Cairo Restaurants

Bab Tooma: Authentic & Tasty Syrian Eats in Heliopolis
Published On: 08/11/2015

It's difficult to get bored when it comes to the Cairo restaurant scene – one boasting eclectic international cuisines and introducing new flavours by the second. Upon many recommendations, we headed to Bab Tooma in Heliopolis; a Syrian restaurant serving authentic dishes and delicacies from the Shami kitchen. Located opposite Tivoli Dome, we entered what was a spacious, comfortable and modern setting with an outdoors extension; however, there was little to suggest that we were in for an authentic Syrian experience. Boasting diversified dishes including a selection of cheese, spinach or meat Manakeesh (25LE-40LE), Syrian fatta, tajines, pizza and several other promising Levant choices, our mission to pick what to have for dinner was somewhat challenging. As our main dishes, we ordered a Chicken Shawerma sandwich (35LE) and Voldistina platter – chicken stuffed with pepperoni and mushrooms and served with white rice or any side of your choosing (60LE). Our orders arrived promptly with each dish served with pickles and some perfectly crispy French fries. Cut in small chunks and drenched in garlic paste with a hint of fresh mint, the chicken shawerma wrap was well seasoned and tasty; only it was a little too greasy. Comprised of four well-seasoned chicken rolls, the Voldistina, meanwhile, was soaked in a creamy, rich yet light white sauce that perfectly blended with the chicken rolls. The Chicken was at that perfect position of being neither dry nor moist – it was perfectly cooked and without a doubt our favourite dish for the night. Then it was time for dessert; between Halwet elJebn – a creamy sweetened cheese soaked in rose water and maple syrup- and Syrian Ghazal – cotton candy cake served with ice cream- we opted for the latter. A well-rounded mountain of juicy cake, which easily melts in your mouth, garnished with cotton candy, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, our Syrian Ghazal, was a vision of beauty and tasted quite refreshing; though it could have done with a bigger serving of ice cream to properly fit the cake's size. We sealed the deal with a Kiwi and Mango Shisha (40LE) which made a perfect combo and lasted long enough until the end of the night. Overall, our experience at Bab Tooma was satisfying. Even though the atmosphere may get a little too noisy and congested especially during evenings; the Syrian selections they offer are possibly among the best we've had.


Eish & Malh: Modern Downtown Bistro with a Sophisticated Italian Twist
Published On: 05/11/2015

Located right opposite to the synagogue on Adly Street, we paid a visit to Eish & Malh (literal for Bread and Salt); an unconventional but somehow familiar Downtown diner that has garnered a reputation stood for its urban atmosphere and its tasty Italian delicacies. Eish & Malh is a bistro that with a modern, simple concept and aesthetic; white chairs, round wooden tables and an American kitchenette on the right hand side, equipped with a coffee machine, glasses and whatnot, paint the picture. As urbanised as