Cairo Restaurants

The Food Circus Restaurant: A Flavorful Fiesta at Westown Hub
Published On: 10/09/2015

Cairo is not short of new restaurants introducing creative dining concepts, especially within new dining zones the likes of Arkan, Galleria40 and Westown Hub. Of the many dining areas, we paid a visit to the latter, and chose the Food Circus; possibly one of the most delightful experiences we've had to date. Simulating a wooden kitchen cutting board, the Food Circus menu involves some promising choices including Salmon Ravioli (75LE), Roulade Chicken in Provencal Sauce (75LE), not to mention Seafood in a Shell (85LE)-the Food Circus signature seafood dish smothered in fresh cream sauce, parmigiano cheese and cooked in a shell. We kicked off dinner with two orders of tomato soup served with croutons(27LE), which came in hot, fresh –perhaps a little too peppery – but overall quite tasty. After sipping our soups to finish, our Welcome Dip and Bread came in a little later. Similar to focaccia bread in thickness, our welcome bread was freshly baked and was served with delicious cream cheese and chicken liver dips. The crispness of the bread and the exotic taste in our chicken liver spread were just the perfect treat we needed before our dinner was served; only we would've preferred if our bread didn't have a salt topping, making it a little too salty. As our main dishes, we opted for Entrecote in Special Sauce-well-done- served with sautéed vegetables and fries (105LE) and Chicken Cordon Blue (80LE). Served in a silver platter and placed over a stand with candles underneath to preserve the heat, our entrecote was the highlight of our dinner. The sauce-which maintains its secret recipe by the chef- was similar in texture and taste to the Argentinian Chimichurri sauce; herby, flavorful and just the right escort to our beef which was tender and juicy. Stuffed with roast beef, mozzarella and crispy fried to perfection, our chicken cordon blue was nothing short of delicious. After a very satisfying dinner, came time for drinks and dessert, of which we ordered a Vimto Cocktail (25LE) and Brownies Ice Cream Sandwich (35LE). Our cocktail was a mixture of 7Up, lemon-mint and Vimto syrup; sour, refreshing, with the Vimto's sugary syrup dominating the taste. Similar in texture to sponge cake and served with vanilla ice cream, our Brownie was soft, crisp and delightful. Overall, our experience at the Food Circus was fantastic. With dozens of international dishes, the restaurant introduces many flavors catering to many tastes; no wonder they call it a circus. We specifically enjoyed our entrecote; only next time, we will try the Seafood in a Shell.


