Ramadan at home without the cooking: Bring me food!

Dina Ezzat , Thursday 9 Jul 2015

It is the last week of Ramadan. The lure of traditional iftar fare is almost over. It is time for delivery options. Below are some recommendations to consider

(Photo: Dina Ezzat)


Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Thinking grill? El-Dahan is one obvious option. Over a century old, this oriental cuisine place is still living up to the expectations of new clients.

The veal ribs, lamb kofta and grilled liver smell fresh and taste tender, without being too rare for the taste of those who go for their meat well done.

The variety of salads is rather basic: essentially tahini, eggplant, green salad and mixed pickles.

However, it is tasty enough on the side of the grill, along with the perfect baladi bread that seems to have been grabbed out of the oven just before being sent on delivery.

The side dishes of tajin orzo and tajin okra are cooked to the standards of typical Egyptian cuisine, including the fact that they are a bit too salty for the taste of those who are cautious with their salt intake.

The top rating of a selection for iftar, fit enough for six people or more, is the vermicelli with nuts and the well-deservedly famous Fattah ElDahan, although the fried garlic topping is rather too generous for the client who is not used to the consumption of rich food.

El-Dahan's delivery service is as good as the food. The telephone lines are easily accessible, with no long on-holds, and the client service is pleasant.

The delivery is promptly made less than 60 minutes before iftar, which means you need to keep your oven warm to put the dishes there as they arrive to make sure they stay warm for your table. And the delivery is neat, with everything properly packed.

El-Dahan is keen to induce its new clients to call again: they send a menu that offers an incredibly wide variety with dishes as independent items or by kilo or pack, or assorted.

A certain plus to ordering Iftar from El-Dahan is getting the nice juices that are served in plastic bottles, fresh and neat.

The perfect dessert to go with El-Dahan is Saber rice pudding with nuts and ice cream or the apricot pudding with nuts and coconut.

The bills for El-Dahan and Saber together come to a little over LE500, and the food is certainly to the satisfaction of an exceptionally hungry group.

La Casetta

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Out with the typical Egyptian cuisine and in with the intercontinental/French/Italian dishes. This is precisely how one feels during the last week of the holy month.

La Casetta seems to be exactly what one is looking for, both in terms of main dishes and desserts. If you are ordering La Casetta and you are okay with fried food, it would be best not to miss the Cordon Bleu, which may not be world's best, but is certainly one of the city’s favourites.

Other choices from the "classic" La Casetta menu would almost predictably include their veal with lemon sauce and chicken with mushroom sauce.

All of the above is served with either white rice, mashed potatoes, French fries or sautéed vegetables: you can have two sides and pay extra.

For dessert, one who is off the oriental sweets is possibly craving cream caramel, chocolate cake or cheese cake. An order for four will cost around LE500 and will arrive promptly 30 minutes before iftar. Orders arrive warm or cold, depending on the dish, but are not neatly packed, unfortunately.

La Casetta delivery service seems not ready to handle anything that has sauce in it — be it the veal lemon sauce or the cream caramel. There is nothing more annoying than grabbing a foil dish to find most of the sauce dripping out below.

Luckily La Casetta delivery comes with lots of napkins that you can immediately use up. One thing that the napkins would not help you with is the melted cheese topping of the Cordon Bleu, that comes out in the foil paper that seems to have been to haltingly wrapped around the dish when it was too hot and without allowing enough space to avoid having the dish getting slightly messy on the top. All the same, the food is generally very good.

The main dishes are adequately rich, given that these are not exactly the lowest calorie choices, without being excessively soaked in fat, as the case would be with other restaurants at times.

However, the chef could have certainly used another half teaspoon of vanilla for his cream caramel, to further reduce the smell/taste of egg yolk.

Also, a proper strawberry topping for the cheese cake could have served the dish better than the strawberry jam that disappoints an otherwise light and pleasant cake.

Maison Thomas

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Thinking pizza and or pasta? You are calling Thomas and you are sure to get exactly what would give you a nice and tasty iftar.

Look at the menu and consider the Alfredo (mozzerella, garlic, basil, olive oil and oregano), the Funghi (mushrooms, mozzerella, olives and oregano) or simply the basic Margherita.

Medium size is more than sufficient for one person. For those who cannot think pizza, then cannelloni and lasagna are perfectly safe choices with a variety of spinach and ricotta and with meat sauce, béchamel and cheese.

Thomas is one of the city’s most reliable services. You place your order, fix a large green salad and the doorbell is ringing. The food is there: warm and neatly packed.

The Thomas grand dessert of chocolate cake with caramel filling and the apple tart are eternally good.

Maison Thomas has never claimed to be inexpensive. If you are ordering for six people, they would probably tell you when you place you order that the bill for food and dessert would come for well over LE800.


Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Chinese? Yes, it is absolutely doable for iftar, especially the kind of Chinese that is served by Peking that is not too far from your regular fare of rice, vegetables and chicken.

The fried rice with vegetables or the noodles with vegetables, or simply the steamed rice with an independent order of fried vegetables, could be served from the tightly packed foil paper onto your dish next to the Peking stir-fry sliced chicken, chicken with mushroom and bamboo or beef with potato, mushroom and chilli.

The sweetened fried banana and pineapple are an incredibly matching dessert. Just keep it in a warm oven because otherwise the caramelised fruit would get a bit too dry.

If you have regular supermarket vanilla ice cream, you may wish to put it next to the dessert , on top of it or underneath: it will taste absolutely right. Food for four would cost a little over LE600.

Taboula/Baskin Robbins

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Photo for Ahram Online by: Dina Ezzat

Considering sandwiches and salads? Taboula sounds like a good choice: the sandwiches of chicken and beef shawarma, chicken liver, shish tawouk and kofta are always warm, tasty and wrapped in nice pita bread.

However, maybe due to the Ramadan rush, the sandwiches are not as nicely wrapped as they would usually be. The taboula, fatoush, metable are slightly overdosed on onion and garlic, and their packs are not unstained with olive oil.

The best part is the cold vine leaves and the French fries. Taboula delivery service cannot send the cold lemonade with mint because they don’t have the right plastic bottles for this Ramadan.

They also drop a couple of salads without calling to alert you that they cannot send them, just in case you may wish to consider a replacement.

But even if not in the best shape, the sandwiches and salads of Taboula are still well above average in terms of quality. If you are an old client, you would not venture ordering a dessert from Taboula because you would have been disappointed with the Oum Ali and you know that the kunafa with cheese would probably be too sticky before time of serving. In addition, the portions are a bit overpriced for what is offered.

Baskin Robbins ice cream, however, is exactly the perfect dessert after sandwiches. You can order the ice cream to come at exactly the time for dessert, cold, with sauces on the side if you so wish. Next to a home-cut fruit platter, the dessert is exactly right.

Sandwiches, salads and ice cream from Taboula and Baskin Robbins would cost around LE800 for five people.


Short link: