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

Fish Makan

Fish Makan: New Seafood Restaurant Opens in Zamalek

reviewed by
Soraya Morayef
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Fish Makan: New Seafood Restaurant Opens in Zamalek

No. 33 on Abul Feda Street is constantly
expanding with new restaurants and caf
és, and the latest endeavour to open this
month is Fish Makan, a pretty seafood restaurant brought to us by the same
owners of Mori Sushi.

Set on two outdoor levels with a small
interior for the ice box displaying frozen fish, the restaurant is decked out
with white tables and chairs, and checked blue paper table covers that are
removed at the end of your messy meal. The restaurant’s background music
at the time of our visit was of French classics, which clashed with the
background music of Abdel Wahab next door and killed any hope of
an atmosphere.

Aside from the obvious seafood dishes, the
restaurant offers seafood soup, salads and side items like the traditional
Egyptian rice dish sayadeya rice (18LE), green rice (23LE) and seafood pasta
(55LE). The drinks menu is in this reviewer’s opinion significantly overpriced:
22LE for a glass of fresh orange juice is disproportionately high, as are the
soft drinks for 14LE and a bottle of local mineral water for 9LE. A few
cocktails and smoothies are available, including the Arabian Champagne and
Green Summer, but we stuck to lemonade

In addition to the traditional seafood options, the restaurant also
offers a kids’ menu including shell pasta with mixed seafood (35LE), shrimp pop
corn (35LE) and fish fingers (35LE).

We ordered the whole sea bream
(35.52LE) lightly grilled and spiced, two crabs (69.275LE) and six fried large
shrimps (159LE for 860gm). For appetisers, we sampled the tarama dip (35LE), a
traditional Greek dip of creamy fish roe, and the sardines in lemon, which
arrived on one plate but were inexplicably billed as two portions of herring
salad for 40LE. The tarama was appropriately creamy and was lapped up quickly with
their hot white bread (11LE). The sardines were mashed and soaked in olive oil
and lemon, they were as salty as expected but a little messy.

Our order of large fried shrimp was the
highlight of this meal. Six large and hot shrimps were fried in batter and
served with a small serving of tartar sauce, a very delicious appetiser that
we’d come back for. We wouldn’t say the same for the crabs, one of which was
served without its claws – there’s precious meat in that. The crabs’ meat
tasted bland and not as fresh as we’d like it to be, and at 69LE for two pieces, we were
neither full nor impressed.

The sea bream was a delicious main course,
though its small size means you should have one each and not share. Its skin
was grilled to a nice crispy texture, and its flesh was not overcooked, nor was its flavour overpowered by
too much spicing. We prefer our seafood simple, and this dish definitely scored
high with our side dish of sayadeya rice (18LE) and sautéed vegetables (14LE).

Despite this,
we were nowhere close to being full. While the fish at Fish Makan was
deliciously cooked, we hope that the restaurant improves after its soft opening
phase and irons out kinks like its very messy bill, crabs and high prices.

360 Tip

You can pick fish from the ice box yourself. This is a good option if you know how to pick out a fresh fish, but if you’re lazy and less fish-educated, you may find this a hassle, and can instead ask for the waiter’s recommendations for the catch of the day.

Best Bit

Well-grilled seafood, made according to your specifications, with a view of the Nile. Additionally, its location in Zamalek gives it an advantage as the only classy fish restaurant in the neighbourhood.

Worst Bit

High prices: 24LE for a simple lemon juice, 14LE for soft drinks, and we were charged two bottles of water for 40LE even though they were brought to our table without our request.

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