Lessa Faker: Elegant Egyptian Restaurant in Zamalek
Blue Nile Boat, 9a Saray El Gezirah St.
Noon - 2am
reviewed byreview it
Found on the top deck of the glamorous Blue Nile Boat in Zamalek, Lessa Faker, which translates to ‘still remember’, attracts diners with its vintage feel. Surrounded by views of the Nile, Lessa Faker presents an air of romance with deep velvet and dark leather chairs, leopard skin tapestries and low lighting. The walls are adorned with photographs of Egyptian actresses whilst the patterned carpet, white tablecloths and dark green and gold plates add to the classical, yet comfortable, atmosphere.
A smart waiter, dressed in a charming waistcoat with beaded detailing, brought over the red leather menus, made to impersonate thick vintage books. Along with traditional mezzas, the restaurant boasts an interesting mix of meats and main dishes including grilled and stuffed pigeon (80LE/85LE), molokheya with roasted rabbit (63LE) and orzo casserole (56LE).
They offer a small but ample selection of hot and cold drinks including fresh juices (27LE), hot, fresh ginger (20LE) and cinnamon (13LE). We went for a fresh lemon juice (25LE) which turned out to be a bit heavy, tasting strongly of bitter lemon which we requested to be watered down.
Not feeling too adventurous food-wise, we stuck to what we knew. For starters, we ordered a selection of nibbles; hummus (19LE), balady sausages (39LE) and a mixture of meat and cheese sambousak (40LE). To follow, we decided on one fattoush salad (26LE) and the waiter recommended shish tawouk (55LE) – even though this doesn’t appear on the menu – with a side of rice (20LE).
A basket of the best tasting, warm, fluffy, fresh, white and brown balady bread was brought to our table, which went exceedingly well with the smooth, deliciously creamy hummus. The sambousak were fried to a golden brown; both the meat and cheese were rich in flavour, although the cheese and herb mixture was a little oily.
Unfortunately not all the starters were brought out at the same time; the sausages arrived at around the same time as our mains but were most certainly worth the wait. The small sausages were marinated in a full-bodied tomato, onion, green and red pepper sauce.
Despite being overloaded with herbs, the fattoush was pleasant; fresh and crunchy with a powerful, delectable vinaigrette. The shish tawouk was a little on the dry side, but had an agreeable, herby aftertaste. To top it all off, the rice was yummy and not in the slightest bit stodgy.
Throughout the meal, the waiters attentively hovered nearby, re-filling our water glasses before we had time to reach for the bottle (17LE).
Lessa Faker sits well amongst the other esteemed restaurants on the Blue Nile Boat and although the food might not be impeccable, it provides a romantic, intimate setting with fabulous Nile views and an excellent dining experience that you’re not likely to forget.