it is, the black and white vintage photographs of Downtown act as a reminder that you're still in one of the oldest districts in the city. The bistro's upper floor is furnished with comfortable red and grey chairs and sofas, a cosier setting which still wasn't equipped to receive guests yet at the time of our visit. Even though we liked the overall mood of the bistro, we couldn't help but feel that the lighting should've been brighter to better highlight the ambiance. Eish w Malh's menu is a single, double-sided page detailing sophisticated Italian dishes including Tagliatelle Al Ragu (39LE) – homemade tagliatelle pasta cooked in meat sauce – and Branzino Al Forno (95LE) – sea bass baked with butter and served with vegetables – in addition to some luscious appetisers including Mixed Bruscetta (18LE). While we were initially opting for a Grilled Halloomi appetiser (27LE) and a Risotto Fruitte de Mare (65LE) as one of our main dishes, we changed our entire plan as soon as the waiter uttered the house's specials for the night. Drooling over the specials, we opted for a Tuna Arancini (45LE) – rice, tuna chunks and mozzarella cheese rolled into bread crumbs and deep fried – and Mushroom Cream soup (25LE) from the menu as appetisers; and as our main dishes, we ordered a Fungi pizza (35LE) from the menu, alongside a Salmon Spinachi (95LE) – another house specialty. Thirty minutes later, our appetisers arrived, fresh, hot and completely worth the wait. Cooked with chicken broth and cream and infused with a generous amount of fresh mushrooms, the cream mushroom soup had a rich, thick texture, was fresh and quite flavourful. Even though it didn't disappoint, it paled in comparison to our fried balls of tuna aracini, which were crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and served with a marinara sauce which gave it the right kick of flavour it needed. With mushrooms and a subtle amount of basil and oregano, our fungi pizza, was flavourful enough, though perhaps it needed more time in the oven as the crust wasn't as crispy as we would've hoped. Our salmon spinachi was, without a doubt, our favourite dish of the night. Smothered in creamy spinach sauce with a spike of dill, the salmon was tender and juicy with an incredibly succulent creamy sauce and had just the right kick of lemon which didn't overpower the strong salmon flavour. With barely any room left for dessert, we couldn't possibly leave Eish & Malh without trying out a dessert. Between vanilla ice cream served with chocolate sauce and salty pretzel chunks and tiramisu (25LE) – another of the restaurant's specialities – we picked the latter. Served in a glass, the velvety tiramisu boasted a strong creamy coffee flavour; a delightful end of a very special dinne . All in all, if you're looking for a fancy or a cosy diner, Eish & Malh – with its crowded mishmash of Downtowners and expat customers – is not your restaurant; but if you're looking for a simple bistro in the heart of the city, with perfectly crafted Italian selections that are fresh, reasonably priced and taste absolutely delicious, don't think twice before heading there.


