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August 15th, 2007

savor: Egypt/ Cairo

ABOU EL SAID157, 26th of July StreetZamalekCairo20/2.735.96.40www.abouelsid.comFor me the best restaurant in Egypt. It has funk and style, a chic retro-mod 1950s look with a mishmash of antique chairs and lamps, short-legged tables, and colorful Chant Avedissian(-like?) stenciled paintings of iconic mid-century Egyptian personalities. And the food… superb classics perfectly presented. Get the selection of appetizers (tahini, bessara, stuffed vine leaves, tamiyya) and then order the stuffed pigeon or the shrimp tajin with red rice. There are couple of branches in the city but I prefer the one in Zamalek, just across the 26th of July bridge from the heart of downtown.Browse while you wait for your table: Al Diwan Bookstore on the corner. Not your standard dusty, diorganized place but modern and gorgeous with a vast selection of English-language titles. Look for Chant Avedissian’s book “Cairo Stencils.”Recommended: everything on the menu.Unusual: Circassian chicken with walnut sauce. Turkish in origin, brought here by Ottomans.Addictive: small, stubby stuffed vine leaves served with yoghurt and mint dip.Beer: Sakkara draft.Clientele: expats, fashionable, well-healed locals, and perhaps a few stray tourists from the nearby Marriot.To linger: order a shisha with sweetened, apple-flavored tobacco.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Egypt  |  

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