Radwan: Staple Egyptian Dishes in Dokki
El Doqqi Sq.
The faded exterior, dilapidated décor, and traditional shawerma
spits rigged up outside Radwan nearly made us write off this well-frequented Dokki
haunt as just another fast-food joint. Whilst undeniably a back-to-basics
experience, Radwan’s reliable staple dishes and friendly atmosphere make it a
great place for a relaxed meal on a budget.
The restaurant’s bustling interior makes the ordering
experience slightly confusing. If you know what you want, head straight for the
till at the back of the room. Otherwise, feel free to browse the dishes on
display at the counter; the staff will happily tell you what’s what, while menus
are stacked by the till. If you’re sitting in, there is a seating area upstairs
with table service, which you can use even if you’ve paid for your food
This may in fact be the better option, as the service
upstairs tends to be a little slow. Two waiters serve multiple tables heaving
with large families, so delays are understandable, but annoying if you’re in a
However, this also means the service is unobtrusive,
allowing you to kick back and take your time over Radwan’s reasonably-priced
food. Having gone in a big group, we ordered a wide range of dishes, but thanks
to the generous portion sizes one dish would definitely be enough to satisfy
The standout dish was the moussaka (7LE), which was met with
universal approval. Despite a slight overabundance of oil and salt – the dish was nicely spiced and
sweetened by the addition of red and yellow peppers.
The kofta (11LE), whilst thoroughly edible, was slightly
disappointing. The meat was quite bland, which was unsuccessfully compensated
for by an overabundance of salt in the sauce. The beef dish (19LE) was somewhat
more tender and well-flavoured, although the sauce was, once again, a little
The biggest disappointment of the meal was the mahshi (9LE).
It had been cooked some time ago, so the vegetables were cold and wrinkled. The
rice was flavoured with an excess of herbs, which brought out the bitterness
of the vegetables, rather than complement them.
We ordered two rice dishes to go with the sauce-based ones.
Don’t rely on Radwan’s bread for your carbs – it’s hard and a little stale. The
rice however, was excellent. The white rice (4LE), whilst slightly
cloying in texture, tasted lovely. The standout, however, was the basmati rice (9LE);
fragrant, flavoursome, and perfectly cooked, it accompanied the sauce-based
Drink options are the standard back-to-basics Cairene fare;
slightly pricey bottled water (3.50LE), and cans of soft drink. The tea (3LE) is
a little too strong, but once you’ve piled in the sugar, a drink and a chat is
a lovely way to end a relaxed meal.
Radwan is not one of the fanciest dining experiences in
Cairo, but it is clean, satisfying, and reasonably-priced. It does what it does
well and thoroughly deserves its status as a Dokki staple.