Tasha: Authentic Egyptian Food in Americana Plaza Mall
When a restaurant chooses to specialise in Egyptian dishes like Molokhiya, Fattah and Mahshi, it’s essentially putting itself under the microscope. These aren’t just Egyptian dishes through and through; they’re milestones for the Egyptian home-cooking.
Recently opening its doors in Sheikh Zayed’s Americana Plaza, Tasha is the only restaurant in the vicinity that serves Egyptian cuisine and, at the time of our visit, had quite a few patrons, giving it a subtle bustle.
Located on the top floor, the outdoor area has a great view of the rest of the plaza, while the indoor area takes a simple approach to its Oriental decor; it has the odd quirky touch, but is pleasently simple and unassuming, with some of the wait-staff decked-out in galabeyas ad fez hats.
A very pleasant waiter presented us with the two menus, and gave us ample room to decide. We opted for Kofta (70LE) with a side of Rice with spices, Chicken with Grits (85LE) with a side of Sautéed Vegetables (15LE), Fattah w/ Meat (65LE), Tagin Roz Muamar /w Meat (65LE) Fattah Moza (85LE). We also opted for a Garlic Dip (15LE) and Baladi Salad (15LE).
Served first was a fresh hot bread basket with the salads. Everything was delicious and fresh, and kept us eager for the main courses.
The Chicken with Grits was spectacular. The chicken was tender and seasoned perfectly. The grits were sandwiched into the chicken and, although things got a little messy, they retained some of the chicken’s flavour. The only minor note was that the side of sautéed vegetables was rather meagre in comparison to the rest of the dish.
The Kofta, however, was the star of the meal for its sheer simplicity. Grilled perfectly and oozing with a great aroma, it was done by the book and the rice with spices complimented it perfectly.
The Fattah dishes didn’t fare as well, though they were both pretty good nonetheless. Initially, the smell of the garlic and the presentation promised much, though the fried bread in the rice was a little scarce and the meat was a little too chewy at times. The same goes for the Roz Muamar; while the rice was fluffy and surprisingly light – despite it being a traditionally heavy dish – the meat was, this time, slightly undercooked.
For dessert, one thing stood out against all; Om Ali (30LE). The popular dish can be found across most Oriental restaurants, but quite often isn’t executed well. Unfortunately, Tasha’s version fell under that category. While it had an appropriate amount of sugar and nuts, the amount of milk was a tad overboard leaving everything extra soggy.
It’s nearly impossible to live up to anyone’s expectations of home-cooked Egyptian food, but Tasha made a good job of it; while the meal was anything but perfect, the elements that the restaurant did execute well, were done so fantastically.