El Rahmani: Delicious Sobya in Sayeda Zeinab
2, Al Mobtadayan Street
2PM - 3AM
Located at the intersection
between Mobtadayan and El Komi Streets, El Rahmani is a small, white dessert
shop that just barely fits its counter and fridge, yet it’s always bursting at
the seams with customers clamouring for its well-known treat. This famous shop
in Sayeda Zeinab offers only one item on its menu: sobia. And rumour has it
that this is the best sobia in all of Cairo.
This cold, heavily-sweetened
drink is made from coconut and rice milk, and at El Rahmani, it’s offered in
two varieties: sweet or sour. Or, as the man behind the cash register explained
in English, ‘sweet or diet.’ We sampled both and the diet sobia, like most
things diet, tasted far inferior to its more popular and sweeter counterpart.
The sweet sobia was viscous,
glutinous goodness, textured with small slices of coconut and finished off with
a sprinkling of cinnamon. The sour sobia was not as thick and not nearly as
delicious. Its flavour was strange and almost tasted fermented. Judging from
other patrons’ choices of sobia, the sweet kind is overwhelmingly the favourite
at El Rahmani. However, at only 2.50LE, it’s affordable to sample both. For 8LE,
you can buy a larger cup of sobia to take away.
There are no chairs or tables
at this corner shop, but the hordes of people milling about with sobia in hand
and sitting on the curbs attests to its popularity. Even on colder winter
evenings, you’ll still find groups of people waiting to enjoy some cold sobia. El
Rahmani gets quite crowded at night, so if you want a ledge to lean on or a
curb to sit on, we recommend visiting in the afternoon.
However, stopping by for a
late-night snack will give you the full El Rahmani experience. The shop is
brightly lit and the lines, though long, move quickly. Sayeda Zeinab Square and
Mosque are just around the corner, and the surrounding streets are lined with
every type of shop that you could possibly imagine, so be sure to walk off this
caloric dessert by taking a walk around the neighbourhood.