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

Imperial Boat

3anil: Decked Out Sohour Tent by the Nile

reviewed by
Lauren Lutz
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3anil: Decked Out Sohour Tent by the Nile

one of the hippest sohour spots this Ramadan; 3anil has taken everything it has
learned in the past seven years to form the perfect Nile-side Ramadan tent. Located
on the Imperial Boat in Zamalek and decorated in pink and white with a
chandelier of reflective baubles hanging from the centre of the ceiling, 3anil
is regularly filled to the brim with a select few of Cairo’s stylishly dressed,
shisha-smoking youth who sit for hours on the brown accented sofas socializing
and, in the case of those with VIP seats, battling on their private

If you’ve
ever been a patron of the nearby Wel3a Café, then you’ll see a few
familiar faces refreshing your coals as Wel3a and 3anil have partnered up this
season to provide the best shisha experience possible. At 15LE each, the
shisha’s flavours are not what this reviewer would call exotic, but they’re
strong and the service is excellent; even on a busy night. The rest of the wait
staff have been recruited from the Imperial Boat’s Purple to
serve on its roof at 3anil until the lounge opens again at the end of Ramadan.

In addition
to two pages of à-la-carte sohour selections including a delicious chicken fatta
(68LE) and an assortment of mezzas ranging in price from 10LE to 20LE, 3anil offers
two set sohour menus at 100LE and 130LE. The only difference between the two is
your choice of either the mixed grill platter or a smaller kofta dish. Both come
with a set of delicious mezzas such as tasty hummus with basterma and creamy motabel as well as a few leafy salads with tomatoes and croutons. The selections
from the mixed grill are also quite delicious, and the chicken and beef kebabs
were tender and juicy.

choices are limited to rice pudding or an assortment of oriental sweets with
the more expensive set menu, while the cheaper menu only offers oriental
sweets. Neither option is particularly appetising, but if your sweet tooth is
still killing you, Nestle Egypt’s ice cream factory is serving on board and you
can finish up with a cup of ice cream instead (at extra cost).

only flaw is the inadequate amount of table room available for all the food that
they serve you. This reviewer sat through half of the meal with a plate in her
lap until a couple of dishes of taameya and yogurt were finished and moved off
the low table. We were also sad to experience a shortage of Ramadan drinks
throughout the evening. When we did finally settle on the only choice available
(karkadeh), our drinks didn’t arrive until the end of the meal, and that was
only after requesting them several times.

Expect the
crowd on board 3anil to drift away by around 2AM, leaving the deck either
lonely or peaceful depending on your interpretation.

360 Tip

Reserve a VIP lounge and you'll get your own PS3 for the evening.

Best Bit

With the exception of the drinks, service was very good and the atmosphere is one of the best as far as sohour places go.

Worst Bit

The tables are too small and get crowded easily.

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