8 Cairo Restaurants that Vegetarians Needn't Shy Away From
Published On: 07/09/2015

Being a vegetarian in Cairo is as challenging as keeping your sanity during relentless rush hours. We're a nation that loves meat; and aside from salads, the difficulty of finding fuss-free meals on the Cairo restaurant scene has sent many vegetarians back into their own kitchens. Well, we're here to tell you that, whether you're a vegetarian or simply on your meatless Monday regimen, you can dine out and not have to resort to basic salads – yes, vegetarians can enjoy food in Cairo, too. The Vegetarian Menu at L'Aubergine Besides being one of the prominent local restaurants and bars in the city, with branches in Zamalek, Maadi and Heliopolis, L'Aubergine serves international dishes as well as an exclusively vegetarian menu. L'Aubergine's veggie menu includes promising choices like Spinach Ravioli, Pumpkin Kobeba, Basil Lasagna, Veggie salad – comprised of mushroom, grilled aubergine, zucchini and sundried tomatoes – in addition to soup choices including carrot coriander and aubergine-yoghurt. The Paneer Dishes at Nawab Winning Cairo 360's Editor's Choice Awards for best Indian cuisine in 2015, Nawab in Zamalek is one of the best choices for vegetarians. With a perfect selection of meatless dishes; including Paneer Pakoura (authentic Indian cheese fried in chick peas batter), Vegetable Samosa (fried patties stuffed with spiced vegetables), in addition to a vegetarian-friendly menu encompassing dishes like Palak Paneer (spinach smothered in cottage cheese), Vegetable Dal Makhni (lentils cooked in aromatic spices), going vegetarian in Nawab is not going to disappoint. Lean Lebanese at Manoushe Street Though, mostly known as a venue offering Lebanese bites on the go rather than a vegetarian outlet, Manoushe Street in Zamalek offers vegetarian choices for those craving vegetarian-friendly dishes from the Shami kitchen; think Baked Halloumi served with fresh bread and vegetables, Hummus platter (creamy puree chickpeas), Spinach, Cheese and Zaatar Platter, salad choices including Leafy Wild Rocket –fresh mushrooms, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pepper and parmesan cheese – Fattoush smothered in pome grette dressing, as well as freshly baked Bureks with potato and mushroom fillings. Delish Tuscan at Lettuceat Using mainly greens, fresh and nutritious ingredients in their wraps and salads, it is no surprise that Lettuce Eat is one of the main healthy food havens in the city. Lettuce Eat prides itself in being both nutritious and vegetarian-friendly with salad choices including their Delish Tuscan, Mango Summer Blast – fresh mango cubes, onions, cashews, watercress and cherry tomatoes – and the Premium Seared Cheese salad. Of their soups, we highly recommend Lettuce Eat's Pumpkin Carrot Soup, rich in vitamins, antioxidants and tastes exquisite. Vegetarian Nigiri at Mori Sushi Mori Sushi not only serves vegetarian sushi, but also has options those following a vegan regimen. Try the Mori Vegetable Combo – vegetarian Nigiri and Hosa Kappa Maki (cucumber rolls) – the Ura Maki – with avocado, dried tomatoes, cucumber and cream cheese filling – or their Oishii Sushi – mushrooms, cucumber and cheese. Other veggie-friendly options include the Miso Soup – soy bean paste and wakami – and a particularly delicious Tempura Moriawase appetiser – zucchini, eggplants and peppers deep-fried in a tempura batter. Tofu Rules at Ghengis Khan A cosy Chinese diner cornered in Degla Street in Maadi, Ghengis Khan is another great vegetarian-friendly restaurant serving dishes the likes of Tofu Crepe Salad with Bean Sprout, Dry-Fry Green Beans, Tofu with sweet and sour sauce and a platter of General Chao Tofu, in addition to some vegetable noodles or a choice of Yhang Zhou fried rice. Ghengis Khan's vegetarian soups also include hot and sour Szechuan soup. Mushroom Spinach at Crave With top-notch classics from a variety of international cuisines, Crave offers delectable dishes as well as a number of vegetarian choices that are equally tasty. Try Crave's Ricotta Spinach Ravioli, their Grilled Vegetables Platter or their Mushroom Risotto and while you're at it, don't forget to order their delectable Mushroom Spinach appetiser; our personal favourite. Veggie Appetisers at Sequoia As one of the most frequented hangout spots in Cairo, Sequoia's menu primarily focuses on Lebanese and Egyptian dishes – something that seemingly, and wrongly, fails to get the loins of the vegetarians in the city. Appetisers are your best options here, with the menu offering a host of veggie-friendly dishes, in addition to several delectable mezzas, including Hummus, Spinach Fatayer, Fattoush salad, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Vine Leaves and an Eggplant Moutabel platter. 


Thai is Not the Same as Chinese: Five Cairo Restaurants Which Understand That
Published On: 04/09/2015

