Marine Fish: Fresh Seafood Dishes in 6th of October City
Ahmed El Dahan
As a relatively young area of Cairo, 6th of October City boasts an impressive roster of venues and attractions to satisfy its growing ring of residents and visitors. Passing through the largely residential Mina Garden City Compound in the Motamayez district, we caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a fish restaurant; Marine Fish.
Other than a basic sign indicating its existence, the restaurant is highly indistinctive from the outside. However, upon stepping through the threshold, our appetites were immediately teased by the magnificent, icy, fresh fish display emanating a scent of the sea.
The menu is varied but not unusual for seafood in Cairo; dishes include rice with prawns (11LE/18LE), spaghetti with a seafood mix (25LE), and salads (2LE) – baba ganough and tehina. We also noticed an abundance of shrimp dishes; shrimp cocktail (35LE), fried shrimp (30LE) with salsa (36LE), and a more unusual shrimp molokheya (12LE).
All of the fish come with a choice of traditional cooking methods such as grilled, stuffed and with lemon and olive oil. The price of the fish varies from day to day, depending on the price per kg.
We went ahead and ordered ourselves three stuffed mullets (30LE/kg), a plate of calamari stew (90LE/kg) and 250grams of grilled shrimp (120LE/kg) on the side, which was plenty to satisfy two stomachs. We headed upstairs to the open air seating area and were told that the order would be ready shortly, and that we should pick it up ourselves. Looking past the Styrofoam and aluminium plates, all the fish looked fresh and smelt delicious.
As we had anticipated, the calamari stew was beautifully fresh and was complemented brilliantly by its mixture of spicy vegetables and salsa. Furthermore, the dish was only moderately oily which is rarely found when one orders soups and stews in Cairo. The grilled shrimp, meanwhile, were served with a flavourful combination of vegetables, spices and a dash of mint. Although both tasted great and were finely seasoned, they were a little over cooked, and slightly chewy. On the other hand, our stuffed mullet was perfect; the aromatic vegetable stuffing was generous in serving and the white meat peeled away effortlessly from the fish’s spine.
Despite its inelegance and no-frills approach, if you’re ever in 6th of October City and are willing to get your hands messy, give Marine Fish a shot for some delectable, fresh seafood.