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Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Pizza Master: One of Cairo’s Premier Pizzerias
Pizza is one of those foods that will never go out of style. It’s perfect for a gathering of friends and it’s the ultimate finger food. With branches in Nasr City and Mohandiseen, Pizza Master delivers up a great pizza that’s worth dining in for or ordering for delivery.
There are six varieties of pizza: beef, chicken, seafood, hot &spicy and cheese lovers’. The cheese lovers’ pizza is a mouth-watering triple blend of cheese that has some sort of magical ingredient that the chefs won’t reveal. The plain cheese lovers’ pizza is great on its own, but if you’re looking for some fresh veggies; try the vegetarian cheese lovers’ pizza. It’s topped with green peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes.
The hot and spicy pizzas pack a surprising amount of heat. Many times in Cairo, items are listed as spicy and they’re really not. Don’t underestimate Pizza Master’s heat factor. These pizzas come with fresh hot chilli pepper; seeds and all. The spicy chicken pizza is a great spicy pizza, because the chicken shawerma, olives and fresh tomatoes help minimise the chilli’s effect.
Don’t miss out on Pizza Master’s yummy garlic bread. The appetiser consists of three fat baguette slices with the perfect amount of garlic butter. The garlic bread supreme, a personal favourite from Pizza Master, is topped lovingly with mozzarella cheese.
Pizza Master has a two-for-one pricing system. Essentially, this means ordering one medium pizza is actually ordering two medium pizzas of less or equal value. Ordering one garlic bread platter is actually ordering six pieces, not three. Thus, while Pizza Master is great for couples or groups of friends, it’s not exactly ideal if you want to dine alone.
Prices are reasonable: two medium pizzas generally go for 37LE to 40LE, and that’s about enough for three hungry people to share; the portions are generous.
The Nasr City location is quite comfortable, with a spacious seating area upstairs, air-conditioning and lounge chairs. Pizza Master is never disappointing with delivery. It’s consistently both fast and fresh.
Despite their international clientele, Cairo’s hotels embrace Ramadan as much as everywhere else, offering up wholesome menus for both fetar and sohour. Famous for its array of restaurants, we headed to the Fairmont Heliopolis’ pool-side Pizza Bar for sohour.
Other than the brightly coloured khayameya print table tops, the decoration around the clear blue pool was non-existent. The dim lighting created a tranquil atmosphere, but we found ourselves squinting in the darkness to read the menu. We were given the choice of the set sohour menu or à la carte.
True to hotel restaurant form, the sohour menus were packed with an assortment of Oriental dishes. For 150LE, hot and cold mezzas, salads, cheeses and dessert were all included; but for 210LE, you can also get main dishes and grills included. Officially, both menus are to be shared between two people, although the latter was so large, it would have been more suitable to share with three or four.
To begin, we sampled some traditional karkade juice, which was sweeter than usual but delectable nonetheless. Next, the food began to flow all at once, until we had barely any space left on the table; bowls of salads, dips, pickles, cheeses, omelettes, foul and meats all looked and smelt incredibly tempting.
The baladi bread was warm, soft, fluffy and perfect for dipping. The pickles were both fresh and crunchy, but they were a little too bitter and potent for our taste, and although the fattoush salad was fresh, the subtle vinaigrette was barely noticeable, leaving it somewhat dry. Our selection of hard and soft cheese was a welcome, varied addition with the creamy labna dip stealing the show, whilst the smooth hommos and bitter-sweet baba ganough provided velvety alternatives.
The hot dishes included a well-seasoned tagine of sogok, perfectly fried taameya with soft centres, sweetened kobeiba, meat-filled sambousak, which were sadly on the soft side, and some authentic tasting, half-blended foul. Despite being a little greasy, the chicken shawerma was the most delicious, with a twang of a sweet aftertaste. Our mixed grill was also a delectable combination of thick, succulent chunks of chicken and beef alongside a mound of flavourful, al dente rice.
We realised, after dessert, that both Oriental sweets and fresh fruit were advertised, however, the platter of sweets failed to materialise. Whether the waiter forgot or took it upon himself to choose the fruit for us, we may never know, but we were satisfied with the small plate of fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and plum, although they all could have been marginally riper.
The Fairmont also boast a large list of unique shisha flavours, however, on the night we went many were unavailable. We’d recommend both the grape and the guava flavours (35LE each).
Keeping up its reputation for good food, Fairmont's Pizza bar provides a full, tasty sohour menu served in a peaceful, pool-side setting.