Tota: English Diner in Al Rehab
Ahmed El Mezeny
in El Rehab’s old souk, Tota is an English diner with a hefty international
menu that serves everything from pancake breakfasts to Thai food.
a few shops down from Tajine, this two-storey eatery gives off both English and
oriental vibes; furnished with colourful drapes, marble tables, Middle Eastern
paintings and kitsch yet comfy dining room chairs.
menu at Tota is just overwhelming with choices and dishes from almost every
corner of the world. An interesting thing about their menu is how the first
page lists community activities that the venue holds, such as a kid’s craft day
and a barbecue brunch. In addition to the menu, they have a busy bulletin board
overloaded with pinned fliers for local business and services for expats.
an extensive list of starters and salads, we didn’t know where to begin; but
the fried calamari (23LE) seemed like a solid choice. Deep-fried in amazingly
fluffy batter, the calamari tasted similar to the fish and chips that you’d find in
England. Served with a side of tasty salad and a tartar sauce made with gherkin
and dill, this appetiser is not to be missed.
great thing about Tota is that they serve breakfast all day long; so we got to sample
their English breakfast (30LE) even though it was midnight. A huge platter
consisting of two sunny-side-up eggs, sausage, beef bacon and chips ornately
decorated with salad, sliced cucumbers, and grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.
This all comes with a side of amazing garlic mayonnaise and two slices of brown
toast (though it’s unclear why you’d really be eating brown toast if you’re
having this breakfast). The meat may have been the store-bought frozen kind; but
it’s fried in fat, which makes it all that much tastier, plus you’ll end up
smothering everything on your plate in the amazing garlic mayonnaise sauce.
Chicken with green curry (50LE) is a pricy house special. Served with a ball of
white rice, this spicy dish of sliced chicken with onion and green paper was
nothing too special. The green curry did taste authentic, though; which is more
than we can say about most non-Thai restaurants serving Thai cuisine.
Tota has a glass display case with an assortment of desserts that looked rather
stale, but maybe that’s because our visit was really late at night when the
baked goods were past their prime; so we opted for pancakes with lemon and
sugar (15LE) instead. Not quite as fluffy as American pancakes and not as thin
as crêpes, these pancakes were covered in a mountain of icing sugar and served
with sliced lemons to add to your liking.
is the perfect option for people who like to have their breakfast in the
afternoon, and with such tasty breakfast options, we don’t mind the trek all
the way to El Rehab.