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El Kababgy: Authentic Egyptian cuisine along the Nile

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The 25 year old restaurant, recently renewed by Sofitel Al-Gezira, serves one of the best charcoal-grilled meals in town

The surroundings of the restaurant add to the dining experience (Photo Marriott Zamalek)

The surroundings of the restaurant add to the dining experience
(Photo Marriott Zamalek)

When you feel it is time to spend some quality time with your family or a group of friends, to share a nice dinner and relax in a calm place where you can enjoy a great view, good food and a friendly atmosphere, El Kababgy is the place to go to.

El Kababgy is a traditional restaurant in the Sofitel Al-Gezira Hotel. It serves original Egyptian food with true Egyptian ambiance and is situated directly on the bank of the Nile.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived was the woman sitting at the entrance baking authentic bread, just like in Upper Egypt and the countryside, using an old-style clay oven. The beautiful smell of the fresh bread filled the restaurant.

The next thing that struck us was the view; the Nile reflected the lights of the small boats sailing by and the atmosphere provided a sense of relaxation and cosiness enriched by the gentle breeze.

We were offered fresh juice as soon as we sat down at our table. Looking around it was apparent the restaurant was striving for authenticity, with the tables, the waiters’ oriental uniforms and even the plates that had “El Kababgy” engraved on them in Arabic calligraphy.

The menu listed food items in an artistic display of pictures; beside every list there was a beautiful page that celebrated the art of calligraphy in its varying colours. The menu also records the history of the restaurant which dates back to 1925.

Then the appetisers arrived: taboula, baba ghanough, tehina, vine leaves, taameya and many other Egyptian salads. The price of one salad appetiser can reach EGP 22.5, but once you taste it you would be willing to pay more and get extra.

One thing I could not stop eating was the bread; I had never tasted anything like it before. The freshly baked bread had a special taste that could have made me forget about all the other food.

The main dish came in a form of a small charcoal grill with kofta, chicken and ribs. The moderately juicy meat melted in my mouth. The grilled platter costs about EGP 125 which represents quite a fair price for the amount of meat served.

We had fruits for dessert, followed by a cup of tea served with fresh mint. The menu offers a variety of Egyptian desserts at reasonable prices.

Throughout the dinner, an oriental band played Egyptian tunes by Om Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez.

The restaurant’s new executive chef joined us for dinner. Stephen McGarrie talked to us about his experience in European and Gulf countries and how he enjoys the Nile view that inspires him to cook great food.

El Kababgy also serves shisha in all the standard and other special flavours. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and stays open till 12 midnight, sometimes a bit later during the weekends.

If you are looking for a place you can take your spouse or you family to have a nice dinner, relax and enjoy the beauty of Cairo, then El Kababgy perfectly fits your criteria.


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