"Thai food ain't about simplicity. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Some westerners think it's a jumble of flavours, but to a Thai, that's important; it's the complexity they delight in." Thai food expert and chef, David Thompson, sums up his cuisine of choice almost with a sense of defeat – the world will never truly come to appreciate Thai food. Often lumped into a generic 'Asian cuisine' category amongst restaurants in Cairo, Thai food has never been given its due on the dining scene in Egypt's capital, either. While it certainly shares overlapping elements with Chinese cuisine - many dishes have been adopted and reworked over the years - the food of Thailand enjoys its own unique nuances; ones that largely go underappreciated in Cairo. And while many a menu can be found to be peppered with a few Thai dishes, few places have carried that particular banner with as much gusto as these restaurants. Birdcage A longstanding favourite on the fine-dining scene in Cairo, InterContinental Semiramis' Birdcage has been unanimously thought of as one of the best, if not the best, Thai restaurants in the city. Taking all the kind of luxury you'd come to associate with an international hotel and fusing it with subtle but manifest Far Eastern touches, the restaurant has also been considered one of the more reasonably-priced of its standard and quality – a quality that is reflected in its concise but impressively-executed menu. Kamala As the only restaurant on this list that doesn't identify itself exclusively as a Thai restaurant, Conrad Cairo Hotel's Kamala is one of the few restaurants of its kind that executes all quarters of its pan-Asian menu in equal quality. There's plenty of choice on the menu, which spans over Chinese, Indonesian and, of course, Thai cuisines amongst others. Kamala is generally an excellent restaurant, but it's Thai dishes in particular are top-notch, especially the curries. Same applies to the classic Pad Thai. Ruen Thai One could rightly assume that a Thai restaurant at a Thai hotel chain would do a good job with Thai food. That's correct in theory, but the laws of logic rarely apply in Cairo. Luckily, though, Ruen Thai defies the odds and stands as one of the best restaurants for authentic Thai dining. Located within the grand confines of the Dusit Thani LakeView Cairo in New Cairo's Fifth Settlement, it certainly isn't a cheap dining experience, but what you get for your hard-earned money is a dining experience that is big on flash, big on taste and just straight-up immodest. If ever there were such a thing. Sabai Sabai Owned by an Egyptian-Thai husband-and-wife, Sabai Sabai isn't located in the most inviting of locations – the unkempt 'Metro Market building' in Zamalek – but is one of the most authentic Thai restaurants in the city. Taking solace in the rather kitschy surroundings, which give off an unfussy, if slightly generic, Far Eastern feel, the restaurant serves up big portions and big flavours and what it lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for in character. There's a " good they named it twice" joke in here somewhere, but we'll leave it alone. Yam Yen A hidden gem in Maadi, Yam Yen is far from perfect, with its irregular pricing – many of the appetisers are almost as expensive as the mains – being a particular thorn in the side of the Cairo 360 reviewer who visited it last. But if you tend to develop selective information processing in extreme moments of hunger, a delightful Thai dinner awaits you. With garden, fountain, wooden archways and bamboo decorations, yam Yen looks the part and the dishes – some smaller in portion than you'd like – are delivered with authenticity and precision. ทานให้อร่อยนะครับ


Fusion Restaurant: Great Atmosphere, Inconsistent Food at Americana Plaza Restaurant
Published On: 03/09/2015

The thing we like most about shopping and dining zones like American Plaza is the numerous restaurants and food choices catering for those looking for a full meal or the ones looking for a quick bite on the go. We took a trip to Americana Plaza in Sheikh Zayed where among the many diners they have, we picked Fusion. Known to be a haven for avid Asian foodies in the area, Fusion combines several Far East cuisines on its menu, including Chinese, Thai, Indian and Japanese. Unlike the majority of Americana Plaza venues, the modern, orange and black ambiance inspired by the rich Asian cultures in Fusion restaurant, is both authentic and classy. Tailored according to food preferences, the restaurant's interior is divided to several sections including a Chinese corner and a sushi bar; the Teppaniyaki table is what stands out about Fusion's setting the most, with the chef providing you a live show of your food being cooked over an iron griddle in front of you. Being huge Chinese food fans, we took our seats into the Chinese corner, which encompasses dishes –mostly spicy ones- leaving you with limited choices with mild spices, including Chicken with Cashew Nut (45LE), Kung-Pao Cuttle Fish (45LE), Sweet and Sour Fish (45) and Crispy Chinese Duck (75LE). We kicked things off with Golden Prawns Bags (40LE) as an appetizer which came in as crispy fried dumplings, infused with shrimps and served with a sweet chili sauce; similar in texture to the Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce. Our appetizer had a perfect crispy texture on the exterior and a soft one on the interior; we particularly enjoyed the sweet and sour combination in our sauce; only we hoped the shrimps had more seasoning as it seemed there was a missing ingredient. As our main dishes, we chose Vegetable Noodles (32LE) and a Sweet and Sour Shrimps Platter (88LE) served with steamed rice. Our noodles were peppery, colorful and quite tasty; except that the featured vegetables were nothing but three types of onions (red, white and Chinese) with a single slice of both corn and mushroom. Smothered in sweet and sour sauce, our shrimps didn't have the promised crispy texture we'd hoped for, with an overcooked mediocre taste, which was a little disappointing. We washed our meal down with a refreshing lemon juice (19LE) and with little room left for dessert, we opted for Fried ice cream (33LE). Our ice cream had a delightful taste, with a gold crispy hot exterior and a cold delicious chocolate ice cream on the inside; the perfect combo of hot, fresh and cool. It was the first time we try a fried ice cream and definitely not the last. Apart from several pitfalls including lack of shrimp seasoning in our appetiser and one of the main dishes being over- cooked, dining at Fusion was a delightful experience which we recommend to fans of Asian food. We really enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the prompt professional service which stood out on a busy Friday night. 


