Gone with the wind
Injy El-Kashef gives in to all healthy pleasures
The last time I had gone to Ras Sudr was about 15 years ago, when my parents could still pack my sister and I in the car without much consultation, asking my cousin to come along so they could, by the end of the day, question us in disgust why we had not turned out "normal" as she was, but ended up, much to their dismay, so "different from other girls [our] age".
Ras Sudr back then was no more than sea and sand, and perhaps one odd resort that my parents, luckily, entirely ignored in favour of our very own folding table and chairs, which we set up in the middle of nowhere to devour my mom's sandwiches as fast as we could to escape the swarms of flies attacking from every direction. Such was my first, and last, Ras Sudr experience -- until the discovery of Moon Beach last year by a wind-surfing friend.
Moon Beach is a very simple, clean and basic resort, designed for those who do not require more than a beautiful beach, peaceful surroundings and a clientele that quietly keeps to itself; and, of course, the wind for the surfers. Whether one spends a week-end or just drives out there for a day-use, food will be required, and that's where I come in.
Now, the kitchen at Moon Beach is equipped for large amounts, as their open buffet requires on the high season, or for just one table. But in any case, the attraction remains the same: it tastes like a home cooked meal. The only items that we were requested to select were the main courses, and they take care of the rest of the meal. We began with a vegetable soup that could have been prepared for me by my granny when I was ill and needed sustenance: a huge variety of fresh vegetables, including celery, was floating in a delicious and nutritious stock. Next came the appetisers which consisted in fried aubergines with vinegar and garlic; a wonderful dish of baba ghannoug, thick and rich with pieces of grilled aubergines; and some baladi salad, with lots of crispy fresh onions and watercress.
Now on to the main courses, the plentiful, I dare say, main courses. I had chosen the grilled fish, which I imagined would be a slice of fish fillet with some vegetables on the side, adding therefore an order of spaghetti with Napolitan sauce. Dead wrong I was. I got two huge whole grilled bouri (grey mullet) fresh out of the sea, sharing the humongous plate with some fried brown rice, sautéed vegetables and potato purée. Although my plate was delicious -- I almost ate it all -- I had to relinquish one of my bouris to my friend, whose order of grilled kebab turned out to be a not-so-appetising plate of kebab halla, with all the necessary onions and green peppers.
By the time we were done with such a huge (and very moderately priced) meal, we had to rely on telepathy to communicate, for even talking seemed too arduous a task -- not only were we wonderfully nourished but also completely full. Little did we know that dessert was still on its way! Luckily, in keeping with Moon Beach's culinary bend, our healthy dessert consisted in a peeled orange, a guava and an apple. Down went the fruits, and gone were our troubles as we stepped out again on Ras Sudr's windy beach.
Moon Beach, Ras Sudr, past the city of Ras Sudr