The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Shishawy: Elegant Shisha at Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Shishawy: Elegant Shisha at Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo

When we
say shisha has been around for hundreds of years in Cairo, we are not even exaggerating.
Recently, Cairo has witnessed ‘pimped’ shisha places with funky shisha designs and exclusive,
exotic flavours. Located on the Garden City Corniche, the Kempinski Nile Hotel
Cairo now has a shisha café called Shishawy.

is located in the hotel’s open courtyard, around the dome above the Chocolate
. Depending on which entrance you take, this location may seem a bit
weird, as you literally stumble upon the dome when you enter from the reception’s
side. Surrounded by imposing walls, Shishawy’s interior is decorated with
plants and a wall mural of a blue and white sky. The other wall is white-washed and used
as a display screen for films, which makes the venue feel like an open-air
cinema instead of in a shisha place.

At the
time of this reviewer’s visit, Schindler’s
was being screened. Although it’s a terrific film and the combination
of the sky wall and a black and white film looked very cool, watching people
getting slaughtered in Ausschwitz while smoking your shisha is a bit
uncomfortable. The film is screened on mute, but you can request to have the film’s
sound turned on.

offers regular shisha flavours like apple, peach, honey and strawberry for
25LE. We tried the peach, which was very refreshing and tasted a bit like candy
but wasn’t excessively sweet. We also tried the Egyptian erksous (liquorice)
for 30LE, which had a strong flavour and was very pleasant. It is also possible
to mix flavours (30LE) and there is a medusa shisha that can be shared by two
people (80LE). The shisha man knows his job well; the coals were changed right
on time and we never had to request it. With our
drinks, we received a little snack of dried fruits like plum, apricots and

The menu
has some light snacks such as sandwiches starting at 50LE, soups for 40LE and
salads starting at 50LE. If you want a healthy drink, you can try the out of
nicotine cocktail (30LE), which consists of watermelon, ginger and honey, or
the long life cocktail (30LE), made of cucumber, tomato, yogurt and dill. You
can also sample a Corona beer (45LE) or your regular Stella and Heineken (30LE).
Wines and champagnes are also available. If smoking a shisha is not enough for
you, there are also cigars on the menu, starting at 170LE.

from Schindler’s List, the other
sources of discomfort were Shishawy’s seats and the bathrooms. The wooden
chairs are low compared to the tables and tend to get a bit uncomfortable.
There are no bathrooms on the same floor; so you have to go one level down and
use the ones near Osmanly.

staff at Shishawy is very friendly, offering impeccable and swift service. We
recommend going to Shishawy in the evening if you feel like watching a film and
also because we suspect it might get a bit hot during the day seeing as the
place is located outdoors.

Shishawy’s prices may be
normal for a hotel like the Kempinski, but they are excessively high compared to other shisha places in Cairo. We had
two shishas, a coke and a tea for 120LE.

360 Tip

You can opt for a combo at Shishawy for 75LE: a soft drink, sandwich and shisha.

Best Bit

Excellent service, pleasant film screening (except for Schindler’s List) and refreshing shisha.

Worst Bit

The toilets’ location. And the choice of Schindler’s List as a film.

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