One Oak: Sushi, Steak & Lots in Between at Sheikh Zayed Restaurant
Published On: 31/08/2015

Maintaining the quality of two completely different cuisines – in this case, sushi and steak – is no easy task, though One Oak proves otherwise. Located right by the entrance of Tivoli Dome in Sheikh Zayed, One Oak is already a favourite in the area. After walking in, we were greeted by a waiter and guided to our seats which were next to the glass windows overlooking Tivoli. After being handed our menus and picking our dishes for the night, we were served a basket of bread alongside peas with soy sauce and nigella sativa, as well as a peculiar cinnamon and sugar butter. The latter was cut into thin, circular slices and boasted a pleasing balance of sweet and savoury when paired with the bread. The peas, meanwhile, were boiled and served in their pods; a nice, more refreshing nibbler of a dish. From the menu, we started with Cheesy Crispy Camembert (55LE) as an appetizer; six triangular pieces of camembert cheese, fried evenly and served with a side of sweet chilli sauce. The cheese pieces were hot enough to keep the cheese inside melted, with the chilli sauce cutting through its richness and making it lighter in taste. The cheese itself was rich in flavour and the quantity was just enough to prepare us for the main dishes. For our mains, we chose a Tenderloin Fillet (120LE) a sushi platter of Pink Oak Roll, Pesto Roll and Spider Roll. We ordered our steak well-done, and that's what we got; many will argue that a steak should be cooked to a medium-rare, but our steak was cooked evenly and wasn't chewy or rough – testament to the quality of meat used by One Oak. The steak came with well-cooked, well-seasoned potato wedges and a pleasant lemon butter sauce. Moving on to our colourful sushi platter, the Spider Roll (62LE/6 pieces) – shrimp tempura, salmon tempura and Teriyaki sauce – was full of flavour, boasting perfect balance between the shrimp and salmon. Of the restaurant's signature rolles, the Pink Oak Roll (48LE/4 pieces) – salmon, crab mayo, shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and sesame – was large in size, but what made it really interesting was the different phases of chewing and textures, with each element contributing equally to the overall taste. Next in line was the Pesto Roll (46LE/4 pieces) – shrimp tempura, salmon, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese and pesto sauce – transpired to essentially be a combination of the first two rolls in taste, though the addition of pesto gave the roll an edge that lacked in the Pink Oak. Washing our food down, we ordered a One Oak Signature Cocktail (33LE), which contained banana, blueberry, raspberry, kiwi, fresh peach and pineapple – and it was every bit as fresh and fruity as it sounds, despite the blackberry and banana dominating the taste. Preparing to put a cherry on top of our meal, we opted for a Nutella Cheese Cake (33LE). The round cheesecake had a delicate biscuit base, a lush body of cream cheese and a thin layer of Nutella over the surface. As delicious as it was, it was clearly taken out of the fridge and served before resting, so it was cold and a little stiff. Despite the imperfections, One Oak delivered on most of its promises – the key now is consistency.


La Piña: Pineapple Chandeliers Can't Save Bland Maadi Restaurant
Published On: 25/08/2015

