Sasho Bistro: Rustic Diner in Zamalek
Drawn to the serenity of Zamalek Island, picturesque restaurants and cafes constantly spring up in an attempt to provide tranquil settings to local diners. Situated on a quiet side road, El Adel Abo Bakr Street, Sasho Bistro is a charming eatery offering small but varied menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The cafe-style bistro is small and welcoming, with neutral colours, large windows and little pots of greenery on each cafe-style table. The brickwork, retro paintings and soothing jazz music in the background creates a cosy, sophisticated and slightly rustic atmosphere. Despite splendid first impressions, we couldn’t help but notice the occasional spot of crumbling paint.
The menus are small and uncomplicated with light salads (22.50LE), wraps (25.50LE-35.50LE), pastas (26.50LE-42.50LE) and main dishes (52.50LE-79.50LE), as well as a separate range of breakfast offerings.
Heading in for brunch, we were met with a choice of – largely cooked – international and Egyptian breakfast options. From the range of egg, foul and cheese dishes we opted for one omelette wrap (32LE) and foul (20LE) with a Spanish topping (4.50LE). From the limited sweet section we also ordered a muesli cereal cup (24.50LE) with yoghurt, fruits and honey. From the selection of hot and cold drinks, the fresh orange juice (16.90LE) was indeed fresh, and was neither too bitter nor too sweet.
The service was friendly and as we were the only customers, the food arrived in next to no time. The foul was generously portioned and its taste was thoroughly enhanced by the Spanish blend of sweet peppers, rich tomatoes and onions. It was also served alongside soft, warm pitta bread and salt, pepper and olive oil so we were able to season it to taste. The omelette wrap was even more delicious; the white flat bread was perfectly grilled on the outside, with a flavourful filling of smoked turkey, creamy scrambled egg and a generous amount of melted cheese.
Unfortunately our muesli cereal cup was not quite the healthy delight we’d envisaged. Presented nicely in a small cup with a sole topping of chopped, less-than-fresh green apple, the yoghurt was lacking a decent amount of honey whilst the muesli was unmixed and dry. To exacerbate matters further, a couple of bites in we found a live, crawling ant. We investigated a little deeper, and by the third ant we hurriedly called the waiter over to share our findings. Although deeply apologetic and quickly swiping it from our bill, we couldn’t help feeling a little itchy and downtrodden about our whole experience.
If it wasn’t for the creepy crawlies exploring our yoghurt and muesli, we would be singing Sasho Bistro’s praises. Ants aside, this little cafe does provide a peaceful spot for a relaxing and tasty cooked breakfast.