Ta7abish: Quick, Cheap Eats at Modest Agouza Eatery
If you work in an office environment, you’ll understand when we say that one of the most important decisions of any working day is what to eat for lunch. It’s made all the more important towards the end of the month, as we desperately await pay-day – but we’ve found a little gem in Agouza that satisfies when all you find in your wallet is tumbleweed.
Although it enjoys a largely unassuming presence – we first heard of it when we found the menu in the entryway to our offices – Tahabeesh ticks three boxes: it’s cheap, it delivers quickly and it’s filling.
As a takeaway/delivery only eatery, Tahabeesh is one of those places that has something for everyone; everything from Egyptian classics like liver sandwiches and hawawshi, to pastas are available and no item is priced higher than 16LE.
Keen to test out a little bit of everything, we tried an Alexandrian liver sandwich (10LE) and pasta with sausage (14LE) and the menu’s only sweet item, the ‘Chocolence’ (7LE) – more on that later.
A speedy 15 minutes later, the sandwich arrived steaming hot in simple Styrofoam packaging, while the pasta came in a typical takeaway foil plate – but let’s get to the important stuff. The fino bread used for the sandwich was soft and noticeably fresh, while the liver was generous in portion and cooked perfectly, though we were surprised to find the addition of pomegranate molasses – usually used in Lebanese food. We were pleasantly surprised though, as the sour-tinted sweetness of the molasses actually worked well with the traditional Alexandrian seasoning and the slight sweetness of the bell peppers.
Like the sandwich, the pasta was also generous in portion, though it was cooked a little less than al dente, meaning it had a slight stiffness to it. Giving you an option of white and tomato sauces, we went for the latter and it was fine – but just fine. Luckily, the sausage pieces added a zing to what was otherwise a pedestrian dish.
Then there was the Chocolanse– what we assumed would be a chocolaty take on the Sakalans, which brings together cream, jam and halva. All it turned out to be, however, was a small fino bread with chocolate spread – and that’s all. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy it, but we expected something, anything else in the mix.
It was a topsy-turvy meal, but for the occasional touch of brilliance – the pomegranate molasses, for example – there was just as much disappointment, verging on indifference. But then what do you expect for these kind of prices? Try Tahabeesh. It hits the spot without being spectacular.