Truth be told: we all love Ramadan. Sure, the fasting is an infuriating downside in this sweltering heat but when it comes to true Ramadan atmosphere; it is something no-one can hate.
Perhaps this is why some people tend to take it a step too far. We have detailed our love of the classic Ramadan tents with the swanky designs, the eclectic shisha mixes and row upon row of traditional desserts. Every once in a while, however, it gets overpowering. Sometimes we would like to have a simple bowl of ice cream instead of basbousa, or eat pizza instead of stuffed pigeon. But food aside, sometimes you want to feel like you are in regular old Cairo again. When the mid-Ramadan queasiness hits, wait until the Iftar din has subsided and head over to Mojo’s Lounge on the Imperial Boat in Zamalek.
Whereas neighbouring restaurants and lounges have bought into the Ramadan spirit in full, Mojo’s has politely passed. While not a new Cairo spot by any means, what gives Mojo’s pride of place in this review is the fact that – save for a few token gestures – Mojo’s can save you from staring mutely at a mosalsal or staring equally mutely at tanoura-based tapestries. Choose instead to stare mutely (or talk, your preference) at a panoramic Nile view, lit up every so often by the hilariously illuminated and noisy boats that prance flamboyantly down the river.
A bit pricey for a casual snack, Mojo’s charges EGP 75 for your nightly foray outside of Ramadany Cairo, EGP 100 on weekends. Upon arrival you will more often than not sink straight into the excessively plush chairs and refuse to converse with any of your friends. It is that comfortable. Your only nod towards actual physical effort will be to wave the shisha waiter over to order and receive your deliciously fresh flavoured pipe. This reviewer had a classic lemon-with-mint that was refreshing to say the least, though be warned you may have to compete for the coal-refillers’ attention.
The previously mentioned token nod towards Ramadan is a small Sohour menu with absolutely nothing you would not find in a common kitchen. Eggs, foul and basterma are among the staples of the Egyptian diet and Mojo’s pulls them off adequately, although its pastries (fetir with Nutella, fetir with cheese) are wonderfully prepared and more than crispy enough. Nutella during Ramadan feels deliciously sinful.
To sum up, Mojo’s is not new. Mojo’s is not innovative. Mojo’s simply stays true to itself when the rest of Cairo bows down to an all-encompassing theme that drags on for 30 days. It is only natural to want some respite and Mojo’s definitely corners the respite-seekers market effectively.