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


Risas: New Bar in Zamalek Aiming For A Maturer Clientele

  • Maxim Boat, (opposite Marriott Hotel)Saraya El Gezira street
reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Risas: New Bar in Zamalek Aiming For A Maturer Clientele

doesn’t have enough bars. At least, in this reviewer’s opinion, it doesn’t.
Wherever the night starts, we always end up at some of our favourite nightspots
around town. We heard that a new bar had recently opened up on the Nile Maxim boat
across from the Cairo Marriot Hotel in Zamalek, and decided to take a look. Risas, as
the bar is called, which is located on the boat’s lower level to the right side.

The best
way to describe Risas is that it’s red. Very red. The lamps, the decoration and
the couches, the chairs, the pillow and even the port-hole windows are red. We
felt as if we were on board of the Red October and we expected Sean
Connery to walk around the corner anytime to take our orders. Unfortunately, he
never showed up.

the walls are flat-screen TVs showing different channels, including Fashion TV and
MTV. The music is a bit depressing. It’s a mixture of bad cover songs. An hour
into this reviewer’s visit, the aforementioned red lights turned blue, before
eventually turning red. It stayed blue for too long for it to have been a
mistake, so we assume it was just a show of flashiness and versatility.

Since this
reviewer’s favourite, the Long Island tea wasn’t on the menu, we ordered the
Texas tea (46LE), which is basically the same but without gin and with Coke instead. As
much as we love alcohol, this cocktail was quite disappointing and we couldn’t
help but find it was saltier than the Dead Sea. The Tom Collins (45LE) on the
other hand was mixed better and bitter with a little taste of sweetness to

The Rusty Nail (45LE) was a mixture of Scotch and Drambuie, and reminded us
a little bit of cough medicine and bad childhood memories. The tequila sunrise (45LE) was once again a bit salty;
so we suspect the problem is in the tequila. Also, we couldn’t taste the orange juice. At
the time of our visit, the crowd consisted mainly of patrons in their thirties
and forties. 

The best
thing about Risas is that it’s fairly cheap. Beer only costs 20LE and a glass
of wine will set you back 29LE. Many food items are priced under 100LE, such as
sea bass for only 50LE or veal scaloppini for 75LE. Risas doesn’t impose a
minimum charge either; so if you want a drink but don’t want to spend too much,
this place is perfect.

360 Tip

Risas is managed by the same owners of Pub 28.

Best Bit

Reasonably priced drinks and a no-minimum-charge policy.

Worst Bit

Cocktails aren't mixed well.

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