Sign in using your account with
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Shawermer: Fresh and Cheap Syrian Sandwiches
Although Cairo isn’t hurting for shawerma stands, as they can be found on nearly every corner; the quality is not always present. Often, your sandwich is either dripping with grease and slimy fat, or the bun engulfs the shaved meat to the extent that it’s not even tasted.
Sticking to the basics yet taking it up a notch, Shawermer’s takeaway locations across the city are reliable, consistent and always offering the freshest of shawerma. Unfortunately, it’s only a grab-and-go kind of place, but if you happen to be passing by in your car; yell your order out the window, and they’ll scurry up in no time. They also deliver across the city, but with a 20LE-minimum.
Boasting its Syrian origins, Shawermer serves sandwiches rolled tightly in fresh Syrian bread; much better than a stale bun that you often receive from other shawerma joints. Choices of chicken, meat, kabab and fish are offered in the affordable range of 10LE to 12LE. The chicken shawerma (11LE) is pretty heavenly and always cooked just right. It’s served sliced in small bite-size portions, not only making it easy to handle but better for savouring the flavour. Fresh pickles and garlic dip accompany each sandwich.
Hawawshi (10LE) is a good choice if you’re in the mood for something different. The minced meat is delicately tossed with parsley and onions, providing a little kick and a protein boost.
Combos and platters are also offered, including grilled quail and your traditional kabab. All come with a side of fresh French fries that blow any fast-food chain out of the water. Seasoned with a Cajun zest, they aren’t your typical French fries. Combos start at 19LE and with a coke to wash down your recent eats, the price tag isn’t hefty.
Whether you’re looking for a late-night eatery or simply craving a little shawerma, this takeaway restaurant won’t disappoint you. Order time maxes out at 45 minutes and is always worth the wait.
With plenty of new restaurants opening as fast as lightning and raising the bar for fine dining in Cairo, the interest in fast food venues is waning – even burger and pizza places are putting more focus on being gourmet. But, located on Zamalek’s busy 26th of July Street, roasted chicken specialist, Chick Shack, proves that the fast food concept is still popular in Cairo.
Not to be confused in any way with popular American chain, Shake Shack, the eatery’s name attracted some negative attention, but it all played into its publicity. The name is where the similarities end, though; Chick Shack stands out with a unique interior and playful vibe of its own. Some of its standout features include its ringed chandelier, an interesting choice of cold colours and a wall made of A-Treat soda boxes, not to mention the quirky staff uniforms made-up of buttoned-to-the-top shirts, grey trousers, suspenders and hats that Michael Jackson would have been proud of.
The menu is quite simple, with roasted chicken as the main attraction, though other items include Lasagna (34LE), Potato Wedges (8LE), or Tropical Salad (18LE) and can work as side dishes.
We started our meal with Shack Salad (28.50LE) as an appetiser, and as our mains, we went with Half Chicken Meal (55LE) and Chicken Cannelloni (27LE).
A mixture of grilled chicken, green apple cubes, corn, bell pepper, pomegranate and mayo dressing, the Shack Salad was an interesting concoction. We loved the tart taste from the green apple which worked well with the pomegranate and the sweet-corn, but the chicken itself was overcooked and very tough.
Now, let's move to what we actually came for: roasted chicken. Served with sautéed vegetables which had a remarkable garlicky flavour and possibly the best spicy basmati rice, which was cooked to perfection and bursting with Mexican spices, the roasted chicken was well-marinated and had a zesty flavour which popped in every single bite. However, the chicken itself was a little bit undercooked but definitely not raw, and even though it was very tasty, the skin wasn’t as crispy as we would've hoped.
We were worried about the ready-to-serve Chicken Cannelloni, but it was surprisingly tasty. Stuffed with chicken and peppers which had flavours similar to fajitas, the cannelloni was well-cooked and had a generous amount of cream parmesan cheese sauce. Sloppy presentation aside, the cannelloni made for a great vehicle for the chicken.
Overall, there was little to complain about at Chick Shack. The venue stands out as one of the healthier fast food places in Cairo; one that also boasts fantastic service, great staff and a friendly atmosphere. The only downside is that there are no desserts to speak of – but with the concept built on a ready-to-serve approach, maybe a soft serve ice cream machine would be a perfect fit. But that’s just us.