One of the major challenges that we face in Cairo during Ramadan is planning successful fetar outings. With almost the entire city sitting down to breakfast at the same time, there is considerable strain on restaurants, which often results in inadequate service and subpar food. If you are looking for a sophisticated and grand fetar outing, Cairo 360 presents you with the best five-star hotels to choose from.
Your hotel options range from the Fairmont Nile City to the Cairo Marriot, where sohour may be a better option in the oriental-themed garden, or try Sofitel Gezirah’s special Ramadan tent menu. The Grand Hyatt and the Four Seasons Nile Plaza both promise laid-back and luxurious atmospheres.
The palatial Cairo Marriott Hotel in Zamalek is taking reservations for fetar at Omar’s Café, where you can enjoy an open buffet fetar for 250LE. For sohour, the hotel’s fourth-floor rooftop terrace at the Almaz Cinema offers dining à-la-carte or from the oriental buffet. The Cairo Marriott is home to other sohour favourites, such as the Garden Promenade Café and Egyptian Nights lounge; where a minimum charge of 100LE applies for sohour, which continues till 3AM.
If you wish to break your fast with a menu of haut fusion cuisine, the Fairmont Nile Towers hotel hosts Bab El Nil, an elaborate Ramadan tent featuring an open buffet of oriental dishes, live traditional music and a scenic open-air setting. The buffet features flavours from restaurants Saigon Bleu and Napa Grill, with a few Egyptian items added in the spirit of Ramadan. The buffet costs 188LE, and is held from sunset until 9PM. Afterwards, a set sohour menu offers an assortment of mezzas and main courses of either mixed grill or foul and falafel at a set price of 145LE per person.
The Grand Hyatt offers a range of Ramadan-ready menus at many of its restaurants. Fetar is served à-la-carte at Fontana (155LE per persons for its European and Middle Eastern menu), Al Sakya (175LE per person, with a menu of Indian, Italian and seafood options) and Nubian Village (200LE per person to enjoy Egyptian- and Lebanese-influenced cuisine in an ethnic Nubian setting). Sohour is offered from 8PM to 3AM in a hotel café, with oriental menu options and shisha available, with a 125LE-minimum charge per person. The hotel also rents out a Nile-view banquet space for groups of 100 plus. For reservations, call 0223651234 or 022366473.
The newly opened Kempinski Nile Hotel offers a set fetar menu at its Turkish restaurant Osmanly for 195LE, which includes hot and cold mezzas, soups and main courses that change every day. You can order fetar and sohour a la carte at the no-menu restaurant Blue.
The Four Seasons Nile Plaza will host open buffet menus at restaurants Zitouni (known for excellent breads and delicate Lebanese fare) Aqua (server of sushi and seafood) and Steaks (which combines imported fillets and teriyaki assortments). The buffets cost a generous 290LE, and reservations require a 50% deposit upon booking; so contact the reservations desk at 27917000. The open-air Pool Grill also serves fetar à-la-carte for 250LE.
Across the Nile, the Four Seasons First Residence’s Italian restaurant Seasons will serve fetar with an open buffet of oriental and international dishes, complete with pastas, grills, and mezza, for 270LE. After 9PM, the restaurant returns to its usual a la carte menu. Call 0235671600 for reservations.
Aura, also in the First Residence, offers a Lebanese-infused fetar with four set menu choices at 260LE per person. After 8PM, sohour will be served in an open buffet, with a grill station and mezzas. The sohour buffet costs 220LE and features an oriental jazz band from 10PM to 2AM.
Sofitel Gezirah hosts a lively Ramadan tent this year at its floating restaurant, Le Deck. For further details or to reserve, call 0174443349 or visit www.tazkarty.net. The open buffet draws on menus from the hotel’s various restaurants. Fetar comes with a 290LE-charge, and a chance to relax by the Nile and take in live entertainment. Sohour is served for a slightly lower 160LE-minimum charge and features an oriental menu, while merely stopping by for a shisha will cost 100LE. The venue promises some excellent shows and cuisine to make the evening worthwhile.
Khan El Khalili Restaurant at the Mena House Oberoi will host fetar in its garden for 230LE (125LE for children under ten) until 9PM. There is no special sohour menu, but the restaurant stays open 24 hours a day.
The Fairmont Heliopolis and Towers’ restaurant Al Dabké will offer a set fetar menu for 259LE, while My Kind of Place will host an open buffet fetar, also for 259LE. The hotel’s Meshmesheya Tent will host sohour that ranges from 181LE to 329LE depending on the grilled meats included in the menu. The tent will feature performances by several major singers, so expect the prices to soar. For example, sohour and a performance by Ramy Ayash will cost 671LE.
JW Marriott Cairo in Mirage City offers an open buffet in its beach area for 245LE. Sohour will be served at a set menu price of 170LE until 2:30AM.
Dusit Thani Hotel will serve an open buffet fetar at their Branzino restaurant for 115LE from 7PM to 9PM. Sohour is served outdoors from 2AM to 4AM.
Bear in mind that booking ahead is necessary, especially if you’re planning a weekend fetar for a large group. Some hotels require down payments and reservations weeks ahead, especially if a famous singer is set to perform during sohour, so plan accordingly. Also, please note that some prices listed above are not all-inclusive, so plan for service and tax charges.