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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.
Life in the ever-busy capital definitely, at times, forces all of us to live on the fast lane without enough time to spare on making an event out of every meal. Thus, take away venues and delivery services can often swoop in and save the day, allowing us to munch away our hunger whilst getting things done.
Located on Brazil St, one of Zamalek’s most iconic boulevards, Baraka is hard to miss with its huge banner and catchy orange and maroon colour scheme. The venue offers no seating areas, with its concept based on paying, awaiting your order and picking it up to eat elsewhere.
Baraka’s menu is divided into two main sections—beef sandwiches, including Steak with Cheese (22/26LE), Beef Fajita (18/22LE) and Kofta Balady (14/18LE) as well as chicken sandwiches, including Chicken Tawook (16/20LE), Chicken Mozzarella (18/22LE) and Chicken Liver (12/15LE), with each offered in either medium or large sizes. In order to make a combo out of your sandwichyou add 9 LE to the sandwich’s price.
Sticking to the basics, we opted for a couple of Chicken Shawerma sandwiches (18LE/each) and a couple of Beef Shawerma sandwiches (18LE/each), requesting them all to be wrapped in Syrian bread. Once we paid, we handed our order to the friendly chef and received our steaming sandwiches a mere ten minutes later.
Well-wrapped, our sandwiches tasted fresh and were out-of-the-oven hot, with the well-toasted Syrian bread having that satisfying crunch to it. Both the chicken and beef shawerma sandwiches were, despite their size leaning more towards medium than large, chockfull of fillings that included diced tomatoes and pickles, alongside the shawerma bits. They both, however, lacked a sufficient amount of sauces or dips, with the chicken shawerma needing a bit more Tomiya and the beef shawerma needing a bit more Tahini.
To wrap up, pun intended, we found Baraka to be quite perfect for grabbing a non-fussy, on-the-go bite. The sandwiches were both delicious, but if you’re absolutely starving, go for two not one, as a single sandwich is not large enough to satisfy your hunger.