Cairo Diaries - 22

Well, its been a long time since I wrote a Cairo Diary. So here goes.

The topic of today's diary is going to be food and people.

First the Food.

I have already detailed some items here. I am just recalling them for the sake of clarity.

Falafel - This is basically Paruppu Vada in Egyptian bread (Baladi)
Fool - This is mashed soya beans in Egyptian Bread.
Koshari - Read more here.

Apart from the above items, we also have items like Bedengal (Basically Mixed Vegetables), Baba Ghanoug ( பாபா செஹ்கள் இல்லீங்கோ ... Its actually brinjal made into a paste). Mixed vegetables soaked in Vinegar is called Turshi, and is relished by the localites.
For the non-vegetarians there are so so many options. I will not digress here.

In Downtown, you get Koshari at AbouTarek and Tom&Basal.
Falafel and Fool can be found almost in every corner of the road. They are actually very light on the pocket. You get a Falafel/Fool for 1 EGP. Some places where I have tried them is Kazaz and Felfela. I found theirs to be good. Hence recommending.

From what I could gather, there are about 5 Indian restaurants in Egypt. I've tasted food in 4 of the 5.

Indira @ City Stars
(Haven't been there. Heard its quite expensive. Not planning to visit too. So Strike 1)

Nile Bukhara @ Maadi - Decent Fare. They offer you simple Indian Khana, without being too heavy on the pocket. The ambience is decent, without being too in-your-face. Food takes an infinite time to arrive. So go there, when you are not hungry. A Project Party, consisting of 14 people, including Non-Vegetarians, cost us only 1000 EGP , which according to the standards of Cairo is quite less.

Massala @ Nasr City - I've already been there, thrice. It's good. The ambience is excellent, the food is good. I wouldn't rate it quite high. [for the alcoholics] , they serve drinks too. Food is served cold actually. Not hot. The service is excellent. The Price is slightly heavy on the pocket.

Nawab @ Zamalek - Excellent Food. Poor Service. OK Ambience. Have already blogged about it here. Apparently they always require notification especially if you are going to go there on weekend eve or on weekends. Price is the same as Massala.

Indian-Arabian Restaurant @ Khan El Khalili - Went with a closed mind. Came back with my stomach bursting with food. Food is excellent. Ambience is First Class. What lacked was service. The cost is quite reasonable compared to any other restaurant. Located at the heart of Khan-El-Khalili, you'd better book the appointment with your opthamologist if you miss this restaurant.

McDonalds here do not serve Veg. Burger. So Vegetarians - Alert. Pizza Hut has only one variety of Vegetarian Pizza and that too is available only on Select outlets, and its totally Pathetic !!!

Asian Corner @ City Stars does not even attract me. The Pasta counter is good. But not impressive. Carvel @ City Stars has excellent icecream. Its a must-not-miss item if you visit City Stars.

You have a juice shop here every other street. The quality of the juices is very very good. You get thick mango juice for 3 EGP and trust me when I say it, its worth every piastre that you pay. Of course, my favorite, Asab (Sugarcane juice) is only 1 EGP and a lot of people consume it with the same eagerness as I do.

If you go to the corniche on Thursday evenings, or on any evening for that matter, you will meet vendors with Sweet Potato. They actually steam the Sweet Potato and sometimes its slightly burnt on purpose. They sell, one Sweet Potato at 1 EGP. You must try it atleast once.

People here are extremely friendly. Except for some taxi drivers. Even if they do not understand English, which most of them do not, the people try to help you as much as possible. Whenever they see Indians, they tell proudly that 'We are brothers' as the color of the skin is almost the same. They smile a lot and have an easy attitude, something that we need to imbibe. For people here, work is only a part of life, not life itself.

That's it from me for now... More updates next week... !!!

Monday, October 25, 2010 by Hari
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