The Clubhouse, Uptown Cairo: Sohour with a View in Mokattam
By the time sohour time comes around during Ramadan in Cairo, most of us are in dire need of a wholesome meal to keep us satisfied for the next, long day full of fasting hours. In an attempt to escape the bustling city sohours, we ventured to the the Clubhouse’s restaurant ‘Nineteen’ in Mokattam.
The drive up to the Clubhouse is a long and winding one, through the building site of a compound which is far from completed. The venue is grand and impressive, whilst the outdoor restaurant is shrouded in privacy with panoramic views of their beautiful golf course, complete with a picturesque lake. The terrace is decorated with pretty Ramadan lanterns and charming khaymeya print tablecloths. With a 120LE minimum spend, Sohour at Nineteen is likely to fairly lavish.
The staff at the Clubhouse are polite, friendly and attentive, and as we were the only diners, the manager gave us his personal, undivided attention. A live, Lebanese band set the mood with some upbeat background music.
The grape shisha (30LE) we tried was very good; smooth with a flavourful after taste. To begin our meal, we ordered a traditional glass of chilled, sweet karkade (25LE) as well as a fresh, perfectly bitter-sweet lemon juice (30LE) and a large bottle of mineral water (21LE), straight from the fridge.
The food menu is full of hot and cold mezzas, protein-filled egg dishes, sandwiches and grills, alongside a selection of Egyptian desserts. We ordered an assortment of items; fattoush (30LE), hommos (15LE), cheese sambousak (15LE), foul (12LE), falafel (12LE), omelettes (15LE) and shish tawook (60LE).
First, baskets of warm, fresh bread rolls were delivered to the table alongside small packets of butter. The portions were on the generous side of small, but there was more than enough food to go around. The cheese sambousak were delicious, deep golden parcels filled with creamy cheese, whilst the hommos was well-seasoned, flavourful and creamy. The falafels were also appeasing; the patties were smooth, cooked perfectly and, most importantly, full of flavour. Unfortunately, the foul was bland and tasteless and the fattoush was served without dressing.
On the plus side, our shish tawook was made up of large, juicy chunks of chicken cooked brilliantly with sweet red peppers and pieces of crunchy onion. The white rice and giant chunky chips were also tasty additions. Our omelettes almost stole the show and were incredibly delectable, light and airy.
Without realising, we stayed beyond the kitchen closing time (1.30AM) so didn’t get to sample one of their Egyptian desserts. Instead, we ordered a scrumptious, velvety vanilla crème brulee (30LE) which we’d recommend as a wonderful alternative.
On the whole, the Clubhouse provides a value for money and a delicious sohour menu in an isolated, tranquil setting complete with welcoming service and wonderful views.