Restaurant recommendations...Cairo, Aswan & Hurghada

Sep 26th, 2006, 02:52 PM
  #1  
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Restaurant recommendations...Cairo, Aswan & Hurghada

Anyone have a restaurant they particularly like in any of the above mentioned places? I have to be honest and say that neither my husband or I are very big Middle Eastern food fans.
I heard something about floating restaurants in Cairo on the Nile...anyone know about them? How about one called Cortigiano?
heymo is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Hello,

If you prefer Western-style food, your best bets in Cairo are the Four Seasons hotels. I stayed at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza and the food there was much better than at any of the restaurants serving western style food.

Excellent Indian food can be had at the Mena House Oberoi. There is live entertainment as well.

The Mena House also has a cafe serving very good Middle Eastern food -- you may want to give it a try. The tagines are particularly good.

If you're in the Khan doing some shopping and are feeling peckish, there is an outpost of the Mena House restaurant in the middle of the market -- it serves very refreshing drinks and is air-conditioned.

Personally, I'd avoid the floating restaurants -- very touristy and the food is rather overpriced IMO.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Thank you so much, Julian. I was beginning to think everyone had gone on vacation on this board!

The person who booked our tour said there was a good but pricey restaurant at the Grand Hyatt, and one called the Cairo Tower(?) that overlooked the city. Are you familiar with either of these?

Thanks for the heads up on the floating restaurants...it sounded a little cheesy to me but you never know...
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Sep 28th, 2006, 02:37 AM
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Hello,

The one at the Grand Hyatt has a great view but mediocre food...like many places with a great view it banks on that as a draw. Personally, I'd go there for a sundowner, enjoy the view, and eat elsewhere.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 28th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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That's great...thanks Julian. I've heard the view of the Pyramids from the Mena House is wonderful at night especially...but also have heard we need to book way in advance for the Indian restaurant.
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Sep 28th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Bear in mind, none of the restaurants in Cairo would rate the top rating on the Michelin guide.

The Indian Restaurant is quite good. I don't normally like Indian food but I liked this place. You should book in advance there.

I've eaten at the restaurant at the top of the Grand Park Hilton a couple of times and have found it quite good.


Sometimes you need to book the Mena House and other times you don't need to. Give it a try.

Jasher is right about the floating restaurants. Some of them are quite touristy. But I've heard that some are pretty good. Research them on Fodor's and the internet. I tend to give things a little slack here. After all, you are eating on a boat in the Nile. It impresses the heck out of the folks back home -- even the well traveled ones.

As to M-E food. It could be that you've never eaten good M-E food. There's some good places here. Try Abu es-Sid in Zamalak -- it's got good traditional Egyptian food (ask the waiter for help ordering) and is very almospheric. It serves alcohol, but keep that to a minimum. And make sure you make a reservation.
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Sep 29th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Thanks, sunshine. Will there even be alcohol available with Ramadan going on? I wasn't sure about that...

We live in the suburbs of Detroit with a large Middle Eastern population, so there are a multitude of M-E restaurants. But as you said, maybe even they aren't as authentic as ones you would find in Egypt.

I like the idea of floating down the Nile having dinner...but then again we will be on the Nile cruise. I tried doing some research but wasn't finding much info...even here on Fodors.

I will look into the restaurant you mentioned....I'm game to try some new foods...as long as I don't have to eat a pigeon!
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Sep 29th, 2006, 09:54 PM
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I don't think there will be a problem with alcohol if you stick to the main hotel or more touristy restaurants.

I remember getting all excited about a birthday dinner at La Bodega (a very nice restaurant - but can't remember where it is). It was a very popular place for wealthier Egyptians and ex-pats, but not frequented by tourists. But it was Prophet Mohammed's birthday and they wouldn't serve alcohol. They even informed me that the veal with wine sauce that I ordered would have chicken broth instead of the wine! After arranging for reservations, a baby-sitter, a driver, and getting all dressed up....I was bummed!!!!!

Other friends who went out that same night to one of the Four Season's restaurants had no trouble.

There are some great restaurants in the Four Seasons. THe Thai restaurant in the older one (by the zoo) is wonderful and we the ones in the newer FS (on the river) are good too.
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Sep 30th, 2006, 04:29 AM
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I can imagine how frustrating that must have been. Personally, it's not as if I can't have a drink while I'm there it will kill me or ruin my vacation, so I'm not extremely concerned about it. Mostly just curious, and especially wanted to make sure it wouldn't be culturally offensive to order one during Ramadan.
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Oct 1st, 2006, 10:41 AM
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There are lots of good restaurants in Cairo, and some of them are quite touristy. There's a great little cafe in the Khan, Fushawi's, that's been opened 24/7/365 for over 200 years! It's a great people-watching place. Try the karkaday drink, you'll become addicted ;-)
My favorite restaurant in Zamalek is Sequoia, boat anchored to the shore on the Nile. They have excellent food, but they are most famous for their sheesha menu, a platter with little pots of the dozens of flavors. Even if you don't want to try sheesha (although you should), smell the menu. There's a fifty pound per person minumum, 70 on the weekends, but that's still way less than 20 dollars. It is best to make reservations at alot of the nicer restaurants, as they do book up.
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:22 AM
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Thanks, huladolphin... as usual your help is greatly appreciated. Since we are talking about food, I have a question...are mushrooms used in a lot of food there? I am allergic, and usually when we travel somewhere this is the first thing I learn to say in the language. But I am having difficulty trying to figure out if they even have mushrooms in Egypt, much less learn how to ask in Egyptian arabic!

Do you think we would need to make reservations for Sequoia? And I definitely will try the karkady!
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:24 PM
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Yes, they have mushrooms here. They are "Aysh Ghurab" pronounced "Ish Rurab" (more of less.) No mushrooms would be "Meesh Aysh Ghurab."

But I would ask your tour guide or the conceirge or anyone who speaks English to write a note in Arabic that sez "Madame gets very sick from mushrooms. Please do not put any mushrooms in her food" and another which sez "Are there any mushrooms in this food? Madame gets very sick from Mushrooms. Please do not serve her any mushrooms."

Then make multiple copies of it & give it to your waiters. If you're with a tour guide when you eat, make sure that he understands that you cannot eat mushrooms & will get very sick if you eat the. And ask him to be with you when you order or go through the buffet. They DO NOT WANT you to get sick on the tour.
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Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:35 PM
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THANK YOU!!!!! This takes a tremendous load off my mind. I am going to write to our tour operator (who I have made friends with since we booked the trip) and ask her to do just that.

And speaking of Marian (the tour operator) I would like to bring her a gift from the states. However, I do not know what would be A)culturally appropriate or B) cheesy. I remember reading about someone who brought a t-shirt from their hometown baseball team, only to find the person they were giving it to opening their closet door to reveal about a hundred very much like it! She's 22 and not married, Coptic Christian. I was thinking about bringing her a picture book from Michigan, but also wanted to get her something more personal. Any thoughts?
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