11 Cairo Restaurants with Surprisingly Good Breakfast Menus
Published On: 02/11/2015

What type of breakfast person are you? Are you the kind who enjoys a refreshing outdoorsy start to the day? Or the grab-a-quick-bite on your way to work person? Or maybe you're the early bird who likes a mall breakfast before a major shopping spree? Whichever category you fit into, there are plenty of top brakfasts to be had outside of the usual suspects that excel at Le Petit Déjenuer; our favorite meal of the day - and the most important one at that. Here are 11 spots in Cairo where you can kick-off your day the right way. 1- Shakespeare and Co. Thee unique kitschy Victorian-style décor isn't the only reason Shakespeare and Co. has become a go-to restaurant for breakfast. With several international breakfast options on the menu - American, English and Lebanese amongst others - there are plenty of choices; eggs florentine and smoked salmon, savoury crepes and healthy breakfast items. That's not to mention a great selection of refreshing herbal drinks, juices and coffees. Breakfast at Shakespeare and Co. is served all day long and the restaurant has two branches; one in Capital Business Park in 6th of October and the other is in Citystars. 2- Casper & Gambini's Typically, one goes to Casper & Gambini's for a nice lunch or dinner; but the popular chain also offers a decent breakfast menu with choices including English breakfast (comprised of scrambled eggs, sausages, beans, roasted tomato and mushrooms), Intercontinental breakfast and the peculiur Crossandwich – puffy croissant stuffed with turkey breast, scrambled eggs and mixed green. With its spacious outdoorsy setting, Casper and Gambini's Citystars branch is perfect for large groups to enjoy their breakfast during November's chilly weather. 3- AMPM Located inside Citystars, AMPM is a good breakfast place for those who like a quick morning breakfast before going on their shopping spree. AMPM's breakfast menu covers everything from bagels, croissants, muffins and cakes, to sandwiches and salads in decent portions. It's also a restaurant where you can enjoy a nice fresh salad from AMPM's salad bar. 4- Dukes If you're always in a hurry and prefer a place offering some breakfast on-the-go, then Dukes is probably your place. Offering a set menu combining stuffed croissants, pizzas and mini sandwiches, you can share a nice and perfectly filling breakfast with a friend or a colleague with a cup of coffee on your way to work. You can also grab a freshly baked stuffed croissant or choose from their selection of sandwiches which includes cold cuts, turkey camembert and mozzarella tomato. 5- Baltazar If you eat with your eyes first then you'll definitely appreciate Baltazar; because apart from excelling at their main dishes and appetisers –the juicy Salmon Steak and their Patatas Bravas in particular – Baltazar's presentation skills for every item on the menu is quite outstanding. With a small yet rich selection of breakfast dishes including Poached Eggs and mushroom omelet, breakfast at Baltazar is both delicious and reasonable; only make sure you reserve ahead of time to avoid ending up on the edge of Citystars' crowded corridor. 6- Gaby's Other than being one of our own favorite restaurants serving an exquisite selection of dishes, Gaby's also serves luscious breakfast choices, including pancakes with fruits and maple syrup, Eggs and Labnah Rolls and Eggs Benedict. For 75LE, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast tray at Gaby's comprised of foul, eggs, grilled halloumi cheese, sojouk and fresh bread. 7- Brunch & Lunch Located on the vibrant Street 9 in Maadi, Brunch & Lunch – even though brand new- has however quickly put itself on Cairo's breakfast map with its perfectly refreshing outdoorsy area and a tasty selection of omelettes, pancakes and fresh pastries. Other than its delicious breakfast items – especially the scrumptious Spinach, Beef or Salmon Eggs benedict- the restaurant also serves some healthy choices for those who prefer a lighter breakfast. Brunch & Lunch has a great selection of brunch items; while you're at it, don't leave without trying their carrot cake. 8- Ney Lounge Other than its cozy and colorful lounge simulating a comfortable living room and serving a selection of fine sandwiches, salads and main dishes, Ney Lounge in Zamalek also serves breakfast every morning catering for all your breakfast preferences. Enjoy your morning breakfast at Ney Lounge's serene outdoorsy area and choose between Continental, American or English breakfast, fresh pastries, pancakes and waffles. 9- Mince Apart from being one of the most popular burger joints in the city, Mince is also known for serving top notch breakfast items including Mediterranean Skillet (comprised of beef sausage, fried eggs, feta cheese, onions, peppers and fries), Mince Breakfast –scrambled eggs served with hash browns and toast-not to mention a unique Elvis French Toast which also makes a great dessert. 10- The Tipsy Teapot Located in Maadi, the Tipsy Teapot has a very tempting presentation of food and a great selection of breakfast platters. The Tipsy Teapot's breakfast dishes include puffy berry pancake, omelets, egg and bacon sandwich and savoury crepes. Perhaps what we like the most about having breakfast at the Tipsy Teapot is the free juice cocktails that we get every time we order breakfast. 11- Le Chantilly If you're looking for a breakfast place balancing reasonable prices with good quality, Le Chantilly is the place for you. While the menu doesn't have many breakfast items; the few existing ones are satisfying. Le Chantilly's breakfast menu includes savoury paté (with cheese, meat, olives or sausage), croque Chantilly and club sandwich. Check out more on Cairo restaurants here.


