Cairo has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, but this tiny bistro tucked away in a small alley, gives diners a chance to experience a bygone era.
It’s a small place, and ambience is old-time elegance and walls are covered with paintings of upcoming local artists. The end of the room is dominated by a heavy wooden bar, complete with mashrabia panelling, and an ornate, gilded mirror.
The menu at Estoril consists of classic Arabic dishes, many of which have been given a French twist includes a variety of hot and cold mezze, all masterfully prepared. Even the hommus and taboulah are outstanding. The succulent veal medallions, gratuitously showered in tarragon and mushrooms, is always a good call. The chicken with molokheiya is particularly good. There’s also a good selection of seafood, and – unusually for Egypt – a decent choice of quality veggie dishes. Leave room for homemade mahalabiyya (rice pudding) or creme caramel.
The staff are very welcoming, and the service is generally excellent: attentive and efficient, without being fussy, although they can be a little overwhelmed when it gets busy (which is often during the weekends).
A delightful, and unpretentious, touch of times gone by.
Essential Information: Estoril can get quite busy on Thursdays and it’s advisable to book in advance. Esroril is shut during the month of August and Ramadan.