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Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
Kasr El Shouk: Egyptian Restaurant in Dokki Combining New & Old
Many of us can become nostalgic for traditional Egyptian food, especially considering the amount of foreign cuisine that has engulfed Cairo. Classical Egyptian has been in danger of disappearing from the market but Kasr El Shouk in Dokki, continues to fly the flag with a menu that includes favourites such as fatta, mesa’aa, molokheya, stuffed pigeon, and tagen-cooked meat and vegetables.
From the outside, the building that hosts the restaurant looks like a traditional two-storey Egyptian house. Once you enter through the beautiful wooden door, you’ll be amazed at how this place balances modernity and authenticity. Not only does it look Egyptian, but also carries the qualities of generosity and hospitality.
The Om Kalthoum songs that play in background help in creating a soothing, welcoming atmosphere. The lighting was neither too dim nor too bright; which further added to the pleasant ambiance.
The service was almost at hotel standard; we were escorted to the second floor, and then led by our waiter to our table. A short time after we sat, they served us complimentary hibiscus as a welcome drink. A few minutes after we ordered, the waiter brought us warm towels and waited until we were finished to take them away.
We ordered a raheb salad (9LE), tomato and cream soup served with croutons (12LE), and a mixed platter of mahshi (9LE) – which was composed of stuffed vine leaves, stuffed zucchinis, stuffed green peppers and stuffed cabbage, served with yoghurt and freshly baked bread. They all tasted like homemade mahshi.
Before serving our main course, the waiter brought several metal holders with a candle under each, these were used to put under the plates in order to keep our food warm.
We had ordered a tagen she’reya (39LE), veal tagen (55LE),and some fresh kishk (35LE). The first dish had rice mixed with she’reya, and the second was also mainly rice, but with meat added. Both items tasted good but the tagen she’rya had a bit too much salt. As for the kishk; its normal consistency is usually milkier than the one served to us, but it was nonetheless very tasty with its accompanying sauce adding to the flavor. Ultimately
Finally, for dessert, we opted for the nouga Kasr El Shouk (18LE), made up of mixed dry fruits and nuts in fresh ice cream, with a slice of white cake and juice. By all standards, this was the perfect oriental dessert to have after a wholesome Egyptian meal. For the third time we were served sweet potato and again, it was on the house.
Kasr El Shouk is highly recommended because you have the chance to try something you rarely find in other places around town.
The newest restaurant to open in Downtown Cairo is the surprisingly sleek Masrawy. Having timed its opening for Ramadan, the new eatery on Bustan Street offers no-frills, wholesome food for fetar and sohour.
There are eight hearty meal options to choose from for Iftar and each offer a diverse and healthy mix of foods including drinks and dessert.
The cheapest of these eight choices costs 22LE and consists of quarter of a chicken, rice, mixed vegetables, mixed salad, Egyptian bread, Oriental dessert, one bottle of water plus a special fruity Ramadan drink. You can also replace the chicken for meatballs in a tangy tomato sauce with pasta.
The most expensive meal on the fetar menu is the Mixed Grill (80LE); but don’t be put off by this significantly higher price because the portion can easily feed two people. The selection of meat is simply delicious. Included in the Mixed Grill option is: ¼ kofta, ½ chicken, ¼ kebab, 2 juicy lamb ribs, a thick soup, basmati rice, green salad, tahina salad, garlic salad, bread, a bottle of water and finally, that special fruity Ramadan drink.
The prices at this new restaurant are highly satisfactory considering the diversity that comes in just one meal choice and of course the large portion sizes that we really love and appreciate. The service is great too; staff is all dressed in bright orange to match the interior of the restaurant.
Masrawy is extremely spacious taking up two large air-conditioned floors plus outdoor seating; it’s clean, fresh and almost sparkles beneath that perfectly adequate lighting. Large tables are available for families or groups of friends plus some quieter tables for two all prepared efficiently and the food is served in stylish ceramic dishes, which really add to the atmosphere and pleasant dining experience.
Masrawy’s sohour menu consists of a lighter and significantly cheaper choice of meals than feter, but there are only four different choices. The cheapest of these costs a mere 10LE and consists of a generous serving of chunky foul, two falafel, green salad, yoghurt, bread and water. On the other hand there is the ‘Masrawy Special’ which costs 18LE and is highly recommended, consists of omelette, a cheese plate, three falafel, salad, bread, yoghurt, french fries and a bottle of water.
There is no daily menu as yet for Masrawy as the focus is purely on Ramadan but the restaurant has managed to burst into the Cairo scene immediately attracting attention and reeling in customers. The seating is comfortable; the large air-conditioned space is refreshing and they serve a top-notch fetar.