Under the Chef’s Hat: Joachim Textor’s Culinary Journey from Southeast Asia to Cairo
Published On: 28/10/2015

From the crowded cosmopolitan that is Jakarta, to the dynamic Dubai, Chef Joachim Textor has seen and done it all and, after a rich 17-year culinary journey that has taken him to Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and South Korea, the German chef's latest adventure has finally lead him to Egypt, as the Executive Chef at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis. Sharing some exciting travelling anecdotes from around the world, we sat with Chef Textor, who not only showed us that becoming a master chef is a long journey and an ongoing learning process, but also shared some simple tips, tricks and ingredients to execute fine dining at home. Textor's foremost passion lies in travelling and exploring new countries, new recipes and new ingredients. With every country he visits, he tries to combine his recipes with the country's local cuisine to create something more creative; not to mention more colourful. Take InterContinental Cairo Semiramis' weekly Friday Brunch, for example; Textor has redefined the traditional pita bread by flattening the dough, inserting local ingredients including pepper cheese, goat cheese, along with some rucola pesto, spinach, pistachios and walnuts, before putting it right back in the oven for about 8 minutes. "When the pita bread is out, I drizzle it with olive oil, serve it to the customers with some Arabian Honey and there it is; a newly introduced flat pita bread coming fresh right out of the oven," Textor proudly told us. Fine dining begins with quality; the good quality of the products that you use whether a piece of meat, the herbs or a mere flower. According to Textor, quality also involves the freshness of the ingredients, using the seasonal products and keeping the usage of frozen products to a minimum. "The flavour is not the same when the product is not in its season. You can't put seasonal products on the menu the whole year. A product that flies half around the world to arrive in Egypt doesn't make sense to me because it means it is not fresh. That's why you have to look out for the time of the year when the product tastes best," explained Textor, adding that there are factors including the different environment, the weather and the pollution that may affect the freshness of the imported food. Textor's day at InterContinental Cairo Semiramis begins by going from kitchen to kitchen, investigating the hygiene, checking on the quality of the ingredients, doing some food testing, going for shopping every morning and checking on whether the products he ordered arrived; not to mention, asking the guests for feedback on the food they're being served. Cooking and achieving fine dining, according to Textor, also depends on the time you're willing to spend in the kitchen. "Cooking is time consuming. The difference is you can make a dish in 20 minutes or you can make some good food, some fine food in one hour. A brown sauce can be made with some powder, pepper, water and then you boil it. But here, in the kitchen, the brown sauce takes a few hours to make. The beef has to be roasted, the bones have to be boiled and this takes time. It's a lot of work." Sharing an anecdote from over 20 years ago, Textor told us how one of his previous executive chefs back in Switzerland told him of how a guest once complained to him about the mayonnaise, telling him that it wasn't good. "My executive chef went back to the kitchen to see what was wrong with the mayonnaise before realising that the guest was complaining because the mayonnaise was fresh. He is used to the canned preserved taste of the mayonnaise sold in the markets and he couldn't tell that the mayonnaise he was being served was fresh," Textor told us, adding that despite 90% of the Hollandaise sauce served around the world is out of a packet, he has, and will never serve it like that. "That's the problem. People can't tell what's fresh and what's not. Manpower is expensive and it's usually more convenient to buy from outside rather than make it fresh, in-house," he says. "Many chefs nowadays buy their products ready from the store instead of cooking them from scratch because they don't have time anymore." Having a multicultural culinary background, similar to Textor's, makes deciding on the recipes dependant on which part of the world he is in, and according to that, the ingredients are picked. "What I like to use in many dishes at the moment is a Japanese pepper called Tokarachi comprised of chili pepper and chili powder. Tokarachi can be used in many dishes and makes a perfect seasoning spice. I use it for the crust of my tuna steak served at the Grill," Textor said, adding that he likes to use sesame oil for his main dishes and sesame seeds for appetisers, while to achieve that perfect crust, he likes to use coriander in the mix. According to Textor, one ingredient or one recipe can taste very different from one environment to another. For example, the basil here is not the same as Italy. Egyptian basil is not as strong as the basil in Italy because the soil and the weather there is more flavourful; that's why the best basil in the world grows in Italy. "You can make a pesto sauce with German basil and it'll taste good; but it's not the same. I had one Italian chef coming all the way to Shinhwa, Singapore with two kilos of homemade pesto from Italy; of course, within few days, the pesto was all gone because it was busy. Then we ordered more basil to make the pesto from Spain, which was okay, but we could never get the same taste." Perhaps one of the interesting anecdotes proving that using the same ingredients might not give you the same taste is from the Fareast. "I recall a Chinese chef once trying to make Italian pasta. He used the same ingredients of a traditional Italian dough recipe – flower, water, salt pepper and eggs – but it was still different. Why? Because the weather was different. The hardening of the water, the amount of potassium and magnesium is not the same as Italy and that's why you have a different taste." Becoming a master chef or executive chef is a long journey of nonstop learning; and for Chef Textor, it's his passion for cooking and the joy of travelling that keeps him going. "It took me 17 years to become a master chef. Back in the day, all we had were cook books. Nowadays, with the internet, you can find all the recipes you need and execute them more efficiently. But the problem is, everyone wants to be an executive chef at 25 and 26 years of age. The youngsters forget that becoming a chef is a long journey and to reach the top, it takes many years of ongoing learning."


Saladero: Popular Salad Specialist Makes its Way to Maadi's Road 9
Published On: 28/10/2015

