Cairo: food


Dinner at Bondokah by Flickr user bastique

Food is one of the most important things in my life. I love cooking and trying new things. However, I am not open for some exotic food, such as marinated cockroaches or anything like this. My favorite food is Thai – I could never get bored eating it and trying to cook it as well.

Hummus is among other things that I extremely love. I tried it in London for the first time and even thought this hummus was from TESCO it was one of the best that I’ve tried in my life. Or maybe it is just my memory tells me that it was good and I did not have anything to compare it with. Budapest has the great Israeli Hummus bar. Hummus plates made me the happiest girl in the city: different vegetables and meat mixed with falafel and tahina. On top of this I always ordered LimoNana: lemonade with mint. So now I am here, in Cairo. And I am on a mission, called a hummus hunt. I have not found that many hummus places here so far. Well at least I dunno any in my area of this giant city, OR my work colleagues just prefer ordering a delivery of some junk-half-food/ half-chemicals.

The city seems more expensive than Budapest, which is surprising. Central market in Budapest is simply amazing: I could find anything there and the prices were reasonable. If I go to any local market I will get ripped off immediately. And the shop next to my house does not have the magical hummus. Hmm… well it turned out that everyone is making it at home and don’t really buy it in stores.

I remember having constant fights with waiters in Budapest. One of my good friends is “lactarded” – how he calls himself, he is allergic to milk. Hungarian cuisine is impossible to imagine without sour cream – they put it almost everywhere. We had our favorite food place in the city center, however, this place was also strange. Even though the menu remained the same for months, the food was different every day. If you order curry one day and it would be mild, the next day the same exact curry from the menu might have a totally different taste and texture. We tried to figure out the trick and it still remains a mystery.

Once we asked not to put the sour cream at all and the waiter responded that it would be like Mojito without mint. Another time my sweetest lactarded friend ordered curry and asked a waiter to put sour cream on the side. What did he get? Chicken on the side and the bloody sour cream on top of the curry plate.

Here in Egypt we went to a grill place once, the average dish there cost about 20 USD. So it was supposed to be a decent place. However, we had some bizarre experience in there. Important fact: male-female ratio was 3 to 2. I and my friend ordered some shrimp/fish grill. Well, I love fish endlessly. The waiter was really slow and did not bring all the food at once, but in long intervals. The fish was not edible at all: too much salt and rosemary.

So that’s when the fun part started: my other female friend started complaining and wanted to return the food. It would be ok if only a waiter had some tact. I thought that getting the same dish would be a terrible idea, so we decided to cancel it at all. The male waiter was speaking to our male friends only. The waiter totally ignored the fact that WE (women) were unhappy with the food. This situation totally pissed us off and we started a fight. So the evening was eventually ruined with all this fighting stuff.

However, yesterday night was very sweet. We went to smoke hookah at Sequoia by the Nile. The place and the view were simply incredible. That’s the type of places that I love: great interior design, nice waiters, good food and a fun

I miss Budapest and our endless conversations about everything and nothing.

Sequoia: Open-Air Dining in Cairo


About Masha Egupova

I am coming from the small city on the Russian Far East called Vladivostok, but Chinese call it 海參崴 [Hǎishēnwǎi] meaning "Sea Cucumber Cliffs." In my blog I will present the view from and about Vladivostok and my views on what is going on in Russia in general.

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