Cairo Kitchen: Heliopolis’ Very Own Branch
As a staple of the revival of Egyptian cuisine in Cairo restaurants, Cairo Kitchen is satisfying more and more stomachs by the year. Naturally, the residents of Heliopolis were thrilled when a new branch opened in the area. Located on El Marghany Street, the two-floor restaurant is easily spotted, with its bright exterior and colourful windows near Heliopolis Club.
The interior is just as colourful giving it a lively and unique atmosphere. The tables are painted in vivid colours; red, green, blue, yellow, purple – it’s nothing short of a rainbow – while the walls are adorned with beautiful oriental patterns. It’s not as spacious as the branch in Maadi, but is still cosy like the original Zamalek branch. On the upper floor, you’ll find a terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meal, or you can just sit at standard table inside like we did. If you’re in a rush and just want to grab a quick bite, there’s a bar with stools placed on the lower level.
The service is very prompt, though we were seated at table where the remnants of the previous diners’ meal hadn’t quite been dealt with; an unfortunate problem that is evident around the restaurant.
However, the staff is friendly and helpful; they’re happy to explain the menu to first-time comers. The menu is identical to its two counterparts, and their ‘Tabkhet El Youm’ – their ‘Special of the Day’ – was a very pleasing sharkaseya (42LE for regular size, 120LE for family size); tender chicken, delicious creamy walnut sauce and perfectly seasoned white rice make up this classic Oriental dish – yum!
The koshary was pretty tempting, so we ended up ordering some of that as well. They serve home-style koshary (16LE for regular size), ‘wellbeing’ koshary (23LE for regular size), a healthier version with brown rice and brown pasta, and of course koshary eskandarany (16LE for regular size) with yellow lentils.
We took a chance with the healthy koshary, and it was surprisingly delicious, though the rice and pasta were a bit clumpy. We also tried the low-salt cheese and tomato salad (8LE). Though the cheese had little flavour, the combination with the fresh tomatoes left us feeling satisfied and refreshed, before washing it all down with a cool glass of lemon and mint juice (10LE) – perfect in Egypt’s hot summer weather.
Finally, for dessert, we had rice pudding with dates (12LE), and it definitely satisfied our sweet tooth. The texture of the rice pudding was maybe a bit too mushy, but the addition of dates made up for it, giving it a chunky, homely touch.
For those who have never sampled the delights of Cairo Kitchen, this is a restaurant full of character; the perfect place to enjoy home-style Egyptian dishes with family or friends.