Flame and Grill: More Shawerma in Zamalek
As one of the most popular foods in Cairo, shawerma is a traditional meal that never fails to attract hungry Cairenes. With such a hype surrounding meat and bread creations, it’s no surprise that more and more shawerma eateries are opening up.
Flame and Grill has opened up on Zamalek’s famous Brazil Street, replacing Nola Cupcakes. The venue is simple and slightly shabby, with a seating area comprised of high tables and stools with back rests; as is the case with many shawerma venues in the city, seating places are limited, and the venue relies on patrons ordering their sandwiches to go.
The chalk board menus hang behind the counter and are varied enough to be interesting. Appetisers include fries (7LE), Kobeba (16LE) and Kiri cheese sambousak (12LE). Sandwiches available include flamed kofta (25LE-30LE), shish tawook (18LE-26LE), chicken tikka (19LE-27LE) along with the essential meat (10LE-20LE) and chicken shawermas (9LE-19LE). Many of these sandwiches are also available as dishes, served with rice and vegetables, including a mixed grill platter (64LE). Salads and dips are also present such as chicken Caesar (30LE), baladi (10LE), tabboula (16LE), tehina (4LE), tomeya (6LE) and baba ghanough (5LE) amongst others.
We ordered one medium meat shawerma (16LE), a medium grilled chicken fillet sandwich (20LE), a chicken tikka dish (47LE), one balady salad, tomeya and fries. We also requested the dessert of the day but it was unavailable.
Quick to arrive, our food was served on plates without a tray, peculiar for a fast food restaurant. The meat shawerma was well prepared; not over cooked or dry, although it was over-seasoned with herbs. Our tasty, grilled chicken fillet sandwich was served with a strange, pink coloured dressing which we came to learn was thousand island sauce. The chicken tikka dish boasted a generous, well marinated serving of chicken alongside well cooked rice and vegetables, although we stumbled upon the occasional piece of gristle whilst enjoying it.
The baba ghanough was nicely vinegary and strongly flavoured, just like the tomeya. Despite being served at small portions for their price, they both tasted fabulous. The balady salad on the other hand, while made with fresh cut cucumbers and tomatoes, had an unpleasant after taste which we figured came from the dressing. We were impressed with the French fries since they were golden and crunchy, without being excessively salted.
Whilst its attractive exterior and rotisserie caught our eye, we found the food at Flame and Grill to be average at best. Other than its esteemed location, the restaurant seemingly has nothing new to add to an already saturated market.