It's almost become a cliché, but Cairo has embraced what many thought would be a fleeting fad – healthy eating. But the trend continues to grow and engulf non-believers, with the several salad specialists that picked up on it at the start continue to grow and expand in and around the city's restaurant scene. Eating as much as food as we do – it's a hard life, but someone's got to do it – we're susceptible to food-based guilt and have often found solace in the many salad places in Egypt's capital, the latest of which is Saladero's newest branch. Located on Maadi's Road 9, Saladero's popularity is owed to the endless customisation one can take pleasure in with the restaurant's salad bar. As a venue, Saladero is quite small, housing just two tables inside and four more outside – but then take-out or deliver is always a safe option. The trouble is in choosing; aside from the endless salad options, Saladero also offers some mighty fine sounding sandwiches and wraps, which is where we began this healthy culinary adventure. We ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wrap (22LE), which is comprised of spicy grilled chicken, carrots, broccoli and, most interestingly, blue cheese. While the chicken itself was cooked and seasoned well, there was little-to-no cheese, nor were there any carrots, leaving the wrap a little plain and one-not. We were equally irked by the Chicken Parmigiano sandwich (22LE), which should have brought together crispy baked chicken, mozzarella cheese, roast beef and low-fat mayonnaise. Unfortunately, there was no mozzarella; instead, cheddar was used which added to strong a flavour to an already busy sandwich that would have been perfect with the more subtle mozzarella. Hoping for a better experience with the salad bar, we went for a big bowl (23LE), which affords you one salad base – iceberg lettuce, arugula, spinach or pasta – unlimited vegetables and one dressing. The vegetables on offer are as you'd expect, so the real makers or breakers in the equation are the base and the sauce. We chose a base of pasta and a honey mustard dressing and went onto add premium ingredients; mushrooms (5LE), roast beef (10LE), sweetcorn (5LE) and cheddar cheese (15LE). It's difficult to really adjudge anything more, because it's all in your hands – you decide your own fate, so choose wisely, although what we can say with confidence is that all the ingredients were fresh, despite what the gloomy looking bar would suggest, though the there was more mustard than honey in the honey mustard dressing. To wash it all down we were left with few options when it came to the juices on the menu, though we were pleased with the lemon and mint juice (17LE). Said mint is grown by the restaurant itself in pots that initially look like they serve no other function than to make the place look pretty, so to speak. The freshness of the mint gave the drink a pleasing pop. Overall, there's little you can ask of a restaurant like Saladero above and beyond choices and freshness; at the time of our visit, everything was fresh and light, though the missing ingredients did pull down what could have been perfect healthy bites. 


Hellofood Acquires, Revamp Imminent
Published On: 26/10/2015

The rumours you've been hearing are true; one of Egypt's most frequented websites,, is officially under new ownership, following its acquisition by online food marketplace, Hellofood Middle East. As can be expected, the news has sent ripples across the increasingly deep and eclectic online world in Egypt and it's a deal that all parties involved are pleased with. "Otlob's ongoing success is rooted in its strong relationships with restaurant partners, which has led to thousands of orders per day across hundreds of outlets," said Otlob Managing Director, Walid El Saadany, of the acquisition, continuing, "This acquisition will help Otlob grow faster and bring in further know-how to help deliver an incredible product." What this means for Otlob's users is a slicker, quicker and more efficient service, with both the Otlob website and app set to receive a face-lift of sorts. While some subscribe to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' ethos, the online world doesn't quite work that way and Hellofood recognizes what an already excellent system they are now in possession of. "We have been deeply impressed with Otlob's performance and scale for some time," Co-Managing Director of Hellofood/Otlob, Khailil Bouassida. "This acquisition will cement Otlob's market-leading position in the massive Egyptian market. " The deal marks another huge milestone for a website that was founded in 1999 with one simple goal – to allow users to order all and any food from across Cairo's restaurant scene. In 2002, it showed up on the radars of A15 – then a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom – where it found a home and really grew into its own in the subsequent 13 years. Now, Otlob operates in Alexandria, Tanta, Hurghada, Port Said, and Asiut as well as Cairo, with over 500 restaurants accessible to Cairo's ceaselessly hungry online contingent and with Hellofood in the cockpit, things are set to take an even more dramatic rise for Otlob. For more information, stay tuned to


Win! Dinner for Two at Four Seasons Nile Plaza's Upper Deck!
Published On: 25/10/2015

