Bahary– the fish mix
There are very few reasons that would make anyone who does not live in Nasr City to venture into the traffic of Makram Ebeid Street at lunchtime; but Bahary is certainly a good enough reason.
It is in a perfectly close proximity to several popular seafood restaurants but still it is attracting enough clients that you might consider prior reservation before you drop in, unless you are prepared to go for a takeaway if you cannot find a table.
There are so many reasons why Bahary has been expanding and gaining clients for some 15 years: the fish is always fresh, the prices are not too expensive and the restaurant is basically designed for families and large groups.
But one other reason is that Bahary has such a diverse menu that includes anything from eel to seafood crepe and from seafood Alferado pasta to Moulokhiya with shrimps. And for the most part orders are really good, especially if you do an early reservation with the key dishes.
The fried barboni and the salted fish are among the specialties of Bahary and so are the Tajins.
For EGP 1000 a family of four can indulge in a very satisfactory lunch and have some leftover to take home.
Flying Fish– the Kebab way of doing seafood
This is where you would head for a perfectly satisfying “fish meal” – the Egyptian way plus. The plus is that if you don’t have the table skills to attend to self-serving fish, shrimps and lobster then Flying Fish does it for you as it serves the items in the “kebab style”: on wooden skewers.
Actually, there is the option of shrimp kofta, fish kobeba – and of course fish fingers.
Flying Fish is the place where most people are delighted with their béchamel lobster and the calamari casserole as with the Chinese and Alexandrian Rice.
A little under EGP 1000 could be good enough for a nice and quite a filling lunch for two.
Gandofli– bringing Alexandria and Suez to Cairo
Maadi (and elsewhere across the city)
It has been successful enough that it kept opening branches around the city from El Manial to Mohandiseen and from Nasr City to New Cairo – and elsewhere. It might be its quite diverse selection of items that meets the expectation of most Egyptians about a nice “fish meal” and it might also be that its prices, even if not inexpensive at all, are still within the range that could allow a family of four to have a nice lunch for around EGP1500.
But for sure, Gandofli’s seafood soup (the large) and the herring and salted fish salads are among the firm accreditation of the place.
And for those who love the Alexandrian recipes the place brings the Moulokhia with shrimps.
As for those who opt more for the Red Sea style of doing fish, Gandofli is also offering its Tagen fish.
The setting is simple and it is designed for families and large groups
Rossini– as close it gets to five stars
It is not at all the typical fish restaurant – not according to the dominant Egyptian definition of a fish restaurant.
It is rather the place where you would have marinated slices of smoked Tuna fish and shrimps with garlic, oil and chili pepper for a starter. Then you’d move along to a nice selection of Italian bread and then order Ravioli stuffed with crab served with Saffron sauce and seafood risotto before moving to the grilled salmon with dill sauce and fried sole fish with rosemary and potatoes.
You end with a classic Tiramisu and a selection of the lemon, grapefruit and kiwi sorbet and excellent coffee with your bill for two coming well over LE1500 or rather close to LE2000, depending on how much you indulge in the clearly good quality food that is offered in a perfectly chic setting.
Sennara– Not just fish
This is where you would like to go if you are group wishing to enjoy a nice fish lunch – with one or two people who don’t go for seafood – although they would be missing out on one of the best fish places in the city.
The restaurant of Sennara is divided into sides – one for seafood the other for grills and clients at the seafood end could be served dishes from the kitchen next door.
The menu of Sennara is certainly one of the best guiding experiences at a typical eatery. No fluff – none whatsoever. You get little squares each dedicated to a particular type of fish and then you move into the shrimps and prawns and then into the crab and calamari.
The choices are quite diverse but this is a good seafood restaurant so it is wisest to skip the fried fillet that you can cook at home. Always in demand are the butterfly-style jumbo shrimps, the grilled fish of potatoes on the side. Also extremely popular is the herring with Tahina and tomato salad. For a group of more than two, it is more economic to avoid ordering in portions.
A group of four could get a feast for around LE1000 -- and quite a feast at that.