Abou El Sid is meant to symbolize the classic Egyptian, the coffee shop owner, the “ibn el balad”. It is the place to introduce traditional Egyptian cuisine in an upmarket setting and it does so without compromising on quality.
The main doors are colossal and for someone my size (5’3), it can be very intimidating. Once in however, you will be greeted by the friendliest staff. They are quick to find you a table and really do make a genuine effort to make sure you’re OK.
Abou El Sid is a different experience whether you’re going for lunch or dinner. I’ve been for lunch on several occasions and get into a meditative mood every time. It is quiet, the Arabic music is set on the right volume and the staff is very attentive. I started with the chicken broth with orzo which was smooth and delicate and could almost be a meal in itself. Had to take a break and then dig into my molokhia with Meatballs. It was served correctly, the molokhia in one plate, the rice in another and the meatballs in a third. A little accompaniment of onions in lemon and vinegar did the trick. My friend had the Veal and Orzo Tajin which I took one look at and could not resist trying. The meat was tender and the orzo soft and not chewy. By the end I was too full to try any desserts but friends tell me the Fetir is decadent. I ended my 3 hour long lunch with a cup of mint tea which would help me recover from the meal and walk back to my car alert.
The décor is anything but discreet. French furniture, the type you see in most Egyptian houses, sits in wild colored walls. This furniture that has become so tacky has managed to reach cult status thanks to the elegant touches of Abou El Sid’s owners. Like in its sister restaurant Tabasco, the music is personally picked by the owners and ensures a good atmosphere throughout the evening.
Abou El Sid is a novelty and a delight. I suggest you go for lunch (after Ramadan if you’re fasting) and try the food which will leave you feeling pleasurably heavy on the stomach and light on the wallet. Otherwise have a drink in the evening and experience Egyptianness in its new light!
Address: 157 26th July St. Zamalek, Egypt
Phone Number: 27 35 96 40
Opening Time: 1 PM – 2 AM