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

Restaurants -

Cairo Restaurant Guide: This Month’s Favourites

Cairo Restaurant Guide: This Month’s Favourites
    written by
    Melissa Howell

    Here at Cairo 360, we’re a little
    addicted to food; and we’re not ashamed to admit it.   We order multiple courses at every meal, we
    aren’t afraid to try anything once; and we’re occasionally prone to giving
    ourselves stomach aches from sampling too many burgers and sweets. For you, dear 360 Reader, we’ve convinced
    ourselves that elastic waistbands are, in fact, quite fashionable. We have a
    great time critiquing Cairo’s
    most popular restaurants and discovering some of the lesser-known dining
    treasures along the way.   Here are a few
    of our favourites from recent history.  

    La Gourmandise (Maadi)

    We’ve long
    loved the freshly baked breads, fresh salads and delectable desserts at La
    Gourmandise in the First Mall and the quiet neighbourhood of Maadi seemed like
    the perfect location for a sister branch. Located on Road Nine, the venue is
    larger than we’d anticipated, sweetly decorated and brimming with display cases
    of gourmet macaroons. Sandwiches, quiches and salads make this a great spot for
    a fresh, trendy lunch and decadent cakes available for carryout give us a real
    reason to celebrate. Although this high-end restaurant/café/bakery isn’t ideal for
    budget dining, we were pleasantly surprised to find prices are lower than those at the
    First Mall branch.


    A recent
    curry craving had us heading Downtown to the Ramses Hilton for dinner at
    Maharaja. We found an authentic but approachable menu at this Indian restaurant,
    where the tandoor oven is located right in the dining room to give guests a
    show while they eat.   Maharaja’s exciting
    and spicy menu includes everything from hearty soups and flavourful daal to
    rich curries of seafood, chicken and paneer, as well as tender meat straight out
    of the tandoor oven. If you share our
    dining habits, you may be ordering extra orders of naan to soak up the curry
    long after you’re full from this Indian feast.

    Sit Hosneya


    For a long
    time, Abou El Sid has been the go-to choice for upscale Egyptian cuisine.   However, El Sit Hosneya provides healthy
    competition for fine local dining. For
    heart-stopping fatta, incredible molokheya and velvety chicken liver; this
    restaurant is as authentic as any home-cooked meal that you’ll have in Egypt. And it doesn’t hurt that the prices are much
    lower than those at Abou El Sid, either.

    Belle Époque


    Hidden in
    the heart of Maadi, this exquisite boutique hotel has been stirring up a quiet
    storm over the past year for its elegant dining atmosphere. The menu blends
    local flavours and ingredients with a gourmet twist, and every dish is
    presented in an artistic arrangement. Sauces are homemade and produce is
    incredibly fresh. Their bread is heavenly and arrives hot out of the oven, and
    their sea bass is roasted and arranged over sweet-sour potato puree, ruccola,
    tomatoes, kalamata olives and goat’s cheese. Heaven!


    sushi lovers will rejoice for 147 Soho, a
    restaurant/game room located in The Meeting Point, 5th Settlement’s newest
    shopping centre. 8LE-pieces of nigiri
    are fresh and fairly priced, and the crunchy rolls come highly
    recommended. For the non-sushi lovers among
    you, the menu has a fair deal of burgers, soups and appetisers to snack on
    between games of snooker. 147 Soho is still
    new enough to be a quiet spot for dinner and a game, but once word gets out; this
    may become a 5th Settlement hotspot.

    Blackstone Bistro (Maadi)

    behind the Sofitel on the Maadi Corniche, this bistro has potential to become a
    neighbourhood favourite with its quality food, diverse cuisine and freshly
    baked goods. Blackstone Bistro’s atmosphere may be a little forced, but their
    food easily impressed us during our first visit. Hand cut, homemade fries mix white potatoes,
    sweet potatoes and beets for a flavourful side dish on one of the better
    burgers that we’ve tasted in a while. Though a little on the pricey side for
    some items (115LE for a rib eye steak), Blackstone Bistro actually provides
    excellent value for money on a three-course meal.


    A Haram
    treasure buried deep in Faisal
    Street, Al Faqeer serves some of the most tantalising
    Egyptian grilled meats that we’ve had in a long time. 55LE will get you either
    a platter of two roasted stuffed pigeons (we recommend the bulgar wheat) with
    tender, juicy meat encased in crisp skin, or half a kilo of grilled kofta and kabab,
    well-butchered and served on flatbread; so you don’t miss a single
    dripping! Although Al Faqeer serves
    other Egyptian specialties like mahshi and molokheya; we urge you to stick to
    the meat if you’re going to brave the traffic on Faisal Street.

    Bella (Garden City)

    Last, but
    certainly not least; lunch at the Four
    Seasons Nile
    Plaza’s Italian
    restaurant, Bella is divine. A three-course business menu for 175LE features plenty
    of fresh ingredients, such as baby greens, toasted pine nuts, cured mozzarella
    and beautifully cooked salmon and steak. Try the salmon, which is crusted with black
    pepper and honey, and cooked to perfection. We recommend passing on the crème brûlée
    in favour of the molten cake; but nearly everything at Bella is beautiful.