Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Cairo Cellar

Name: The Cairo Cellar
Address: Hotel President, 22, Dr. Taha Hussein St.,
Phone Number: 27350652/27350718
Opening Time: 12:00AM

Friends of ours suggested going out Wednesday night to a place called "The Cairo Cellar" in Hotel President in Zamalek. We'd never been there before so directions and getting there was a bit of a task.

Located on the island Zamalek, in between the 2 branches of the river crossing Cairo, Hotel President is within walking distance of the Gezira Sporting Club and other main areas of Zamalek. From the outside, I must admit, the hotel looked very modest.

We walked down the steps to a small cozy, warm, English style pub. At 8 o'clock, it was not very crowded (at that hour which place in Cairo is?), and, they were playing music that was from our generation.

The cafe / pub has a small menu with a range of mezze, foul and some western style starters. We ordered some sausages, cheese balls and oriental mezze which were nice. The lemon drink was delicious. I was surprised to know that you could get your own alcohol and pay the corkage which makes sense if you are planning on finishing a bottle. Wine, unfortunatey is not available by the glass, you've got to down the bottle..

The menu is small and concise. For vegetarians, the choice of food (as always) is limited but some mezze, salads and a pasta arabiatta are enough to see you through the evening. One of us ordered a grilled fish which she said was well done and not leathery for a change. Chicken panee and chicken liver were also good. The tabouleh was very good, as was the Greek salad with feta cheese. The pasta arabiatta was also nice, though we chose to spice it up with chilly sauce. At our request, they gave us some deadly chilly concoction which was really potent but added a zing to the food.

By 11 o'clock, the place had started to fill up, the music became more hip hop and rythmic and the place was buzzing! The atmosphere is really very English pub, and, very alive. The place is frequented by locals and foreigners alike. Definately worth a visit, preferably a little late at night, if you like all that action, but even earlier its worth a visit for the atmosphere, and, decent food.

In terms of damage to the pocket, the place is quite reasonable. For starters and the main meal, for the 6 of us, the bill came to around LE 600 which I thought was very reasonable.

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