Manoushe Street: Popular Lebanese Chain Impresses at Heliopolis Branch
It’s become a Cairo 360 cliché, but it’s true; competition amongst Lebanese restaurants in Cairo is tough and new Levantine eateries are opening at a rapid rate.
After finding success with its first branch on the North Coast last summer, Man’oushe Street arrived in Cairo with an already established reputation in tow.
We visited the Heliopolis branch which was quite small and with no seating options, reinforcing the idea of it as on-the-go street food that keeps things simple.
To call the manakeesh a type of pizza would be inaccurate in many ways, but for those unfamiliar with the Lebanese speciality, it’s the closest comparison. Traditionally, it is topped with thyme, cheese or ground meat, but Man’oushe Street gets creative while maintaining a relative degree of authenticity.
The menu surprisingly boasts a wide variety of manakeesh, bureks, wraps and pizzas, all of which are made with Man’oushe Street’s ‘special dough’. For a little extra, you can even have your food made with brown dough (4LE) or multi-grain dough (6LE).
After inspecting the menu thoroughly we opted for the Lahmeh Bi Ajine with Cheese in a multi-grain dough (28LE), the Turkey and Cheese Wrap (39LE), a couple of Cheese Minikeesh (5LE), and the Chicken Medley Burek (33LE) with extra cheese (9LE)
Our orders were delivered to our car by the friendly waiter after a mere twenty minute wait. The burek came as a sealed pastry made of thin flaky dough with a pleasing crunch topped with sesame seeds and a generous filing of chicken, fresh mushrooms, garlic sauce and pickles, with the rather simple ingredients coming together to create a delicious amalgamation of flavours.
The Lahmeh bi Ajine Manoucheh was wrapped in slightly dry multi-grain dough, filled with delicious minced meat in a flavoursome tomato-based sauce topped with cheese. Meanwhile, the Turkey Cheese Wrap stood out thanks to the incredibly soft fresh saj bread. Once again, the very simple combination – smoked turkey, mozzarella cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise – came together for an excellent, filling snack.
Many Lebanese restaurants in Cairo try, in vain, to find a balance between fine and casual dining, though few fully commit to either. Think of Man’oushe Street, then, as an elevated form of fast-food. Some of the items on the menu are a tad overpriced compared to the portions served, but it isn’t difficult to put together a filling mean for yourself from the menu.