There are a few things that gives us a clue as to whether an Egyptian restaurant serves authentic food. One, are the serving staff local Egyptian? Two, are the diners Egyptians? Three, is the television turned on really loudly? (I've read about this and the husband who's been to Cairo confirmed that this is true)
On this occasion, it was a yes to point one and three but as it was Ramadan when we had lunch, it was very quiet. However, the husband had dinner here some time ago and he says that there were a lot of Egyptian businessmen dining here so it's a yes to point two as well!!
As I haven't yet visited Egypt yet and have no knowledge of what Egyptian food is all about, I let the husband take the reins in ordering.
We started off with Stuffed vine leaves. This was stuffed with rice, pine nuts, raisins with a splash of lemon juice and it was served warm which i was pretty surprised about as the last time I had Stuffed vine leaves in a Greek restaurant, it was served at room temperature. I actually preferred it warm as it somehow brings out the various flavours in the rice.
Another appetiser we had was the spinach falafel. I have always loved a good falafel and this was definitely one of those times. Nicely spiced, chickpeas had the right texture and including some spinach in it makes for an even healthier dish. The falafel had this fragrance about it and i think rosewater was added to it. What an interesting addition!
|Ali Baba Special|
So if you want an authentic Egyptian restaurant experience, give Ali Baba a go!
32 Ivor Place,London