Restaurant Review: Cumin Brings Traditional Favourites to Rivulet Plaza

cumin-brings-traditional-favourites-to-rivulet-plaza-cairo-west-january-2017The following review appeared in Cairo West, January 2017

Type of Cuisine: Traditional Egyptian street food with a modern ‘fusion’ twist.

Signature Dishes: Traditional Liver dish (grilled, breaded or Alexandrian), Sausage (grilled, breaded, Alexandrian, Turkish, Eastern or cheese), the Cumin Special (liver, sausages, kofta or mombar), Sandwich 4×4 (with sausage, liver, kofta and sakalans), Om Ali and a delicious Couscous dessert.

Dishes sampled: The menu contained everything you would expect from a classic Egyptian restaurant. There was a wonderful breakfast selection on offer, and we dived right in with the Feteer Meshaltet. There was too much for one person, so this was a sharer. It was prepared to perfection, with plenty of honey, molasses, and cream to dip into.

We followed up with salads and the main course, starting with a generous helping of a delicious Egyptian standard: Baba Ghanoug and a Chicken Caesar Salad, along with a mouth-watering helping of Plain Hawashi cooked on the grill. The Hawashi was amazing and definitely something you should try. We also sampled the king of all Egyptian classics: Koshiary. It was cooked to perfection, and the chick peas had just the right slightly nutty texture; something to get your teeth into. The sauces were delicious! To complement this, we had a helping of Pickled Potatoes.  Boiled and then fried and doused in parsley and spices, they were truly delicious!

We were already feeling quite full at this point, but who can resist Om Ali, the mother of desserts? It’s rich textures and flavours were a delight. The Mahalabeya was also irresistible and ended a wonderful meal.

Other menu options that appealed: If I had to pick out something from the extensive breakfast menu, it would have to be the Cumin Combo 2 which consists of foul, falafel, fries, two boiled eggs, cheese with tomato, fresh juice, and tea or coffee.  The Stuffed Tomatoes from the salads and the Breaded Chicken or Cumin Special (meat) from the mains, also looked too good to not try. From the desserts, the Couscous and the Sweet Potato with Nutella stood out.

Beverage Options: There is an extensive range of hot and cold drinks, including Tamr Hindi and Sugarcane, a good selection of juices, canned drinks and shakes available.

Décor: Street-style fusion, including an open kitchen area, with classic Egyptian motifs. The furniture is all handmade and decorated to the restaurant’s specifications by Earth Gallery. High up on the walls, mock windows with washing hanging, mimics the streets of Old Cairo, clean and presentable for the 21st Century.

Ambience: The combination of the décor and the background music of Hisham Kharma’s modern fusion take on the classic Egyptian sound, creates a feeling of modernity and tradition. Street style and airiness combine in this relaxed environment. Complementing that is the soon-to-come Egyptian movie nights.

Clientele: Families and an upper social class, mainly in the 18-30 age group.Also great for those who just want a quiet coffee and a shisha.

Home Delivery: Yes.

Price Range: moderate.

Opening Hours: 10am to 1.30am.

Good to Know: A percentage of the profits go to the Mashro3e Kheir NGO for the benefit of disadvantaged children.

Address: Twin Towers Mall (Rivulet Plaza), Sheikh Zayed, 6th October.

Tel: 01005730033.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cumin.egy

Instagram: cumin.egy

Alexandria Style Liver

Ingredients:

250gms of liver

50gms green pepper, finely chopped

25gms yellow and red pepper, finely chopped

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

Oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon

Spices

Put the oil in the frying pan and turn on to a low heat.

Cut the liver into thin slices and place into the oil and cook for about 4 minutes.

Put the chopped green, red and yellow peppers into the pan, along with the garlic, spices and salt and pepper.

Stir together and cook for 6-7 minutes.

Serve with bread and tahini.

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About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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