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

Restaurants -

Cairo Restaurant Guide: November Favourites

Cairo Restaurant Guide: November Favourites
    written by
    Melissa Howell

    It is with full bellies that
    we look back fondly on some of our favourite restaurants in Cairo reviewed in
    October. Our November Restaurant Guide
    is a mix of some of Cairo’s
    old favourite eateries and a few new spectacular menus around the city. So if you’re looking to change up your dining
    routine or rekindle a culinary romance; read on.

    Cairene seafood lovers have long loved
    this restaurant. With several branches scattered around Cairo, Gandofli is known to serve up some of
    the freshest fish around. We simply
    cannot get enough of the creamy seafood soup, which is so popular among customers that waiters walk through the restaurant with a kettle and ladle to pour bowls
    upon bowls of the delectable potage. While the restaurant has been known to expertly grill a fish or two,
    most diners go for the delicious deep-fried marine cuisine and who are we to
    argue? Their fried clams give this restaurant its name and its fame.

    Our love of curries has led us to
    some of Cairo’s
    best Indian and Thai restaurants; so when we heard there was a new kind of heat
    in town, we had to check it out. Essence in Mohandiseen serves up the rich, layered
    flavours of Pakistani, Afghani and Indian cuisine, contributing to the
    ever-expanding diversity of Egypt’s
    culinary scene. Take advantage of the wait staff’s knowledge and order
    according to their recommendations. We were definitely steered in the right
    direction with their suggestion of smoked yogurt lamb. And we appreciate any
    restaurant with an elegant atmosphere, where you can have a delicious dinner
    for two for under 250LE.

    It is without bias that we
    state the following: the Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo has been raising the
    standards for hospitality and food since their mid-summer’s opening in Cairo. The recent opening of Floor 10 is no
    exception. It was love at first bite of
    foie gras for us, and the restaurant’s elegant yet creative pairing of flavours
    was spot on from beginning to end. Oh,
    and there’s a Nile view at this chic and
    expensive tenth-floor dining room, but you’ll likely be too enraptured in your culinary
    experience to notice.

    We find that many of Cairo’s teppanyaki restaurants
    are a little heavy handed with the salt and soya. Thankfully, this is not the case at
    Intercontinental Heliopolis’ Shogun, where the food is fresh and the flavours
    are clean. Although we might go
    elsewhere for a sushi roll, Shogun slices fresh sashimi and knows their way
    around the teppanyaki. From the grill to
    the customer in a matter of seconds; the meat is tender, juicy and full of
    flavour. This is a restaurant to head to
    after some bargain hunting at Citystars, since it’s going to set you back a few hundred
    LE a head; but they have unlimited sushi on Monday.

    Craving some seafood, but can’t be bothered
    to leave the house? Well, if you live in
    Maadi you’re in luck.Brand new delivery
    and take-out restaurant Fandira has got you covered. Do not pass on their garlicky stir-fried
    prawns or their tuna steak, both prepared exquisitely. We suspect having a chef with Four Seasons
    experience has something to do with the elegant flavours of this upscale
    take-away restaurant. With a variety of
    preparations ranging from deep-fried to Thai curries, simple grills and sautés;
    there is something to please every seafood loving palate.  

    Nola: Okay, we know that Nola is technically a pastry shop and not a
    restaurant, but try convincing us of this on Cupcakes for Breakfast Tuesday. Starting
    off with apple cupcakes and moving right along to peanut butter, we can satisfy
    our fruit and protein needs before preventing scurvy with lemon meringue. We usually finish with one of Nola’s smaller-sized
    red velvet cupcakes, because one should be sensible when eating dessert. In all
    seriousness, though; Nola’s cupcakes are artistically prepared and come in two
    sizes and a slew of sweet flavours. Nola
    delivers; but we recommend at least one visit to the adorable Zamalek shop.

    Cultural Centre:
    A low-key
    al-fresco lunch at the French Cultural Centre has some of the best value for
    money that we’ve seen in a while in Cairo.
    Serving simple but fresh omelettes, crêpes, pastas and paninis; the restaurant
    manages to keep costs low while using a number of hard-to-find and imported
    ingredients; this is one of the few places around Cairo that still serves ham. This is not fine
    dining; but for what you pay, you’ll be pleased, and a large crowd of regulars
    is testament to that. With free wireless internet available; this is the ideal
    spot for students on a budget.

    Located inside The Four Seasons
    Hotel Cairo at The First Residence, Aura serves Levantine food in a gorgeous
    Lebanese-themed dining room with a contemporary edge. In addition to the warm and welcoming
    interior, the fourth floor, poolside restaurant has outdoor seating; making it
    an utterly romantic location for late-evening dining under the full moon. We admit that the fatta falls a little flat; but
    the flavourful shish barak is a delightful dish. For Four Seasons dining, Aura is not as
    expensive as you might think, so if you’re looking for an Oriental evening of
    luxury before a night out at Club 35; head here for some scrumptious mezzas.