Mizan: Funky Food & Events Hub in Maadi
These days, we can’t keep up with all the new eateries opening in Maadi, and have become spoilt for choice as to where to get a good meal in Cairo’s southern suburb. The latest edition to the eternally-hip high street, Road 9, is Mizan, which opened its doors a mere stone’s throw from Sakinet Metro stop.
The restaurant-café is a family owned business, but it’s obvious that all the staff working there are a close group keen to see it succeed. Although the family are originally from Maadi, the proprietor has just returned from life in New York to set up the business here, and has bought with him a super-sized slice of quality service and creative flair.
The venue is semi-open air with a fabric roof that can be opened on particularly sweltering evenings. The décor is funky with contemporary baroque prints and furniture, plus a wall of framed holes – soon to be full of local crafts and oddities on display to diners. Mizan makes a real effort to engage with the up and coming art scene in Cairo, and with so much enthusiasm and creativity themselves, it looks as if the local scene is going to love Mizan right back.
When we settled down on one of Mizan’s comfy sofas, many of the tables were already full, but the waiters were professional and attentive throughout the busy evening. We ordered from their smoothie and shakes menu one ‘Sweet Love’ (27LE), which was a refreshing and creamy yoghurt-based drink with coconut milk and strawberry chunks. Our virgin cherry margarita (27LE) tasted like we were sipping on boiled sweets from our childhood over crushed ice – it was delicious.
To begin our meal, we ordered mozzarella sticks (32LE), which came as huge batons with crispy batter encasing the hot gooey wads of cheese filling. For our main course, we tried the fettucine madras curry (46LE), which although delicious, didn’t have a hint of curry about it, making us inclined to believe we may have been served the wrong dish. It came as a thick and soupy sauce covering mountains of fettuccini with plenty of tasty morsels of shrimp and mushroom tucked away in the mix, under lashings of mature Parmesan cheese. We also went for a tuna sandwich (30LE), which was delectable and fresh. The tuna was mixed with mayonnaise, peppers, olives and onion, which made for a great combo swimming with flavour. It came with a side of fries and a small garnish of salad.
Dessert came in the form of a refreshing and light mango ice cream (32LE); although there was only one scoop, it also came with yoghurt and mango sauce. We finished off by trying out an espresso from their big shiny coffee machine. It was strong, smooth and would make any New Yorker proud.
The food is good, but that’s not what’s going to make this place stand out. The friendly family atmosphere is reason enough to return but if they can tap the arts scene, and become a hub for musicians and artists there’s no limit for Mizan.