed with American cheese and served in a soft burger bun, alongside tomato, lettuce, and again their ‘special sauce’ aka mayo. The quality and the flavours of The Fil are very similar to Hardee’s’ Big Chicken Fillet, only it’s much, much bigger and the layers in the Fil make for a pretty picture.
We finished things off with Red Velvet Oreo (15LE) and Watermelon Fil-A Cooler (12LE). The dessert consists of five pieces of deep-fried, red velvet batter-coated Oreo pieces, sprinkled with sugar and served with cream cheese dip. Unfortunately the dough was very dense and chewy, and the cream cheese dip was too thick to be a dip. Somehow, though, the flavours were interesting enough and it just needed better execution. As for the Fil-A cooler, it was simply a can of 7up served with 2 tablespoons of watermelon syrup – the less said about that, the better.
Overall, despite its crowd pleasing concept and the potential gap fin the market for local fast-food, it’s Chicken Fil-A’s poor execution that could see it go the way of Tomato Street and Wesaya.