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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Grand opening: A whole new traditional Egyptian koshary at Cairo Kitchen

Have-it-your-way traditional - yet not traditional - Egyptian street food at a new spot in Zamalek that opens Wednesday, 11 April: Cairo Kitchen

Dahlia Ferrer, Monday 9 Apr 2012
Cairo Kitchen
Photo: Dahlia Ferrer
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Rather than the carts or standing-room-only narrow kitchens on the street whose koshary is mixed with fumes and dust, and rather than not having another choice outside of the house-specialty koshary, Cairo Kitchen offers a bright, indoor ambiance and lots of choices to customise your koshary.

On the side street next to Gomhoreya Pharmacy, next to the Zamalek School on 26 of July Street, the door of the galley-shaped white-walled restaurant invites you starting Wednesday, 11 April to a cheerful (and clean) koshary experience.  

Koshary carts inspired the décor. The designer incorporated the simple flowers engraved or painted on the carts into small, white mashrabeyya partitions. Leaving out no detail, he even hammered the flower shape into the silver ceiling. The white walls have colourful messages in Arabic, red letters, contrasting against a blocky, blue, curvy background that gives a retro-feel of the late 70’s: roller skates, basketball shorts and fuzzy sweat bands.

The deep space the restaurant occupies is smartly divided into different levels. Bleacher-style, the stairs take the clients up its three levels towards the back of the space where the open kitchen is.

There, roughly 10 pots of the different bases for koshary can be found: filini mixed with rice, a gluten-free option, lentils, brown rice, macaroni pasta, cracked wheat (freek in Arabic), Alexandrian-style koshary, etc. The English-speaking cooks from behind the counter help you pick out your base.

Then, of course, comes the topping. Shrimp in tomato sauce? Liver in it’s own juice? Or the traditional, simple tomato sauce? Don’t forget the chickpeas and fried onion slices.

Considering the health wave, and the fact that pasta and rice can be quite heavy, a side bar of salad is available. The type of salad rotates on a daily basis, always offering a fresh, creative flavour so you don’t get bored. Green salad with spinach leaves, carrot tahine, babaganough, chickpeas, yoghurt spread with walnuts – just all kinds of mezza salads and green salads. Not to mention the interesting salad dressings.

Next to the salad: desserts. Your traditional malaky rise pudding is available, but alongside it is a custard with a splash of ginger. Traditional ingredients, yet, with a modern, healthy twist.

Likewise, the drinks can be completely traditional, or traditional with a twist. For example, the typical lemon with mint is available, yet they also have a light, rose-based drink.

Considering her high creativity and personal fascination with food, Ahram Online asked one of the owners, Suzanne el Zeidy, on her general ideas about gastronomy and the top technological trends in food, like molecular gastronomy, she twists her mouth and rolls her eyes a bit. She replies that "good, real ingredients," are key. People are going back to healthy basics.

Comfort food. Yeah.

Every single item is a la carte, so how much you pay will vary greatly depending on what you order.

A normal koshary will cost only LE14. If you stop there, then you've gotten yourself a relatively cheap meal in a very quaint spot in Zamalek. But let's say you add a small salad (LE12) to balance out the heavy with the light, then you're up to LE 26. Add extra fried onions, bread, and beverage, taxes, tips and you're up to about LE35 or LE40.

If you go by yourself this koshary spot is fun however, exploring the novelty of it is even more fun in a group.

Cairo Kitchen has six family-size servings: the normal 'beity' koshary at LE45, well-being koshary at LE60 and Eskandrany koshary at LE35. Likewise, their family-size tagins include shrimp in tomato sauce at LE95, chicken liver at LE80. Add a couple of large platters of salads at LE25 each, drinks and dessert you're looking at LE200 for three or four people.

 

Address

118 Aziz Osman St.
off of 26 of July Street, on corner  of
El Gohmoreyya Pharmacy

District

Zamalek

Hours

Every day
10:00am - 1:00am
(10:00am - noon salads and desserts only)
(Koshary sold after 12:00noon)

Telephone

27354000, 27359000

Internet

Coming soon

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited

Price range

LE50 - LE120 for two people

 

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