Bram: Questionable Dining Spot Opens in Zamalek
14 Marashly Street
Anne de Groot
bound to happen someday. Being a food critic is the best job in the world; you
eat out all week, write an article about it and get paid. Another great aspect of the
job is that your friends like you more because you take them out for dinner the
entire week. Writing a 400- to 600-word article about our dining escapades usually
comes quite easily. Today it doesn’t. This is one of those unique cases where a
restaurant left us with a loss for words. Not because we were overwhelmed by
the awesomeness of the restaurant; but because it was so terribly bad.
opened up in Zamalek right across from La Trattoria.
Perhaps we could have foreseen drama upon finding out the restaurant’s slogan: ‘Bram
do Egyptian Food as No One Do.’ That was the part where we should have turned
around and left. But the restaurant looked so nice and cosy; we really wanted
to give it a try.
The décor of the venue is a mix between old
Egypt meets new Egypt. There is a lot of arabesque woodwork giving a Middle Eastern
feel to the venue, while the colourful cushions on the couches add a cheerful
touch. The menu, as the slogan may have given away, consists of heavily
overpriced Egyptian food. Our tehina (20LE) arrived without bread, so we requested
bread and were charged 6LE for it. The two pieces of bread we received were
obviously from a packet of Rich Bake, and therefore bland and dry.
mixed sambousak (30LE) was made up of six pieces. The only edible sambousak was
the spinach, although it didn’t taste like spinach at all. We could hardly find
the cheese in the cheese sambousak and the meat sambousak was pretty appalling.
The dough was also too thick and greasy.
mains, we had the mixed grill (120LE) and the mazalikeya (65LE). The meat on
the mixed grill was indistinguishable. For what it’s worth we think we
spotted quail and something that resembled lamb. That ‘something’ was also
uneatable; it was all fat and hardly any meat. However, the quail was tasty.
mazalikeya, which consisted of veal liver mixed with camel liver and lamb liver
on top of veal sweet roasted in butter garlic and herbs, was probably the worst
thing that we’ve ever ordered. We normally love liver whether it’s cooked as kebda or as foie gras. However, camel liver isn’t our favourite.
All the livers were clumsily presented on the dish, making it look like a brown
pile of mush. The livers were tough, leaving us to chew on a single piece for
about ten minutes before being able to swallow it.
had a quick taste of the mahalabeya (28LE), and were once again disappointed. It
tasted like it was straight out of a packet with an overdose of rosewater and sugar.
According to the menu, it was supposed to come with nuts but we received exactly
worst part was probably that there is no ventilation system in the restaurant.
The smoke coming in from the kitchen made our clothes very smelly; something we
are not too keen on. On top of paying close to 350LE for our bad meal, we also
have to get out clothes dry-cleaned to get the smell out.
In the end, there was
only one thing we liked, which was the two-man band playing oriental takht. For
that we are willing to give Bram 1.5 stars.