As one of the premier hotels in Cairo – and a winner of a 2015 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice award for World-Class Hospitality – Four Seasons Nile Plaza is a veritable hub of dining and entertainment, housing some of the best restaurants and facilities you'll find in Egypt and they're giving one lucky Cairo 360 reader a chance to get a taste of exactly that with Cairo 360's latest competition… What? Win dinner for two at the hotel's newest venue, Upper Deck! Where? Having opened its doors in February, Upper Deck has gone on to become one of the swankiest venues in the city, offering a stunning view and a range of top-notch foods from across the world. Why? Because the gloomy winter has all but arrived and an evening at Upper Deck is exactly what the doctor ordered. How do I get my hands on it? It's easy – just answer this simple question: Which Cantonese restaurant at Four Seasons Nile Plaza has won back-to-back Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards in the Asian Cuisine category? (hey, you – click here for a clue…) Now what? Send your answers to, with your full name, contact details and 'Upper Deck Competition' in the subject line. The competition ends at midnight on November 25th 2015; so hurry up and send your answers in! Terms and Conditions apply.


Ben & Florentine: Breakfast on Road 9 at Canadian Restaurant Chain
Published On: 19/10/2015

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and we're not about to argue that – but unless you have the time before work or school to really make something off your first food-intake of the day, you end up going through the motions. Even if you choose to venture out, breakfast menus across Cairo are, more often than not, pretty basic – there's no such problem with Ben & Florentine's breakfast menu, though. The Canadian chain had originally opened in New Cairo and, seemingly, its popularity has lead to the opening of a second branch on Maadi's ever-changing Road 9. As a venue, Ben & Florentine is small, housing only five tables overlooking the colourful, busy street. The menu brings together the type of items you would expect of 'international cuisine' – think sandwiches, burgers, pastas, pizzas etc. Visiting bright and early(ish), however, our focus was very much on breakfast – a breakfast we'd heard much about and covers almost 3 pages of the menu. The options are plentiful – ranging from simple eggs Benedict, to breakfast combos, to three-egg omelettes. We kicked off what we were hoping would be a top-notch breakfast with a simple cappuccino (18LE), which was much more bitter than a cappuccino should be – it could have done with a bit more milk. But onto the main event of our breakfast, we ordered the Two Eggs Etc – a reasonably simple dish that comes with toast and beef bacon – the latter of which was, unfortunately, quite dry. What didn't disappoint, though, was the portion of Ben & Florentine's famous oven-baked fries, which were cooked perfectly to an outer crunch and an inner softness. Other than that, the eggs themselves were good, if unremarkable – they were cooked well and that's all you can really ask for from eggs. We also tried the Three Musketeers crepe (48LE), which pulls together beef sausages, cheddar and mozzarella – as well as more of those fries. This time, however, the fires were hard and dry – a disappointment if there ever was one, when you consider how good the ones with the eggs were. The crepe itself, meanwhile, was simple but delicious, with both the sausages and crepe cooked perfectly. We sealed our breakfast with Ben & Florentine's Raspberry Mojito (25LE) – the epitome of refreshing. Using lemonade and raspberry syrup, the real kick was in the fresh lemon and mint garnish, which – because of the basic other ingredients – added a subtle but noticeable dimension to the flavour. Overall, we left the new branch of Ben & Florentine satisfied; though nothing wowed us, it delivered on its promise – a decent, wholesome breakfast. 


Gaby's: Good, Almost Great, Food at Popular Citystars Restaurant
Published On: 13/10/2015

