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


El Morocco: Tasty Moroccan Cuisine by the Nile

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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El Morocco: Tasty Moroccan Cuisine by the Nile

Japanese, Lebanese and our own Egyptian restaurants flooding Cairo, alternative
cuisines are a warm welcome to the city’s dining scene; especially if said cuisine
comes from our fellow Arab countries. El Morocco – as the name already reveals –
specialises in Moroccan food and is located on the lower level of the Blue Nile Boat in Zamalek.

enter the restaurant through a small arabesque corridor. There are several high
tables located around the bar area but it is advised to take a low table. The tables are surrounded by benches covered with cushions, where you
can nestle yourself in for maximum seating comfort. Little note for the
ladies: short skirts don’t come in handy here; wear trousers instead. El Morocco is great for large groups; there are niches seperated by arabesque woodwork and each of the niches has four tables.

restaurant’s menu is extensive, especially when it comes to its starters. It
has classical Moroccan harira soup (35LE) and Moroccan mixed cigar (meat rolled
in filo)
for 35LE but
also some international dishes like spring rolls (35LE), smoked salmon (92LE)
and breaded brain (48LE). For the main courses, there are several kinds of
tagines, couscous dishes and the Moroccan specialty, pastilla.

starters, this reviewer sampled the sausage (39LE) and the hummus (22LE). The sausage
was served sizzling hot and accompanied by vegetables. The meat itself was tasty,
well-grilled and well-seasoned, and it was appropriately spicy. The hummus was
perhaps one of the best that this reviewer has sampled in Cairo; it had
just the right amount of lemon in it, making it very refreshing.

For the
main course, we tried the lamb tagine with prunes (68LE) and the chicken pastilla
(62LE). The lamb meat was a bit too greasy for this reviewer’s liking and too
tough. The combination with the prunes was tasty, but unfortunately, the prunes
still had pits. The sauce accompanying the meat was rather bland.

On the
other hand, the pastilla is a culinary masterpiece. Pastilla is a pie with
a filling on the inside. We had the chicken pastilla, but you can also try it with seafood or
pigeon, which is the more traditional version. The filling is made of meat, almonds
and several spices, and is inserted into crêpe-like warka dough, while the top
is covered in iced sugar and cinnamon. The combination of sweet and salty
flavours makes this a unique dish that you should absolutely try.

Morocco’s staff members are very helpful and polite. The biggest downside to
the experience was the music, which was mostly Celine Dion and other elevator
music favourites. Past midnight, the restaurant turns into a nightclub, which
means that the music gets better but also louder, making it harder to hold
a conversation.

Morocco is a nice option for an alternative meal out in Cairo. The quality of
the food is good and the
One Thousand and One Nights surroundings are nice. It’s
a pity that the restaurant doesn’t have more of a Nile view, given its location.

360 Tip

The toilets near El Morocco, although clean, are a bit run-down. The toilets upstairs are better.

Best Bit

The pastilla and the comfy couches.

Worst Bit

The music is a bit questionable.

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