The Smokery: Scenic Sohour in Katameya Heights
Katameya Heights, New 9 Club House
Tanya El Kashef
Self-proclaimed ‘seafood bar’, the Smokery, is best known for specialising in salmon and its lush, green surroundings, so when Ramadan came around, and we heard that the Katameya Heights restaurant would be serving sohour, we made it over there in no time.
In terms of Ramadan decor, so to speak, not much is different apart from a few hanging fawanees (lanterns) and kheyameya tablecloths. With a spacious outdoor seating area, the breeze of the evening air was so fresh that the weather threatened to turn a bit chilly.
The restaurant poses a 150LE minimum charge per person, and this proved to be more than enough to spend on food and drink for sohour. We started with a hommos el sham and a shisha before digging into the menu of food.
Hommos el sham is a hot, spicy drink filled with whole chickpeas that sit at the bottom of the glass. While the drink was generously full of chickpeas and sufficiently warm, we found it to be a bit too salty. The peach flavoured shisha hit the mark in terms of flavour, but it definitely wasn’t the smoothest one we’ve tried.
On the other hand, the actual food proved to be nothing short of delicious. The foul with egg (25LE) was rich and full of flavour, bursting with a buttery backdrop, while the cheese sambousak (30LE) arrived warm and, although the pasty was thick, the little parcels maintained a slightly crunchy coating. The Oriental sausages (35LE) were full of flavour too, without being heavy, while the taameya (25LE) stole the show – fluffy with a lovely crisp.
Typical mezza items such as baba ghanough, tehina and hommos (25LE each) are also worth mentioning; each provided the right amount of zing and balance of flavour pertaining to them. On top of this extremely delectable meal, warm baladi bread was provided – always a very big plus.
The Smokery also offers a range of desserts including Om Aly (35LE), fruit salad (30LE) and Oriental pastries (30LE); there is also a lo’met el ady stand at the entrance of the restaurant where a tray goes for 15LE.
The only downside to our visit was the very slow service. Though the pace picked up as the food began arriving, the first round of drinks and shisha took more than 20 minutes to reach our table – the restaurant wasn’t even that full.
Regardless of this, our overall experience at the Smokery was an enjoyable one; so much so that we might even dare to say that they should consider serving this type of food all year long if it’s going to be this damn tasty!