The Pop Up: Chef

It seems like I’ve been talking about this project everywhere except on my own website. I blame twitter because there is instant feedback and the pressure to write a particularly interesting post dissolves when you’re faced with 140 characters. I’m sure there’s an observation to be made about decreasing attention spans or the power of haiku styled tweets; but let’s be honest and say it: I’ve been lazy busy.

The story of the Pop up and it’s progression has been documented in a number of online and print publications, as well as on my twitter feed or the Pop-up facebook page. Please excuse the cellphone pictures of the food; my photographer friend has been too busy walking the spanish countryside.

I’ve aggregated the full list of links below; If you haven’t seen these yet, please take a look and leave a quick message about how I’ve changed your life and given your palate a purpose to keep on living.

Chef’s Table listing on Guestaurant

Big Bang Theory by David Blanks, Daily News Egypt [Review]

A Victorious Concept by Sarah Khanna, Egypt Monocle [Review]

Sit at the table of a Top Chef by Dalia Ferrer, Ahram Online [Interview]

Pulling the Strings by Wesam Masoud, Egypt Monocle [Opinion]

5 minutes, nuked.



Warning: Wall of Text. Spoiler: Recipe.

There *will* be a recipe at the end of this, but I encourage you to read every bit of what I’m about to say because, well, this blog would be pointless without my pearls of wisdom. It *is* my blog, and I’m allowed to think it’s the greatest thing since my own experiments with German-style soft pretzels. More on that in a later post; but by all means, read on! Read more of this post

Asia Boutique at the Safir Hotel, Dokki

Be Warned: This is a Cellphone picture

You know the feeling. Great elation, a sense of accomplishment, of a great weight lifted up from off your shoulders. It’s the kind of feeling that demands to be celebrated and commemorated. The occasion, my friends, was my recent divorce from a particularly horrible employer; and I decided to celebrate and commemorate the event the only way I know how: by going out for a meal. Having never been to the Safir Hotel in Dokki before, I strolled around the hotel lobby and chatted with the concierge. I learned that they have an open buffet restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant and an outdoor café. But none of these were as advertised as “Asia Boutique” was; and it there that I decided to spend my patronage.

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Shogun at the Intercontinental City Stars

Last week, half a dozen friends and I decided to make an event out of a night at the movies. So, before our scheduled viewing of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland at the Golden Stars Cinema, we settled on Japanese food at Shogun in the nearby Intercontinental Hotel. Since my favorite Japanese restaurant, Okamoto in Mohandessin, closed down, I’ve been on the lookout for a restaurant that serves Shabu-Shabu. So after sitting down at one of the 3 teppanyaki bars – am I the only one who thinks that teppanyaki bars are a tad overused and cliched? – I searched the half dozen page menu for Shabu Shabu.

No Dice. Sigh. The standard fare on offer and the teppanyaki bars gave me a sinking feeling I was in for a run of the mill Egyptian interpretation of Japanese Food at premium prices. Reinforcing this dread was the menu; the first page was meant to be a story about the history of shoguns in Japan, but was cut off mid sentence when the space on the page ran out. I asked the maitre D where the rest of the story was and he jokingly remarked that the history of Shoguns was short-lived.

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JW Steakhouse at the Zamalek Marriott

My older brother was on a one day visit from Boston last month, and being an avid reader of this site, wanted to treat me to something I hadn’t tried yet. Immediately we agreed that our meal would have to be one of cooked flesh. This of course meant we were headed to a steakhouse. The JW Steakhouse was a venue I was reserving for a big occasion; but since I hadn’t seen my brother in over a year, we decided that it was worthy.

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Okashi at the Hyatt Regency

In May 2008, Egypt Today reviewed Okashi, and declared that it was Cairo’s best sushi restaurant. Last summer, a close friend (who also happened to be averse to eating meat; but quivered at the thought of eating sushi) and I decided to try it out. So, with fat wallets and empty stomachs, we made our reservations for a late afternoon meal bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun overlooking the Nile. Good conversation was guaranteed, and, so we hoped, was the food.

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Mr 3000!

Gadzooks, Zounds and Egads!

It’s taken about 6 months, but I’ve finally hit 3000 unique visitors! and just in time for christmas. To celebrate, I’m going to watch Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas Feast again. At times, this man moves me to tears. Other times, he drives me to insanity.

Keep on clicking, foodies and cairenes; and post a comment or two that makes sense! Sayed Kawawi (name withheld, but I know who it is) has the palate and brain size of a dinosaur; but at least he’s got something to say. Join in the fun; I may be inclined to respond.

Nuked. 30 seconds on Medium Power