Abdel Wahab, the renowned chain of Lebanese restaurants, has launched its first branch in Egypt on the banks of the Nile in Zamalek. The outdoor outlet opened its doors the first day of Ramadan for both iftar and sohour.
The restaurant is spacious and its multi-level structure means all tables have a Nile view. There is also an indoor area, but it contains only a few tables. The place is nicely lit and the greenery gives it a comfortable and fresh feel.
The service is fast, especially for shisha, and there are flavors for all tastes and preferences. All Ramadan drinks are available in addition to all types and flavors of coffee. The double espresso is recommended for coffee lovers but avoid the American coffee as it’s not strong enough. The lemon juice is sweet and refreshing, lovely in hot weather.
The hot and cold mezzahs are perfect for sohour. The servings are small so make sure to order a few plates.
The "sogo" (oriental sausage)and the batata harra (spicy potatoes) are the perfect choices for spicy food lovers. The stuffed vine leaves are not recommended nor the chicken liver; the first is canned and the latter lacks the needed spices.
The fattoush lacks "deps romman" (powdered pomegranate), an ingredient specific to this salad. It gives the salad its sweet and sour taste and without it fattoush is just another green salad.
The fried halloum is the best in town; the tabouleh is good. The tahina and raheb or baba ganoug salads are delicious.
The prices are definitely on the high side – an average LE100 per person for a shisha and sohour. The prices for appetizers range between LE30 to 40. For main courses, the price is higher.
The place is clean but the bathrooms definitely need more work – toilet paper and a paper bin to begin with.
The waiters and the management are professional and efficient; the waiters are trained to offer an alternative when the client has a problem with his or her order. Pascal, the assistant manager, welcomes all clients with courtesy and a friendly smile.
Make sure to reserve before you go as Abdel Wahab rarely welcomes walk-ins.
Overall, it is a restaurant with great potential but needs a lot of work.
Address: 33 Abul Feda Street
Opening hours: 11 am to 1 pm; during Ramadan, 6 pm to 2 am