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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.
Every now and then, you’re body demands the strangest of cravings. It wants fast food, it wants new fast food that’s different to all the fast food that you’ve been having, and it wants it right now. This sensation may hit you at home or at the office, but what’s certain is all the effort you’re willing to exert is eating the food.
Enter Lujo’s Fresh Junk; a joint in Zamalek that pulls together all the kinds of fast food onto one menu, and presenting them in a new way.
The restaurant is rather small; the indoor area consists only of a counter over which you place your order. There are a few bar stools, but we don’t recommend occupying them since you’d be sitting face to face with the cashier - awkward.
The outside area has a simple wooden table with two chairs. We don’t recommend sitting here either as you’ll be sharing your food with the cats over the ambiance of the next door workshop’s loud music.
After a quick glance through the menu we opted for the Wasabi Shrimp Tempura Wrap (38LE) and a Mushroom Truffle Pizza (44LE). Additionally, we opted for Zucchini Fries (10LE) with Mayo Pesto Dip (6LE).
Our food was served, not so shortly after, on wooden slabs that resemble chopping boards, while the Zucchini Fries were served in a small metal bucket.
The Wasabi Shrimp Tempura wrap consisted of fried shrimp tempura topped with pickled sesame cucumbers, shallots and Wasabi tartar sauce on a bed of mixed greens. The wasabi was unfortunately missing from the mix, but that was the only let down in an otherwise great sandwich. The flavours were in perfect harmony and the shrimp remained crispy despite the toppings.
Similarly, the Mushroom Truffle pizza was delicious. The truffle oil and fresh mushrooms worked well with the arugula and balsamic vinegar. The pizza had a nice, thin consistency and a good ratio of toppings. We did, however, find the mushrooms a little scarce.
The Zucchini Fries had a nice crispy golden layer coating i, and a good consistency all around, which isn’t easy since zucchini cooks very fast. We felt like we ordered the wrong dip however, since Pesto Mayo was a little too heavy.
Finally, we opted for a Peanut Butter Cookie (9LE), which, unfortunately, let down what was an otherwise enjoyable meal; it was mall, too moist and barely tastes like peanut butter at all.
Lujo’s is perfect for takeaway and ordering from home, especially when with a group. While the prices are higher than your average fast food, the gourmet touches elevate the menu.