Pubs are so deeply ingrained in the British culture that they became a distinct culture in themselves. They’re a great place to hang out, relax, and enjoy a casual drink. Renowned worldwide, old English-style pubs are places where people can visit any time of the day to work, read, hold meetings, or enjoy an after-work beer. So, it’s no surprise that our beloved city would have its very own English pub in the heart of the Zamalek.
Having visited Pub28 almost ten years ago, we decided to hit the long-standing spot again to see how it’s faring nowadays. The décor has remained unchanged throughout the years; dim light fixtures, dark patterned furniture, and vintage ornaments were still the primary mood. We headed there around early evening to grab a few drinks and starters. The place filled up gradually; the customer profile was an interesting mix for sure, from elderly guests and travellers to the older couple grabbing a casual beer. We got the menu and decided to start with two cocktails; there wasn’t a cocktail menu available, so needless to say that only the classic bar cocktails were on offer. We went with a Mojito (220 LE) – rum, lime, mint, club soda and sugar syrup, and a Margharita (220 LE) – lime, Cointreau, and tequila. Both cocktails were enjoyable and tasty – very classicly made.
We then ordered a few starters for the day and skipped the mains because Pub28 is known for its delicious food. We got four appetisers; Chicken A la Kiev (130 LE) – fried breaded breast stuffed with cheese, crushed garlic, and parsley, and the Calamari Salad (135 LE) – calamari, onion, lemon, and olive oil. We also got the Shrimp (200 LE) – boiled shrimp served with garlic sauce, and lastly, the Fillet (200 LE) – cubes of well-done fillet bites. All our dishes came incredibly delicious and seasoned; the seafood was fresh, properly cooked and delectable. The beef cubes were cooked to perfection and went quite well with the cocktails. However, one piece was slightly undercooked in the Chicken Kiev dish, so the staff replaced it for us right away.
As we enjoyed our food, we decided to get another round of drinks to finish the evening. So we got a Negroni (220 LE) – gin, vermouth and Campari, and a Martini (140LE) – typically made with gin and vermouth and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Once again, the drinks were flavoursome, but the Negroni came in quite light, so we asked for an extra shot of booze.
All in all, the food was enjoyable, and the drinks were satisfying, but if we had one comment, it would be about the customer service. We did not feel very comfortable during our visit; we got a very lackadaisical and unbothered vibe from the staff. But on the bright side, the prices are within range, and the ambience serves well for a quiet date night or a relaxing after-work drink.