Sign in using your account with
Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Pizza Yalla: Pizza & Pasta on the Blue Nile Boat in Zamalek
With the wonderful arrival of Pizza Mia, it’s hard to imagine that one would go out of their way to try any other pizza venue in Zamalek. But in a cosy location on the lower deck of the Blue Nile boat, Pizza Yalla offers quite a different experience than one would expect from a typical pizza place.
Pizza Yalla has inside and outside seating areas, both adorned with a Nile view. If you’re craving pizza or pasta, the calm and secluded restaurant offers the right getaway for you. The venue is divided into three areas: the first is easily visible upon entering the large and welcoming glass doors. It incorporates an American-style kitchen seating area, with enough space to seat a large group of people. Going further into the venue, more humble, six-person family tables are set up. And finally, the outside area offers glass top tables, that seat four people, overlooking the Nile.
The staff was very friendly and welcoming; they responded quickly to all our queries but they didn’t know much English, so they unfortunately couldn’t understand most of our concerns. The atmosphere was very relaxing, with a nice, fresh feel to it – the overall mood was emphasized by the light-coloured wooden chairs with green and yellow cushion covers. During the day the place is well lit and floods with an abundance of natural light.
The restaurant offers pizzas, pastas, Paninis, salads and desserts. While the prices are a little steep, the convenience of the venue and its amicability more than make up for it. The selection of pizzas is quite limited, with only a few varieties, but it still manages to accommodate to everyone’s taste. We settled for a pizza Quattro Stagiani (50LE) and a Ravioli Al Salmone (65LE). The pizzas were large and though they didn’t look very aesthetically pleasing, their taste proved to be more than satisfying. Both dishes were well proportioned and left us happily full. Most of the pizzas on the menu are about 50LE and pastas 40LE; whereas the desserts are various and range about 25LE; juice and canned beverages are also available. Pizza Yalla does not have minimum charge.
There are a number of words that are rarely conjured up when you think of pizza in Egypt; 'healthy' and 'authentic' are just two. Sure, there are a few novelty pizzerias that manage to keep away from the localised grease-fest we call pizza, but for the most part we, as Egyptians, don’t quite get pizza.
We recently heard about a new delivery-only pizzeria in Dokki called Skinny Pizza; just the name alone was intriguing - does skinny mean we didn’t know healthy pizza or thin pizza?
After finding the menu online, we found out it was actually both. They serve both low fat pizzas, gluten free pizzas and regular thin crust pizzas. We only know of one other venue that serves gluten-free pizza, so we had to get ourselves some to see how they compare.
The low fat and thin crust pizzas come in two sizes, but the gluten free option is only available in the large size. We opted for a Gluten Free Bolognese (55LE) and a Mushroom and Olive (52LE) from the skinny pizzas.
Our food arrived roughly thirty minutes later, which is pretty decent for a takeout pizzeria. We decided to dig into the Bolognese first which featured tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, minced beef and onions. The dough really surprised us, being both decently-cooked and extremely filling. The large pizzas aren’t the biggest you’ve ever seen, but they can feed two if you’re not ravenously hungry. The tomato sauce was delicious, as was the melted cheese with the minced beef.
The Mushroom and Olive pizza, which features tomato sauce, low fat cheese, fresh mushrooms, olives and oregano, was particularly tasty. They also mention the nutritional value per slice, in this case 96 Cal, which is impressively low for such a full-flavoured pizza. The crust was thin enough to be authentic, but still thick enough to not flap. The taste of mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and oregano is one of the simplest amalgamations of flavours, yet when executed well, yields glorious results.
Overall, though it won’t necessarily blow your socks off, there's little to complain about with Skinny Pizza; the delivery was swift, the food was much healthier than a standard pizza, yet still as satisfying - if not more so.