Sikh Mashwi: Oriental Classics Along the Agouza Corniche
Agouza isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when dining out, but the Corniche is home to several Nile-side restaurants and cafes, the latest of which has come in the form of Oriental eatery, Sikh Mashwi.
Located in between neighbouring restaurants, Sea Gull and Latino Café, a stretch stairs leads you down to the dining area, which, despite its white furniture giving it a chic aesthetic, is pretty indistinctive, though the street-lamp inspired lighting fixture overlooking each table is a nice touch and the spacious indoor and outdoor areas afford diners a pleasant view of the Nile.
The menu offers classic Middle Eastern dishes, ranging from tajines to grilled platters, as well as roasted dishes including duck and turkey. Going for a starter of hummus salad (13.95LE) and oven-baked pasta (44.95LE), alongside two servings of grilled stuffed chicken served with short-grained white rice and mashed potatoes(64.95LE) as our mains, our food was served a mere twenty minutes later.
Served with fresh-out-of-the-oven Egyptian flatbread and baked pita bread cut into triangles, the hummus was thick enough to be used as a spread and it tasted delicious – a perfect balance of tehina and chickpeas.
Following a classic Egyptian recipe, the oven-baked pasta was comprised of two layers of pasta infused with ground meat and topped with a thin layer of creamy béchamel sauce. Unfortunately, it was a little bland in flavour thanks to a noticeable lack of seasoning and was, overall, a little dry.
The chicken dish, however, fared much better. Comprised of five medium sized juicy and moist chicken breasts stuffed with a thick layer of well-spiced minced meat, the grilled chicken had a refreshing citrus flavour that played off the meats nicely. The accompanying rice was rich in flavour a la home-cooked rice, but the mashed potato serving was undercooked and under-seasoned.
The dessert section offers more Middle Eastern classic, including Om Ali, kunafa and couscous, but served with a number of different sauces – dark, milk or white chocolate, as well as honey or caster sugar – it was the zalabya (36LE) that intrigued us most.
Never ones to say no to chocolate-covered anything, we took our serving with dark and white chocolate and the zalabya was warm, golden, crispy and hot from the oven. We sealed the deal with a kiwi-mango and mint-gum shishas (32.50LE each) which were expertly prepared and tended to – a nice ending to a chilly night by the Nile.
Sikh Mashwi isn’t the most memorable of restaurants, but as far as affordability and the Nile-side location, it hits the right notes.
(Photo courtesy of Ehab Hegazy)