Kayan Kitchen: A Much, Much Better Alternative to Fast-Food in Cairo
12 El Nile El Abyad St . (off Lebanon Square)
Last year we got the chance to witness one of the best street food concepts introduced to Cairo via an exquisite little green kiosk in front of Shooting Club. Sadly, Kayan Kitchen didn’t last long and closed for unknown reasons; but thankfully they’re back with a new branch that has an actual dine-in area.
Located at El Nile El Abyad Street off Lebanon Square in Mohandiseen, Kayan is a small venue with only one big high table and eight high chairs placed next to the exposed kitchen to keep you busy while waiting for your food. There’s also brick wall with lamps forming the word “HUSSAINI” which is a new Egyptian cuisine concept by the same people. However, the rest of the restaurant seems incomplete with plain grey walls, the randomly placed cashier and the visible manager’s office that seems to have no privacy whatsoever.
Now let’s talk about the food; Kayan is known for making gourmet sandwiches, that’s why we opted for the Mushroom and Swiss Roast Beef (45LE), Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs sandwich (38LE), Kayan Breaded Chicken (38LE), and Mushroom Burger (38LE).
Starting with the Mushroom and Swiss Roast Beef, it came in a form of a soft and light croissant-sandwich filled with thin slices of super-tender roast beef topped with a generous amount of mushroom ragout, their signature sweet and tangy onion chutney, olives, melted cheese, and honey mustard sauce. With so many bad experiences with roast beef, we were really surprised and impressed by the tenderness of their roast beef, though the honey mustard sauce was unnecessary.
With the Kayan Breaded Chicken sandwich, which was also served in ciabatta bread, the fried chicken breasts were topped with melted buffalo mozzarella, black olives, onion chutney and tomato cubes mixed with pesto sauce. Despite part of the chicken crust being slightly burnt, the toppings of the sandwich formed similar flavours to a caprese salad and complimented the chicken perfectly.
As for the Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs sandwich, consists of mini cubes of beef ribs coated with sweet and smoky BBQ sauce and topped with onion chutney – again – and colourful mayonnaise-free coleslaw. Served in ciabatta bread which had a fantastic crisp then chewy crust and spongy and fluffy interior, the sandwich was simple and full of flavours, but the beef had a tough texture due to the small cuts and it’s not the best for sandwiches.
Saving best for last, we finished our sandwich marathon with the Mushroom Burger. The perfectly seasoned and juicy patty was topped with mushroom ragout, caramelised onions, cheddar cheese, and yes, you guessed it, onion chutney. The burger was bursting with sweet, tangy and earthy flavours and though the patty-to-bun ratio might seem way off in the photo, the bun was just actually super puffy and light.
In the need, our experience with Kayan’s sandwiches was near flawless. Despite what may seem an odd choice of location – gourmet sandwiches is a concept better suited to Zamalek or Maadi rather than one of the lesser inviting roads in Mohandiseen – the food was out of this world, everything is well-thought-out, the ingredients are fresh and you’ll fall in love with their outstanding bread.
Yetyet El Hamamy
Yetyet El Hamamy
I am in love with the food
Yetyet El Hamamy
Very very good