On the ground floor of the North Tower, El Mawardia Oriental Café offers a calm and comfortable setting to kick back and enjoy some traditional dishes cooked to perfection – some with a twist. We paid an evening visit to this place that’s aiming to be one of the best Egyptian cuisine resturants in Cairo and left without an inch of stomach space to spare.
Signature dishes: Traditional Hot & Cold Mezze, Lamb Mixed Grill, Roasted Hamam, Koshari Wonder Pot
Dishes sampled and ingredients: We began our meal with the Traditional Hot & Cold Mezze, which not surprisingly, is a meal in itself. The betingan was naughty – brilliantly spicy and loaded with garlic, just the way we like it. Two types of salad were on offer, the fattoush and tabouli, which gave the meal a necessary balance of freshness. The meat and cheese sambosak were a delight, not too oily and generously sized. The wara2 3enab had a very different taste to any other you may have ever tried; they were filled with cracked bulgur wheat, which sets them in a category of their own. The cheese dip had tahini mixed into it, which resulted in quite a distinctive flavor, and the falafel patties were thin and crispy.
For mains, we tried the Kebab Mixed Grill, comprised of several skewers of chicken, veggies, lamb cubes, and beef tenderloin cubes resting on large pita bread topped with grilled onions. The meats were tender and succulent, and nicely balanced with loads of fresh veggies – very welcome when a meal is meat heavy. We also tried the Chicken and Meat Shawerma sandwiches, which arrived in a lovely crispy pita wrap and with a wonderful garlic tomeya sauce. Juicy and bursting with flavor, one of the best shawermas we had in a long while. The Koshari Wonder Pot was very generous and topped with a generous helping of crispy fried onions. A noted aspect was the two types of pasta filling the pot, both macaroni and spaghetti. To cap the meal off, we tried their Baba with Rosemary Honey Syrup and a selection of Oriental sweets. Everything is baked and prepared on premises, and we were happy to find that the sweets were not terribly over sweetened, light, and crunchy.
Other menu options that appealed: Roasted Hamam, a nice selection of sandwiches and salads.
Beverage options: Alcoholic beverages, fresh homemade juices, soft drinks, and hot beverages.
Décor: Low wooden tables, Oriental café style. Lovely bronze inlay on the tables, and a welcoming vibe in a well-lit space suitable for meetings and intimate meals.
Ambience: Soft music, well ventilated, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoor terrace for the shisha aficionados, with a large selection of flavors on offer. The kind of place you want to bring out-of-town guests for a good variety of local cuisine and atmosphere. Live music on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 pm onwards.
Clientele mix: Older crowd, business types, and hotel guests.
Price range: Moderate to high prices, but affordable for the quality.
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 2 am
Address: Sheraton Cairo, Galaa Square, Gizah
Tel: 02 33369800
Facebook page: sheratoncairo