Melouk: New & Bold Bar in Dokki
set up in a quiet street a couple of right turns off of Gamaat El Dowal Street is new bar Melouk. Don’t be put off by its location: yes, a
sleepy backstreet isn’t the most desirable spot for a bar, and yes, the idea of
stumbling out onto the street at 2AM smelling like you’re flammable, while the
matriarchs of the neighbourhood stare at you with disgust from their balconies
isn’t something that you’d want to invite on yourself.
From a strictly
aesthetic point of view though; Melouk’s backdrop works. The blue lit exterior
stands out against the natural sandy tones of Cairo scenery. It’s not quite the
royal blue that the owners may have intended to match with the name of the bar,
but we get the point. Upon entrance, you’ll be greeted with yet more blue
lighting that sets a very cool and relaxed ambience.
small bar is divided into two sections. The first, slightly bigger area is in
view of the bar, and has two flat-screen TVs that you can pretend to watch when
you get tired of talking to your company. The other area on the right side of
the entrance is a little bit more cosy and intimate; suitable for a first date
maybe. There aren’t any flat-screens there though; so you’ll definitely need a
backup plan for when the small talk dries up.
veteran bartender himself, the manager is quick to recommend the cocktail menu,
and vouches for his bartenders’ skills. At the top of this menu, like the
shining star of the East, sits the most expensive cocktail; the Royal Melouk.
At 75LE, it’s a merciless blue combo of tequila, vodka, gin and more tequila;
without a mixer. After you push through your ice with your straw to get the
last few sips, your whole word will suddenly turn blue. It lives up to its
name; a drink made for a king.
find exactly what you’d expect with the rest of the cocktails, which range from
45LE to 65LE. A cosmopolitan was served looking very murky, and one bartender’s
speciality, sweet and sour versions of a sex on the beach, were both too sweet
and too sour respectively. Prices for beers and wine are reasonable, with a
range between 15LE and 25LE for the former, and 35LE to 45LE for the latter.
of Carpaccio beef and satay chicken and beef flattered to deceive. They looked
picturesque on the plate, but were both pretty wide off the mark. The slices of
Carpaccio beef cut up with every touch of the fork, while the satay chicken and
beef tasted like they belonged in a shish tawouk dish. These types of
inaccuracies may leave you feeling cheated, but the food still tasted decent,
and both dishes were under 40LE each.
isn’t amazing at anything; but it’s pretty good at everything. The decor and
seating are comfortable and easy to relax in, and the staff is pleasant,
flexible and sincere in their efforts to take Melouk onwards and upwards. The
manager worryingly spoke of booking DJs, which could be a disaster; Melouk
simply isn’t big enough to hold club nights. It’s very young and very
ambitious, but slow and steady wins the race.