Kenoz: Classic Egyptian Cuisine in Citystars
CityStars, Phase 1, Khan El Khalili Treasures
noon - midnight -
The mammoth that is Citystars in Heliopolis
has increasingly become the best place for anything and everything. It has its
haters, but if you want to shop, chill out or eat, the giant shopping mall
always has options. One of the more peculiar features of the
mall is its Khan El Khalili-themed area on the fourth floor. Lined with shops filled
with Pharaonic and Islamic souvenirs of questionable quality, the area is
anchored by the large entrance of Kenoz.
Seating is divided into the restaurant and
café areas that, unlike dining spots in the actual Khan El Khalili market, are
spacious, clean and comfortable. The decor is pretty demure and inconspicuous
except for the sandy beige walls carrying paintings of noble Arab steeds in
We started our meal with a selection of hot
and cold appetisers; tehina (8.75LE), chicken wings (15.50LE) and an aubergine
and yoghurt dish (17.50LE). The taste of the tehina leant a little close to
hummus but was delicious nonetheless, as was the aubergine. The popular
Egyptian vegetable was pickled as per tradition, and the peeled segments are
topped with yoghurt. The bluntness of the yoghurt either balances out the
sharpness of the aubergine or mutes it, depending on your fondness for Egyptian
pickling practices. Although the chicken wings were served lukewarm, their
lemon, pepper and garlic dressing made up for it.
For our main
course, we went for the mousa’aa (36LE) and the veal kebab (52.50LE). The mousa’aa
was served hot in an ovular tagine bowl, and although it was packed full of
minced meat and aubergine, a bit too much tomato meant those ingredients were lost
in terms of taste.
large chunks of veal kabab came seasoned perfectly but were slightly
overcooked. The fries that came with the order were surprisingly adequate, and
overall, the dish was more than enough for the hungriest of diners.
Helping the digestion
process were orders of freshly made strawberry (13.50LE) and orange (12.50LE)
juices. The orange was mouth-wateringly sour – just how this reviewer likes it – while the strawberry tasted more like raspberry but was pleasant enough.
Trying to recreate
Khan El Khalili in a Heliopolis shopping mall is no mean feat, but Kenoz takes
the best of that experience and adds a dash of good traditional Egyptian food.
It’s difficult to be wowed by such domestic run-of-the-mill dishes; but Kenoz
does all the simple things well.