Written by Yehia O
So, either you’ve tried it, or you know someone who has. Sushi, the Japanese traditional dish that goes back to the 8th century, has became a trend here in Cairo. It’s kind of an acquired taste; Egyptians love to cook the hell out of their food and raw fish just seems a little bit off the common tasty range. Lots of people love it these days, and more people are getting into it. You’d randomly hear people saying how they’re dying to go for sushi, and I’m one of those people.
I tried almost every restaurant that serves sushi. At some point in time I was on an actual quest to try them all, including the different branches of the same chain. Some were horrible, some were good, some were overpriced, some had awful service, and the list goes on. And mind you, when you are planning to have sushi, you kind of need to save up a little, it’s overall more expensive than any other dish in any cuisine out there.
There was this one place that had it all, Sakura, it was somewhere in Maadi, and if you’re not a Maadi resident, you’ll be lost for hours before you get there, like I have. A friend of mine recommended it once, and he knew his way around of course. I went there with some friends, we were 4 hungry men, and to our surprise, it was extremely cheap, compared to anywhere else, so we automatically assumed there would be a catch…….. There wasn’t any! It was amazing, not just because it was cheap; the quality of it was surprisingly outstanding. I reached a point in life where if I wanted to have sushi, the first place that would come to mind was Sakura. I even day dreamt about it for a while; the problem was my friend who knew his way around Maadi, who took us there the first time, left the country. So I persuaded another friend to try and see if we can find it again. We got lost for quite a while, as usual, and then when we finally reached the address, it wasn’t there! They shut down the best sushi place in Egypt! It was quite the shock; you’re literally thinking of all the rolls you can buy for less than half the price of any other restaurant in the city, and in an instant, poof, and no sushi tonight!
Since Sakura is no longer available, we’re left with the bigger chains out there, they should suffice. I personally prefer Makani than any other place, the quality is overall good, and the roll sizes are great compared to the prices. Mori is overpriced and not all of their salmon is fresh or they add the outer rim of the salmon slices, which aren’t chewable and don’t taste as good. Fuego’s “ All you can eat” offer attracts lots of customers, but it’s more of quantity rather than quality, and they’d occasionally put in “Kiri” cheese instead of Philadelphia’s smooth cream cheese, which I assure you isn’t the best combination with fish. However, the Zamalek branch cares more about the quality, and they serve to a smaller number of tables so it’s a more feasible option. Gaya, the Korean restaurant in Maadi (I’m sure there are more restaurants that serve sushi in Maadi which I’ll never find without hiring a guide) is also cheap, not the best quality though. Or you can always settle with “wara2 3enab”, the oriental (poor man’s) sushi.
So which sushi places have you tried in the big city? What do you think of my reviews? Which your favorite sushi place? Let us know in the comments section below!