The Medley: Diverse Fetar Choices at Club 33 in Zamalek
There’s nothing like Nile-side dining to recuperate after a hard day’s fasting. Known for its giant-sized salad bar, the Medley at Zamalek’s Club 33 offers a variety of set Ramadan menus, as well as a fabulous river view to boot. Despite lacking festive decorations, the run up to the prayer call was aired on the flat screen TVs around the restaurant.
We were seated promptly, arriving early so as to pre-order our food. We were offered a selection of Ramadan drinks, including all the usual suspects, which are included in the menu price.
Usually deliciously fruitful, we opted for one amar el din and a karkade, but were sorely disappointed. The amar el din was far from the fresh, thick concoction we were expecting, and instead it was overly-sweetened and watery, tasting largely of flavoured syrup. Although more agreeable than the former, the karkade didn’t taste authentic either.
Made up of seven different menus with an assortment of dishes, prices range from 90LE to 169LE per person and include a choice of lentil, broccoli or mushroom soups. We picked three different menus; the first came with soup, green salad, pasta bolognaise, beef steak, dessert and free shisha (150LE), while the second was a selection of soup, an appetiser platter, beef tenderloin, dessert, shisha and water (157LE) and the third boasted soup, another appetiser platter, exotic salad from the salad bar, salmon steak, dessert and shisha (169LE).
Unfortunately, the coordination with the kitchen seemed to be non-existent and our food was brought out in stages, a while after the prayer sounded.
We tried one of each soup, and would happily recommend any of the three; the lentil soup was thick and creamy, whilst the broccoli and mushroom soups were more watery but sported generous pieces of their relevant vegetables. The appetiser platters were disappointing, with bland pieces of cheesy garlic bread, uninteresting, flimsy mini pizzas and two, small, processed, battered hot dogs.
Our bolognaise was served in a generous, meaty portion, rich with tomato sauce atop a pile of well cooked penne. The two beef steaks were slabs of good quality meat, cooked perfectly to our preference, served alongside subtle mushroom sauce, creamy mashed potato and crunchy vegetables. The salmon steak was also delicious, thick and moist, served with a small pile of delectable wilted spinach and some undercooked but charred chunky chips.
The ready-made green salad side was small and fresh, but was nothing compared to the exotic salad we put together from the salad bar; brimming with fresh ingredients, there’s an almost endless choice of vegetables, deli meats and oil and mayonnaise based dressings. Base ingredients such as lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes were ripe and fresh whilst the potato salad was crunchy, with the deli meats and egg slices making delightful additions. We’d also recommend the pink, sweet Marie Rose dressing to top off your selection.
The dessert platters were filled with oriental sweets and cakes including a delicious slice of basbousa and sugary pastry parcels. Our free, grape flavoured shisha was a welcome addition to the meal and was both smooth and prepared quickly.
With the delay in the food, our fetar got off to a bad start, but once we’d passed the disappointing appetisers, the mains somewhat made up for the initial lack of culinary precision. The cost of eating fetar out is never low, however, the Medley ensures that its large servings justify their prices.