Egyptian Business Club: Classic Egyptian Fetar at the World Trade Centre
Fifth floor, 1191 Corniche El Nil
You’d be forgiven for not knowing about the
Egyptian Business Club. The members-only restaurant/lounge/bar is located on
the fifth floor of the imposing World Trade Centre on the Maspiro Corniche.
Despite its exclusivity, the club is offering fetar to the public this Ramadan,
while the terrace of the fifth floor also houses the Cashmere sohour tent. Calling ahead is a must, as the
food is prepared well ahead of time.
For those unfamiliar with the World Trade
Centre; enter from the back entrance, where the doors face the Conrad Hotel. On
the fifth floor, you’ll step out into a small corridor that leads to the large
club. Wandering to the left quarters leads you to a bar and lounge area, and
eventually to the doors of the terrace. The dining room is a classically
designed area, where the tables and chairs feel robust and solid, and an uncomfortable washed-out turquoise and beige is the colour theme.
Though the 135LE++ menu is split into
courses, all the food is placed on the table at once, and is a welcome sight to any
After you wolf down a glass of amar el din
or tamr hindi; don’t fill up on the orzo soup: it isn’t the best that you’ll
find in Cairo.
Huge bowls of Egyptian-style rice with
vermicelli dominate the table, as do bowls of salad, huge servings of tehina
and baba ghanough, and baskets of fresh baladi bread.
Servings of sambousak and stuffed vine leaves were
generous, and although the sambousak wasn’t made out of the traditional pastry,
it was crunchy and charitably filled with cream cheese and spinach. The stuffed
vine leaves were seasoned with a little too much mint.
Clay tagine bowls are littered around the
table. The mousa’aa was delicious and hot, and contained large slices of
tomatoes, aubergines and peppers as well as minced meat. The traditional
Egyptian dish of fasolia or runner beans in tomato stew tasted fine, but paled
in comparison to other dishes, as did the similarly cooked potato stew.
The standout item by far was the grilled
chicken; plump of meat and perfectly seasoned, quartered portions were served
generously. The other main dish was kabab halla; a stew of perfectly cut
cubes of beef that are given little taste by the onions and stock. Although
the beef is tender, the dish is completely outshone by the great chicken.
We were offered the chance
to have our tea and dessert on the terrace. A table was set up for us outside as
the staff prepared for the Cashmere sohour tent. Small glasses of Lipton tea
were served with sugar and extra mint leaves alongside a small five-piece
dessert dish. Miniature portions of atayef, basbousa, konafa, balah el sham and zalabia
were served around a small splodge of cream. Every piece of the dessert was
light and not too sweet, and the cream was a nice touch.
The Egyptian Business Club is more of expediency
to the World Trade Centre, and so you shouldn’t expect to be amazed. On the
other hand, the fetar menu is portioned and served to even the most demanding