Bab Tooma: Authentic & Tasty Syrian Eats in Heliopolis
It’s difficult to get bored when it comes to the Cairo restaurant scene – one boasting eclectic international cuisines and introducing new flavours by the second. Upon many recommendations, we headed to Bab Tooma in Heliopolis; a Syrian restaurant serving authentic dishes and delicacies from the Shami kitchen.
Located opposite Tivoli Dome, we entered what was a spacious, comfortable and modern setting with an outdoors extension; however, there was little to suggest that we were in for an authentic Syrian experience.
Boasting diversified dishes including a selection of cheese, spinach or meat Manakeesh (25LE-40LE), Syrian fatta, tajines, pizza and several other promising Levant choices, our mission to pick what to have for dinner was somewhat challenging.
As our main dishes, we ordered a Chicken Shawerma sandwich (35LE) and Voldistina platter – chicken stuffed with pepperoni and mushrooms and served with white rice or any side of your choosing (60LE).
Our orders arrived promptly with each dish served with pickles and some perfectly crispy French fries. Cut in small chunks and drenched in garlic paste with a hint of fresh mint, the chicken shawerma wrap was well seasoned and tasty; only it was a little too greasy.
Comprised of four well-seasoned chicken rolls, the Voldistina, meanwhile, was soaked in a creamy, rich yet light white sauce that perfectly blended with the chicken rolls. The Chicken was at that perfect position of being neither dry nor moist – it was perfectly cooked and without a doubt our favourite dish for the night.
Then it was time for dessert; between Halwet elJebn – a creamy sweetened cheese soaked in rose water and maple syrup— and Syrian Ghazal – cotton candy cake served with ice cream— we opted for the latter.
A well-rounded mountain of juicy cake, which easily melts in your mouth, garnished with cotton candy, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, our Syrian Ghazal, was a vision of beauty and tasted quite refreshing; though it could have done with a bigger serving of ice cream to properly fit the cake’s size.
We sealed the deal with a Kiwi and Mango Shisha (40LE) which made a perfect combo and lasted long enough until the end of the night.
Overall, our experience at Bab Tooma was satisfying. Even though the atmosphere may get a little too noisy and congested especially during evenings; the Syrian selections they offer are possibly among the best we’ve had.