Al Dayaa: Contemporary Lebanese Restaurant in Sheikh Zayed
l Thawra Al Khadra
With the hustle and bustle of Cairo life, we often find ourselves venturing out to the less-crowded areas in search of new additions to the Cairo restaurant scene. Lying in the heart of Sheikh Zayed, Al Dayaa serves up Lebanese dishes to satisfy Manakesh cravers and Halloumi lovers alike.
The restaurant boasts both an indoor area and spacious outdoor courtyard, complete with a central fountain. Despite the largely traditional décor, a twist of colour and wooden features interweave to create a more modern feel. And of course, it wouldn’t be Lebanese without Fayrouz songs playing in the background or Fayrouz pictures on the walls.
Our menus were quickly delivered, alongside a basket of warm bread to nibble on. The food options are fully-stacked, from traditional Lebanese dishes such as taboula (20LE) and fattoush (20LE) to more unusual items including mint pies (23LE) and crab salad (27LE). We opted for a basic, slightly spicy eggplant salad (19LE), creamy hummus with meat (27LE) and thick, velvety Labenah Maka’zala (22 LE) drizzled with an olive oil and thyme dressing.
Our main course of grilled quail (60LE) was a smashing success; the meat was deliciously juicy and perfectly marinated, infused with an authentic, fresh flavour of thyme, lemon, olive oil and a dash of garlic.
Soon after we’d finished, the waiter brought over a big tray, carrying one of every dessert item from the menu. On the understanding that this was a complimentary gesture, we picked the Halwa Jubna dessert (30LE) which was exquisite; without being sickly, the cheese dessert was soft and spongey from the outside, but creamy from the inside.
Unfortunately, once the bill arrived, it was evident that we had been misled into thinking the dessert – which we never actually ordered in the first place – was free. After debating with the manager for a whole thirty minutes, we almost regretted over-stuffing ourselves.
Al Dayaa is yet another eatery that relishes in the culinary delights of Lebanese cuisine and serves both unique and traditional dishes in a colourful, contemporary setting.