On Cairo’s restaurant scene, truly unique dining experiences are few and far between and our expectations for a top-notch dinner at La Piña in Maadi sold us short with poorly executed main dishes. Located in Qanal Street, the restaurant has an outdoorsy area concealed by dark brown wooden walls and equipped with flat screen TVs, as well as indoor seating for those looking for a cosier setting. Decorated with capitonné chairs, scattered asymmetrical wooden wall designs and dim lighting, La Piña’s ambiance straddles the thin line between quirky and tacky; while the pineapple chandeliers add a creative touch to the overall atmosphere, there was something about the grey wall-paint, paired with the dark brown wall designs and the chairs, that just screamed gloom. Baffled by La Piña’s huge menu, choosing what to have for dinner just wasn’t an easy call. While the restaurant’s name initially suggested specialty dishes from Spanish or Latin American cuisines, the diner offers a bundle of different international cuisines, including Italian and American. The meats section, for example, stood out, offering the likes of a 300 gm T-bone Steak with vegetables, mashed potatoes and rosemary sauce (96.95LE), the fried and mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce-smothered Escalope Napoli (84.85LE) and a 250 gm Angus Rib-Eye Steak(188.95LE) with gratin potatoes, sautéed vegetables and Café de Paris sauce. The pasta section caught our eye, too, with the Fusilli Ala Pesto (44.95LE) served with pesto sauce, fresh cream and grated parmigiano and the Ravioli Di Mare(62.95LE) – stuffed with seafood and pink sauce – standing as some of the more tempting options. We kicked things off with a simple serving of spring rolls (41.95LE), which was made with chicken, vegetables and spices, served with a sweet chilli sauce. Served hot and crispy, the chicken, vegetables and the blend of spices worked quite well together, especially when dipped in the sweet chilli sauce. However, when initially brought to the table, the waiter knocked one off the plate and despite acknowledging that it was his fault, failed to replace it. Encouraged by the starter, we opted for Grilled Norwegian Salmon (91.95LE) and La Piña Chicken (71.95LE) for our mains, with the latter a signature dish featuring chicken breasts with risotto and caramelized pineapple, served in a pineapple skin. After roughly 20 minutes, our main dishes came along and immediately won points for their exquisite presentation – but that’s about as good as it got. Served with sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes, our Norwegian salmon was overcooked and so dry that even the accompanying butter lemon sauce couldn’t save it. We always applaud creativity and innovation with food, but the La Piña Chicken simply didn’t work; seasoned with garlic, lime, salt and pepper, the chicken itself was grilled to a nice tenderness in the middle, though little overcooked on the outside; but combined with pineapple and the incredibly lumpy risotto, it’s a dish that was brought down by several mistakes. The only saving grace was our Carrot Cake (40LE) for dessert. Soft, fresh, heavy on the walnuts and topped with icing, it was a delightful end to a disappointing meal. Perhaps the main problem with La Piña is the restaurant’s lack of identity, which subsequently translates into an unfocused and needlessly large menu. Most of all though, we’re still wondering why that rogue spring roll – possibly the highlight of the meal – was never replaced.


Kazouza: Delicious Street Eats in Small Portions at Maadi Favourite
Published On: 19/08/2015

No matter how much we love pizza, sushi or nachos, our very own traditional Egyptian cuisine will forever remain our go-to comfort food; because let's face it, it's in our genes. Craving some homemade Egyptian food, we paid a visit to Maadi's Kazouza on Street 9, which hits enough right notes in terms of atmosphere and delicious Egyptian street bites offered. After miraculously finding a parking spot around the corner and doing a discrete little happy dance - spotted by the people in the car next to us - we were greeted by thefriendly staff into an all-outdoors area, where we took our seats next to several fans leaving us slightly pacified in the insufferable heat. With a traditional Ahwa Baladi setting, Kazouza offers Egyptianised décor with retro touches, including circular Ahwa tables, old-looking salt and pepper shakers, aged frames as well as vintage tin boxes - the kind of stuff you'd find at grandma's house. Checking the menu, we were a little disappointed to find that many items were either unavailable or are still to be added in Kazouza's new menu. . After some debate, we opted for some fries (8LE) and Cheese Sambousak(14LE) as appetisers, which arrived, hot and delicious, in no time. The fries were gold and crisp, while the four sambousak pieces satisfied our afternoon cheese-cravings; perfectly crunchy on the outside, with soft molten cheese on the inside infused with fresh mint. Coming up next was the much anticipated feteer, Kazouza's signature dish served on a wooden cutting board; we went for a Mixed Meat Feteera (50LE) - comprised of sausages, minced meat and salami mixed with vegetables and cheese. We also wanted to try out Kazouza's Kofta sandwiches (12LE), served in fino bread. Taste-wise, the feteer was among some of the best we've ever had, boasting a fluffy texture, fresh ingredients and a balanced combination of cheese, meat and veggies. As far as the size goes, however, the portion was rather small. The kofta sandwiches were also a success; smothered in tomatoes and tehina, the meat wasn't too greasy and we loved flavourful seasoning. After our feteer and kofta fiesta - and after washing it all down with some cold refreshing lemon juice and some Karkadeh (11LE each) - we were ready for dessert. Dessert, however, wasn't ready for us; many of the items in the menu, including rice pudding and cream caramel, weren't available at the time of our visit. We eventually opted for Cream and Custard Feteer (31LE). It must have been fate, though, because we quickly forgot about the unavailable dishes; filled with heavenly fresh cream, sprinkled with coconut and dripping a delicious syrup, it made up for the initial dessert choices we craved. Overall, we left Kazouza with mixed feelings; on one hand, the food and the service were excellent, the décor and props were creative, but on the other hand, the small portions and the unavailability of several items was disappointing.


