Kazouza: Maadi’s Street Eats Specialist Cleans Up at Sheikh Zayed’s Al Guezira Plaza
Maadi’s Road 9 is known for having a huge selection of restaurants and cafes that cover all kinds and tastes. But there’s one particular place that’s always crowded – Kazouza. It became so popular, in fact, that two more branches have opened, the latest of which is at the quickly growing Al Guezira Plaza, begging the question we always have when a restaurant expands: can it maintain its quality?
The new venue is divided into two spaces; the indoor area has an old-school-looking service bar, a completely visible kitchen and a checkerboard-patterned floor. Meanwhile, the outdoor, like that of its neighbours, is basic and does its job, though the tables are a little too close to each otherOn the plus side, though it’s almost central to the stage and screen of the plaza.
For those that aren’t familiar with Kazouza, the menu offers a decent selection of Oriental food that covers both street food and traditional homemade dishes. We went with the classics, opting for the Sogok Sandwich (16LE), Kofta Sandwich (18LE), Liver Sandwich (16LE), Hawawshi (35LE) and Oven-Baked Bechamel Pasta (45LE).
Starting with the sausage, it’s mixed with sautéed onions, peppers and a very flavourful spicy tomato sauce. This was definitely our favourite item of the meal, especially considering the clear high-quality of the sausage itself – the fresh bread were fantastic, too.
Unfortunately, the kofta sandwich very dry and lacked the same oomph of flavours as the sausage; there was too little amount of tahini and the tomato doesn’t really seem like the best choice for a topping. Their kebda sandwich made up for it, though, thanks to its delicious, spicy garlic flavours.
Moving to the hawawshi, we loved how it had a pleasant heat to it that didn’t overpower the whole dish and the bread was really crispy and far from greasy. Sadly, however, the filling of minced meat just wasn’t enough, which left us with a lot of empty bread pieces.
This wasn’t a problem for the oven-baked pasta, which had a perfect amount of minced beef. But it wasn’t without its faults; it was slightly over spiced and there was too much béchamel sauce – which is usually a good thing but this one had a chunky consistency that made it a bit heavy – but the portion was huge and is more than enough for two people.
We were super excited to try their Kinder Feteer for dessert, but it wasn’t available at the time of our visit, so we went with the Nutella Feteer (75LE). Their feteer isn’t the puffy and messy looking kind, but it’s actually thinner and has a crispy exterior and a pleasantly chewy texture. The amount of Nutella filling was satisfactory, too. Simple as it may be, it’s one of the best examples of a dessert feteer we’ve had in a while.
In the end, Kazouza has, for now, managed to transport all the things that made it so popular to Maadi; the food is good, the service was fast and it’s a pretty cool place for a shisha hangout spot, which it tends to turn into on most nights. Don’t be surprised if more Kazouza branches pop-up across Cairo in 2018 – the formula is simple, but it works.