Growing up in Egypt, many of us may remember visiting rest houses on desert roads; it was always an experience of fun and discovery. The food would usually be standard sandwiches and grills such as kabab, grilled chicken and ribs. Nanida, a food court in Shoruk City, offers this exact experience minus the long, tiring distance. Getting to Shoruk is quite simple: it’s located right across of the Madinaty City entrance. Once you enter the easily identifiable Shoruk gates, Nanida can be found approximately 7km ahead.

With a huge ’Nanida‘ sign on a building, it is easy to spot; in fact, it would be impossible to miss. As soon as you see this sign, take the first right.

Nanida defines itself as a restaurant and food court with catering services also available. It also boasts a pastry section and just when you think this place has offered enough, you find out that they have a wedding hall upstairs.

Upon entering the premises, you need to decide whether to sit inside, on the terrace or in the garden. We decided to sit on the terrace that day and it was a mess; napkins from a previous dinner were not cleared up and the chairs were not properly cleaned. Thankfully, we did not have to wait long to make an order.

Even though its only in Arabic, the menu combined eastern and western cuisines which made us quite enthusiastic. The eastern cuisine includes a traditional okra with beef stew (28LE), Lebanese man’oucheh (14LE), koshary (8LE) and Egyptian foul and falafel. More western choices include different varieties of pizza, a margarita is for 26LE, as well as beef, chicken and fish sandwiches.

We went ahead and ordered an apple shisha (8.50LE) to start our afternoon with. The shisha was quite ordinary; it wasn’t bad nor particularly amazing. As well as a free appetizer of baba ganough, we ordered a half grilled chicken with pasta Bolognese (40LE), a chicken panee sandwich (17LE), a mozzarella man’oucheh (14LE) and mango juice.

Our baba ganough appetizer arrived in no time and the eggplant tasted creamy and pleasant. The Bolognese sauce lacked a strong tomato base but the minced meat was satisfactory nonetheless. The traditionally grilled chicken and the chicken panee sandwich were exquisite; however the tomatoes inside the sandwich did not seem fresh.

The man’oucheh arrived after the main courses as per requested and it was the highlight of the afternoon. Sipping on the mango juice throughout the meal was quite refreshing, where it neither too sweet nor too sour.

The interior of Nanida lacks creativity, the whole atmosphere inside feels like a cafeteria, which is not very fancy. Regardless, we left Nanida reasonably satisfied; especially with a bill that came to a mere 83LE, services and tax included.