Maharaja: Indian Authentic Eats in Maadi
Published On: 18/08/2015

Within its ever-growing restaurant scene, Cairo has several eateries offering Indian food; perhaps Maharaja in Maadi, is one of the best we've tried so far, with its savory affordable genuine Indian dishes. With two other Indian restaurants down the corner including Maharani, Maharaja already faces some serious competition over who's the restaurant serving better authentic tastes. As soon as we stepped into the cozy 6-table lounge, the kitchen was close to the dining room as the smell of spices and cooked food invigorated our nostrils and we felt the aggression of them to the extent that some tears were about to drop from our eyes; yet we could hardly wait to see what's in store for us. Maharaja's ambiance is encouraging a substantial Indian experience; with beautiful elephant picturesque on the walls, an overpowering aroma of spices and songs playing in the background-similar to the ones we hear in Bollywood movie productions on television. The place wasn't crowded there were only three other customers sitting next to us, yet if the restaurant was crowded we wouldn't have felt much comfortable `as all the tables are connected with one large couch. Drowning amidst the names of the dishes, one of the waiters-who was quite friendly and helpful, explained what most of the dishes comprised of, while also recommending Maharaja's signature dishes. As a starter, we ordered a Tikka Nan (15LE)-traditional Indian bread stuffed with carrot and chicken, and garnished with watercress. The dish was mildly spiced and served with three different sauces; mint, spicy mango chutney and pickled peppers. The Tikka Nan was light, crispy and quite tasty. The sauces were also quite delicious-of which we specially loved the mango chutney sauce with its sweet and chilly taste; only the pickles sauce was too bitter for our taste. As our main dishes, we opted for a Chicken Korma–curry chicken flavored with clove, cardamom, bay leaves, cauliflower and pepper (40LE) and a Ran Maharaja (60LE) with Vegetanie Biryani rice (35LE). Full of cashew, parsley and garlic the Chicken Korma was moist and spicy and well cooked; apart from two of the pieces which were almost burned and still had bones. The rice had a beautiful appetizing aroma and a great taste-especially when we sprinkled some Masala sauce on it. It wasn't however served on our table, only rather upon our serving request; one of the restaurant's measures to avoid having lots of wasted food. Served on a small flame, our Ran Maharaja seasoned with Masala-India's signature blend of ground spices, and plopped in old cheese, cream sauce and spices, looked and tasted fantastic. Overall the dish made a nice change to the tomato-based sauces and curries that have to define Indian cuisine outside of its native kitchens. As our dessert, we ordered a Coconut Ice Cream- served in a coconut fruit with peanuts, raisins, cinnamon and a sweet carrot topping (20LE) and we were served two other complimentary ones from the house. The ice cream was quite refreshing; only the coconut fruit left an over sugary taste in our mouths; making it hard for us to gobble most of it. With its music and overall ambiance, Maharaja is a restaurant that brings you the Southern flavors of Asia; it is surely a straight flight to India. The menu has variety of interesting dishes especially for vegetarians who want to try something new. Overall, apart from several overcooked chicken pieces and the small space-inconvenient for those who hate small restaurants, dining at Maharaja was a delightful experience. 


