Le Capitol, Bab El Kahera: All-Inclusive Zamalek Sohour Buffet with Incredible Views
3, Saray El Gezira St. Beside Cairo Opera House
There’s nothing quite like a birds-eye view of the city, observing the hustle and bustle from afar whilst escaping both the noise and pollution. This Ramadan, Le Capitol returns to the rooftop of Zamalek’s Novotel hotel, serving up a breathtaking 360 view for as far as the eye can see. Appearing for sohour, we paid the all-inclusive 200LE entrance fee and were courteously shown to our table.
Ditching last year’s cool blue hues, the venue has gone for a more festive, albeit gharish, red theme, which is reflected in an array of decorative flags and lanterns. The sohour is an open buffet and we were offered an array of traditional drinks, fresh juices and all the soda options. The soft drinks are served chilled along with a glass of ice, and whilst their amar el din could have done with a tad more sugar; it was thick, fresh and delectable none the less.
The buffet itself was small but adequate, with a salad bar brimming with the likes of taboula, fattoush, hommos, cheese and tomato, tehina and fluffy baladi bread. Both the taboula and fattoush were marinated in a strong vinaigrette, whilst all three dips were creamy and appeasing; the unusual addition of dill to the cheese and tomato dip gave a particularly fresh flavour.
Although not the largest we’ve seen, the selection of mains carried just about everything you would need, from well-seasoned foul and wonderfully milky scrambled eggs, to meat dishes and grills. The sambousak was crispy, some filled with mince meat and others filled with bitter-sweet white cheese, while the taameya and kobeiba were crispy on the outside but soft on the inside – as they should be. The cuts of meat included large, succulent chunks of shish tawouk, some strong-tasting kofta, and sogok sausages complete with a spicy kick. Although largely inoffensive, none of the dishes particularly stood out.
The dessert table was also nicely varied, offering something for everyone, including a large platter of Oriental sweets, a syrup-filled, velvety basbousa, fresh fruit salad and a sweet and tasty Om Ali, which was unfortunately lacking the usual crunch of nuts and raisins.
We usually air on the side of caution when hotels claim something is ‘all inclusive’, however, the Novotel are true to their word; even their deliciously smooth shisha comes as part of the 200LE price. We can highly recommend both the exotic coconut and the fruity grape shishas.
As always, the service at Le Capitol was impeccable and this, combined with simple dishes and exquisite views, makes this rooftop venue an excellent choice for an evening’s Sohour, albeit a fairly expensive one.