Egyptian Nights: Mezza in the Cairo Marriot Gardens
With the likes of restaurants
like Abou El
Sid, upscale and authentic Egyptian cuisine isn’t difficult to find in Cairo. When it comes to
this garden dining option in Zamalek, the atmosphere and delicious eats are par
Located in the Palace Gardens
of the Cairo Marriot Hotel on the Zamalek corniche, Egyptian Nights is a longstanding
venue; known well by local expatriates and the island’s elite alike.
A draped, colourful tent
meets the garden walkway, and well-spaced seating arrangements provide a
refreshing option for dining al-fresco. With a waft of that fresh baladi bread baked
before your eyes, it won’t take long to peruse the menu for what will pair the
The drink menu does include
alcoholic beverages but with no local beer around, a cold Asahi costs 60LE, while
wine and spirits are priced 60LE and upwards. For approximately 20LE, an
ice-cold guava juice is lightly filling but heavy on the sugar.
Expect quintessential options
such as mezza and fiteer with everything in between, including lamb and seafood
dishes. For 62LE, a cold or hot mezza platter includes four items at the
guest’s choosing. A spicy hint finishes
off the baba ghanough nicely, while the bissara and labnah were our
Heavenly and creamy, a bowl
of foul is served up Alexandrian-style and has the capability of filling you up
with a lot of traditional love. For 165LE, the seafood platter was slightly
less thrilling with two large shrimp, one mussel and calamari. Grilled to
perfection, little flavour existed with the latter, though the steamed
vegetables were a nice touch to the palate.
When it comes to fiteer,
Egyptian Nights goes above and beyond. For 42LE, a pastrami fiteer comes
stuffed with pastrami, cheese, peppers, and onions while encased in a buttery,
deep-pan crust. We dare you to finish it alone.
If you’ve got an unavoidable
sweet tooth, the light rice pudding should do the trick. Topped with pistachio
shavings, the pudding has a cooling taste that helped awake us from our food
coma and peacefully finish off our otherwise quite heavy meal.
Next time you’re in the neighbourhood and
craving some home-cooked comfort food in the elegant outdoors,
Egyptian Nights is your place.