Yumamia: Revolutionary Online Community Connecting Hungry Cairenes with Home Cooks
Published On: 18/08/2015

The world of food is as prone to following trends and fads as much as anything – none more so than in Cairo. One of said trends, which has existed for the last few years, is the gimmick of home-cooked food. Many a restaurant in Egypt's capital have adopted the label and failed to live up to it; something that revolutionary online service, Yumamia, is making a thing of the past. Connecting cooks and chefs with hungry Cairenes, Yumamia is described as an online home-cooked food sharing community – but it's really much simpler than it sounds. Essentially, Yumamia lets you order home-cooked meals from home cooks across Cairo; you browse, you order, you pay, you eat. Outside of the fact that it has opened up a world of different home-dining options to the city, Yumamia is also proving to be a valuable resource for amateur chefs, an increasing number of whom already operate exclusively online – be they bakers, caterers or just cooking addicts. As one of the most unique platforms to emerge in Egypt's online community since launching in March of 2014, Yumamia's website even provides cooking and food photography tips for its cooks, who can sign up with few complications. One of the website's biggest accomplishments is how user-friendly it all is. Each cook has his or her own page, which features its menu, working days and other vital titbits and you can fine tune your search with price, type of cuisine and more, including specific dietary requirements. Yumamia currently operates in Cairo and Giza, with its roster of cooks growing by the week. Next on the list is Alexandria – think of all the homemade seafood. For more information, click here.


Gourmet Fried Chicken: Soul Food Comes to Cairo with Westown Hub Diner
Published On: 11/08/2015

After a more than satisfying experience at Butcher's Burger in Westown Hub, we couldn't help but pay a visit to its partner in crime, Gourmet Fried Chicken. Owned by the same restaurateurs, the two diners sit beside each other, almost meshing into one super restaurant – the two venues are separated only by a thin wall. After being seated, we instantly fell in love with the artwork and the atmosphere of the Gourmet Fried Chicken. Much like Butcher's Burger, wood is the main aesthetic theme, but there are hints of kitsch peppering the place – especially with the tallow minibus prop piece outside. Serving specialties from the soul food kitchen, Gourmet Fried Chicken menu offers American-style eats including Fried Chicken Meal served with Butter Waffles (59LE), Big Mama Special – a platter comprised of three fried chicken pieces – mac and cheese served with corn bread and coleslaw (69LE) and the Soul Food Platter – pairing 3 pieces of fried chicken with gravy sauce, mashed potatoes and a corn on cob (69LE) – as well as many other luscious Southern choices. Anxious to test the authenticity of this scarce type of cuisine, we opted for Mushroom Gravy Chicken served with butter waffles (59LE) and a GFC Tower – a fried chicken sandwich with toppings including onions, jalapenos, pickles, ranch dressing and served with fries (44LE). Thirty minutes after ordering, our food was arrived and we were keen to try the restaurant's interpretation of a southern American classic pairing of chicken and waffles. For those who haven't tried it before, it's not as peculiar a combination as it sounds – stripped the dish down and you have chicken with cooked batter. Unfortunately, however, the waffles were not stuffed with chicken as stated in the menu, while the chicken and mushroom gravy served on top was sparse. The GFC sandwich was, on the other hand, the definition of a perfect fried chicken sandwich. The chicken itself was cooked perfectly, boasting a crispy exterior and a tender interior, while the sweetness of the coleslaw perfectly balanced the chilly spike from the jalapenos. Of the dessert options, we ordered the Churros (24LE) – a Spanish fried-dough pasty that has its roots in Spain, but has seeped into American south-western cuisine via Latin America. Golden, crispy and incredibly tasty, there was little to complain about with the simple dessert – which one might compare to the Middle Eastern bala7 el sham – especially with the rich chocolate dip that comes with it. Simple is a key word here; when you break down the food at GFC, it's all very uncomplicated. But what will keep us coming back to the restaurant is that, Mushroom Gravy Chicken aside, it delivers with big flavours. As for the dreaded question of longevity and consistency, GFC is the kind of place that can become a go-to favourite – a valuable trait in Cairo we are, more than most, creatures of habit.


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Cairo Weekend Guide: Oktoberfest at CJC, Craftopia Bazaar, Live Music & More!

Hello Cairo, Summer is surely still around; but as we continue to melt under the heat during the morning, Cairo's nightlife, meanwhile, welcomes the autumn season with live non-stop entertainment. Thursday is a typically eventful night; with a line-up featuring Bashar Galal, Zeina and Abou Samra, D