For years Zamalek residents have been jealous of Garden City and Heliopolis dwellers because they had Taboula branches. The Lebanese restaurant, famous for its succulent mezzes and main dishes, was just too far for comfort.
However, this all changed when, earlier this month, a new branch was opened in Zamalek. The fancy restaurant is situated right in the middle of therestaurant area in Taha Street. The two-storey place is usually packed on the weekends, but if you go mid-week, you should be able to find a table without a reservation.
The menu has the same all-time favourites, such as the Hommos Beiruti, which is a hummus paste with lemon, tomato and parsley and Mfarrakeh Batata, which are succulent meat cubes with potatoes and gravy.
The age-old question when you go to a Lebanese restaurant is whether to fill up on mezzes and bypass the main dishes or to limit yourself to one or two appetisers and go for the main event. The price-range does not help in making that choice, since overall, the menu is on the expensive side, but for good reason, since the items are fresh and well-made.
The staff was very friendly and eager to please, but unfortunately lacked proper training, as evidenced by the wobbly way they placed the dishes on the table. However, the food was as scrumptious, as expected. The Hommos was freshly-made and the texture was just right, with an added splash of olive oil, which improved the taste.
The Fattoush had the perfect amount of spices and was not over-powered by too much onion, while the bread flakes were crunchy and not at all oily. The Grilled Halloumi was also done right so that the consistency was neither too runny nor too tough. The Spicy Potatoes were, just as the name indicates, on the hot side, but a treat nonetheless. The Cheese Rolls were very flaky and the white cheese inside was blended with spices, which enriched the taste. The chicken liver was also cooked to perfection, despite the fact that it is a tough dish to master.
The added bonus was the décor of the restaurant, which reminds you of a 1950s Lebanese club, which could have been frequented by all the Arab world’s stars. Plastered all over the walls are singers and actors of a time that has long passed, which makes you almost nostalgic for a world you never knew.
Taboula Zamalek is open from 10am until the late hours, and they also serve shisha.