Capital Business Park, 26th of July Corridor
10:00 - 01:00
Located inside Capital Business Park, Zooba is the very first container box restaurant to open on the promenade. You might think Zooba wouldn’t be noticed – considering that it is a container – but they added two colourful pigeon houses on top, which make it very eye-catching.
The seating was really uncomfortable due to the following issues: they’re using wooden boxes with no back support, the shades above were so useless that we felt like we were getting tortured by the sun, and a stainless steel table just made things worse as we couldn’t even put our hands on it due to how hot it was! If this was the experience in mid-November, we don’t want to imagine what it would be like in summer.
Their menu has got a few new items which we included in our order. We opted for the new Spicy Falafel Sandwich (13.75 LE), the new Spicy Hawawshi (34.50 LE), the Chicken Shawarma (31 LE), alongside the new Pickled Eggplant Salad (17 LE), French Fries (18 LE), Lemon Mint Juice (21.25 LE), and Hibiscus Lemon Juice (21.25LE).
Starting with the Spicy Falafel Sandwich, it consisted of fried cauliflower tossed in harissa and raisin sauce, tahini, salad, and falafel (duh), all served in their flawless baladi bread. We loved the overall sweet and spicy flavours of the sandwich, but the cauliflower overpowered the star of the sandwich, the falafel. It was a great cauliflower though.
As for the Spicy Hawawshi, it was our personal favourite, even though the orange carrot slaw that was mentioned in the description was missing from our order. We just loved the texture of the meat and how perfectly spiced it was. We also enjoyed the toasted bread that had a flawless crunch, and the sweet and spicy flavours of the harissa raisin sauce that went well with the meat. Although we wonder how the orange carrot slaw would have affected the flavours.
The description of the Chicken Shawarma left us worried; we found out it was topped with tahini not garlic dip. We do have to tell you, however, it worked really well. The chicken was topped with parsley, pickled cucumber, sautéed onion, bell pepper, tomato, and arugula, which explains why the tahini was a great choice; not to mention the fact that the tahini was actually very light and complimented the toppings and chicken without overpowering them.
Moving to the sides, the new Eggplant Salad is a mix of chickpeas, pickled eggplant, tomato cubes, and bell pepper. We felt it was a bit bland and lacked seasoning. As for the fries, they were simple, well-seasoned, and deliciously homemade. Meanwhile, the Lemon Mint Juice was good, but there’s nothing special about it. As for the Hibiscus Lemon, it was more of a hibiscus juice, as we didn’t taste any lemon at all.
We finished our meal with the new Zooba Rice Pudding (29.75 LE). It’s your everyday rice pudding but topped with orange zest, honey, and Lebanese cotton candy (Halawet El-sha3r), which took this simple dessert to a whole new level of lusciousness.
All in all, we left Zooba with mixed feelings about our experience. Yes, the food was really good and the new items were a great addition, but the uncomfortable seating and the hot sun ruined the whole experience. A few umbrellas would make a huge difference!