To many, it was unconventional to fast midsummer; to curtail summer holidays; and to be back in the office mid-August. It was a summer of many firsts. Thankfully, the tradition of late night gatherings for the sohour meal has kept an usually slow month in the city vibrant with shishas, mezzeh dining, and some good music.
Although only a few days of Ramadan are left, there’s still time to enjoy some good food and a relaxing ambience before life picks up in the city again. My favorite this year is the terrace at the Fairmont Nile City hotel: Bab il Nil. Rather than a tent, one dines outdoors, seated on plush purple couches or on beautiful dining tables. The theme throughout is pop art meets tales of the Orient, but the food is wonderful.
A Lebanese chef has been flown in for the month of Ramadan to oversee the creation of a most authentic menu.
Focusing on grills and mezzehs, a mean grill station has delicious scents wafting over to one’s table. But the menu also has more continental options such as sandwiches and various salads, as well as choices for the health conscious. The mana’esh (sandwiches made with particularly thin dough and flavored with mixed thyme spice and olive oil) are light and delicious.
If keen on simply enjoying a nice venue with a strong Nile breeze, Bab il Nil is the place, particularly with a an apple-flavored shisha. Be warned, staff prepare it strong and sweet but shisha aficionados have been telling me it’s some of the best in town this month.
Bab il Nil is also open for iftar; the menu is a buffet with a focus on Oriental dishes. A LE 100 minimum charge applies for those coming after iftar.
Fairmont Nile City, Cairo
Nile City Towers – 2005 B, Corniche ElNil,
Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt
Tel +202 2461 9494