Mossab: Big Portions, Low Prices, So-So Results at Maadi Restaurant
One of the most successful types of restaurants in Cairo is the one that caters to people who just want a decent, affordable meal. That may seem like a strange statement, but there comes a point when the gimmicks that the eateries across the city seem to be adopting more and more become tiresome – just give us a simple meal.
Having made its way over from Nasr City and Heliopolis just a couple of years ago, Mossab has established itself on the fiercely competitive El Nasr Street in Maadi. Using the same flashy red and orange décor, the Maadi branch is relatively spacious and clean, but looks no different to any other fast food diner.
The orange-wearing staff greet you at the door as you walk in and there are seating areas with red and white chairs should you like to dine in.
With a menu that focuses on sandwiches and meals involving, essentially, the same meats from the sandwiches, there’s little room for error when it comes to choosing. We opted for a Steak Super Meal (37LE) with mushroom sauce and a Kofta sandwich (12LE) and an Alexandrian Liver combo (24LE).
Serving time is generally swift at Mossab, but the presentation isn’t the greatest – in fact there is little ‘presentation’ to speak of.
Though its name is rather enticing, and maybe even a little exciting, the Steak Super Meal unfortunately came as pieces of overcooked fillet on a bed of yellow basmati rice topped with mushroom sauce and bell peppers, with sides of French fries, bread, coleslaw and Middle Eastern garlic-yoghurt sauce, tomeya.
While the meat certainly isn’t the best, and the basmati rice is a little drier than desirable, the sheer amount of food you get for 37LE is remarkable.
The Alexandrian Liver fared a little better than the steak, but not by much; again, it was a little overcooked. The real disappointment, however, was the Kofta sandwich.
The Kofta itself didn’t taste freshly-made and its texture suggested that it was frozen, prior to cooking. In fact, that was one of the common themes running through all the meals we tried; the meats were tough – especially around the exterior.
Mossab isn’t the kind of restaurant to expect a quality gourmet meal from, but you can certainly expect to feel full and satisfied without breaking the bank, because as with so many similar venues across Cairo, portions and value-for-money generally trumps creativity or innovation – which isn’t always a bad thing.