Al-Ahram Weekly Online   18 - 24 October 2012
Issue No. 1119
Living
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Restaurant review:

Homegrown

Size doesn't always matter, writes Salonaz Sami

One of the countless benefits of twitter.com, is the FF# option, which is basically a recommendation made by a tweep on a certain person or place to follow. This was how I came to know Zooba. Since it opened earlier this year, I have been getting a lot of FF# to check it out but it wasn't till a month later that I actually decided to visit.

Located on one of Zamalek's busiest streets, 26 July Street, Zooba is nothing less than unique. It's the perfect example that size doesn't really matter. A quick look at their menu left me bedazzled. Most of the items belong to traditional Egyptian food, something that I am a sucker for, however, everything is done with a twist. It took my friend and I a couple of minutes to decide on which items, before he went for the egg and pastrami sandwich along with a spiced fuul with sausages sandwich while I decided to try the beef liver with mixed pepper and tehina with a side order of coriander besara. For drinks, he ordered the hibiscus with lemon and I chose the Strawberry Basil. The place which can hardly accommodate eight to 10 people max, was fully packed, so we waited for our order by the cashier, which gave us a pleasant opportunity to take a look at their off the shelf items, located right next to it.

Zooba offers fresh products like baked bread with beetroots, spinach and chips, in addition to homemade pickled lemons, artichokes, beetroots, baby peppers and green olives. And being an addict of pickles, I simply couldn't resist taking a couple of pickled lemon jars home with me. And I was certainly glad I did. They were as good, if not better, than my mother's, who makes the best pickles ever.

Our order only took a couple of minutes and off we left with our food, which smelled so good that we couldn't wait to get into the car to try it. My liver sandwich was nothing less than extraordinary. Served in their freshly baked bread, it was perfectly spiced and one could tell that the meat was also as fresh as it gets. The coriander besara was divine and the fuul with sausage was nothing but your usual.

What you will notice most when you visit Zooba is that they pay attention to details, from the bread they use in their sandwiches to the way they package it for you. In addition to their sandwiches, Zooba also offers koshari, salads and desserts, which includes items that are not to be found elsewhere like molasses sticks and roasted sweet potatoes with all sorts of toppings to choose from. And if you can't come to Zooba, it will come to you if you are in the downtown or Zamalek areas.

Zooba, Zamalek

www.zoobaEats.com

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