Normally, we would shy away from any venue located in the heart of Citystars - dining at a mall isn't exactly comfortable, thanks to the staggering noise. However, our visit to Gaby's turned out to be was an all-round top-notch experience. Located in front of the Citystars' VIP Cinema, Gaby's takes up a two-storey space with simple decorative details inspired by a homely ambiance that also manages to somehow feel bright and lively. We began our meal with the gargantuan Bits and Dips Appetiser (110LE) which includes mussels, crispy bonbons, sojouk sambousak, spicy chicken wings and nachos, alongside some whole-wheat bread and bâton salé with a cheese dip. The mussels were perfectly seasoned, boasting a nicely balanced flavour, while the crispy bonbons – fried mashed potato balls stuffed with spinach, as well as cheddar and mozzarella cheese – were tender and full of flavour. Personally, we love sojouk and we love sambousak, so naturally, expectations were high for the sojouk samousak. Covered in BBQ sauce, the outer crust was crispy and light – a perfect foil for the delicious mashed sojouk, which was made all the better by the vegetables included in the mix. Unfortunately, the spicy chicken wings were not as spicy as we'd hoped, though they were pleasingly tender. Despite the amount of food in the starter platter, we were still keen to test the mettle of the main dishes and went for Chicken Portobello Roll (95LE) and Steak & Fries (129LE), with the former coming in the form of four chicken rolls stuffed with mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese and topped with pepper sauce. Alongside it was potato wedges, chips and broccoli, which made it look all the more mouth-watering. The pepper sauce was mild enough that it didn't completely whitewash the rest of the flavours, while the mushrooms were a particular highlight, lending the already tender chicken some more juices. The only slight on the dish was that it could have done with more of the Swiss cheese. One of two steak dishes on the menu, the Steak & Fries comes as three thinner-sliced pieces of meat, served with a rich mushroom sauce and a side of mashed potatoes. Cooked a little more than the requested medium, there was a little chew to every bite, but it was seasoned nicely and the sauce served to hide some of its faults. We also dipped into Gaby's selection of signature drinks, opting for a Caramel Freeze (30LE), which combines pineapple juice, fresh banana and caramel syrup, with vanilla ice cream. The taste of the banana and caramel dominated the drink, while the pineapple was light, giving just the right amount of acidic kick. Our second drink, the Bloody Lemonade (24LE), wasn't so balanced. The simple combination of lemonade and pomegranate was light on the pomegranate, leaving us a little underwhelmed. The highlight of our meal, however, was a glorious Chocolate Soufflé (45LE). Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was cooked perfectly with the gooey chocolate centre oozing out and into the ice cream for a perfect combination of hot and cold. Despite several little faults ruining otherwise very good dishes, we left Gaby's feeling satisfied and a little surprised. Despite its mall setting, it actually does a good job of creating its own atmosphere.


Hassanein: New Zamalek Street-Food Eatery Leaves Much to Be Desired
Published On: 11/10/2015

The island of Zamalek is still very much the epicentre of dining and loitering in Cairo – although Maadi residents might suggest otherwise – and there's never been any shortage of variety when it comes to satisfying a craving, with some of the city's hippest food and beverage brands setting-up shop there, the latest of which is Hassanein. Located on Taha Hussein Street, the quirky eatery offers the best of Egyptian street-food, though – at the time of our visit – the small restaurant didn't show many signs of becoming a Zamalek favourite. Much like other Zamalek eateries including Manoushe Street and Mr. Wok, Hassanein has no room for seating, but does offer over 75 different on-the-go options, including hawawshi, oven-baked macaroni, Alexandrian liver, sweet and savoury feteer and more. The place itself is impossible to miss, boasting a bright yellow facade, with cartoon figures of two rural Egyptian men – lush moustaches and all. After a quick skim through the gigantic menu, we opted for a mishmash of foods that included Chicken Shawerma Wrap (18LE), Oriental Sausage (sojok) Sandwich (20LE) and Nutella and Hazelnut Feteer (18LE). Firstly, the service is prompt and friendly; no more than fifteen minutes after placing our order, our food arrived hot, though we couldn't help but be a little disappointed. We kicked things off by trying the sojok which – unlike most fast food restaurants – came un-mashed and in generous amounts; however, in spite of its appetising smell, it was surprisingly quite flavourless with an obvious lack of seasoning which, even its white sauce –a combination of garlic and mayonnaise – couldn't save. Served in the good old Shami bread, the shawerma, meanwhile, did impress. The chicken itself was tender and retained much of its juices and, with the addition of pickles, garlic sauce and the traditional seasoning, it was a far cry from the sojok in terms of flavour. Unfortunately, our dessert was underwhelming; wrapped in what was a quite greasy feteer, was a very petite amount of Nutella and burnt roasted hazelnuts, which left us with mixed feelings as we left Hassanein; on the one hand, both the service and the prices were great, but then two out of our three dishes fell down on some very basic things. A cynic might dismiss Hassanein for jumping into the elevated street food market – one that was once championed by the likes of Zooba, but with reasonable prices and the fact that it has opened only recently, there's still hope for Hassanein.


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E-Books Vs Printed Books: 5 Reasons the Real Thing Will Always Be Better

It's become one of the most common clichés of our time, but technology has been digitising more and more aspects of our lives, to the point where it often shapes the way we perform our daily activities; downloadable music has replaced CDs, social media makes up for most of our human interaction and