Egyptian Restaurant Reviews - Five Bells restaurant in Cairo, Egypt

Volume II, Number 6 June 1st, 2001

Restaurant Five Bells, Cairo

By Daniel Lanier

Restaurant Five Bells

Recently I was dining in a restaurant, which pleasantly mixed various styles and atmospheres in a surprising way. I sat in a wonderfully romantic section of a nearly European-style garden, next to a little baroque fountain, surrounded by sculpted cherubs. I found myself gazing at a statue of Ramses while listening to soft Sixties music. A unique but somehow soothing combination. My dinner began with a marvelous first course of a miraculous cheese cream from Egyptian white cheese and tomatoes and with bread; I went on to Tammiyya (Falafel), Fuul (fava beans), French onion soup and ended up with a mixed plate with different kinds of grilled meat. Around me at the other tables were sitting Egyptians, French, Germans and Americans.

Inside Restaurant Five Bells

Five Bells is a relaxing green garden oasis for almost everyones taste, in the middle of urban Cairo. I thought: no matter from what nation my guests will be, they cant go wrong. Egyptian food? No problem, Five Bells offers everything from stuffed vine leaves to several mezzas, from Dawood Basha to Shish Tawook and Kebab, from Baba Ghannoug to Tehina and to Om Ali nearly everything (except Molokhiyya). Italian kitchen? Just choose between several spaghetti and risotto dishes! Meat and seafood? Dont worry, escalope and fillet, from veal, beef and lamb, with mushroom or curry or pepper or lemon sauce, fish grilled or in white sauce and and and I even found lamb testicles on the menu. Dont ask me if this is a very delicious international specialty or just a local tradition. I didnt dare to ask.

Outside Five Bells Restaurant

Five Bells has something for everyones taste. Yet, I saw the whole patronage that evening ordering a specialty of the house: Fondue Bourguignonne. Every half an hour the waiter brought a large pot with hot oil to one of the tables, with several sauces, french fries and fillet cubes for frying them by yourself in the hot oil 60 LE (16 US-$) for two persons.

Inside the Five Bells Restaurant

Among the dishes I tasted, I found exceptionally delicious the Beef Stroganoff and the mushroom sauce, which I ordered to the mixed grill plate. All main dishes cost LE 29 ($ 7.50), which is rather inexpensive even if you add 12 percent service charge and LE 3.50 cover charge. A elegant and noble atmosphere with good food, for a very reasonable amount of money.

View of Five Bells Restaurant

The dining rooms inside are finely decorated with paintings and a large 250 years old gobelin, which had its original home in the Upper Egyptian palace of the family of the restaurants owner, in Assiut. Part of the location is a cozy English pub and a bar, where regulars even can bring with them and leave their own bottles of alcoholic drinks. The bottle gets a sticker with the name of the owner, will be kept in the bars refrigerator and stays there until the bottles owner finished it, no matter if this takes him one day or one year. Every Thursday plays a live band.

My personal opinion: My favorite is the garden, without a doubt. It is the best part of the restaurant, a wonderful oasis in the middle of Cairo. If you are nearby any afternoon, just drop in for having a relaxing coffee or a soft drink, have a look into the menu, enjoy the garden and you probably will develop the desire return at night again, for a romantic dinner.

Restaurant Five Bells. 9, El Adel Abou Bakr Street, Zamalek, Cairo. At the corner Ismail Mohamed Street. Open daily from 12:30 pm to 1:30 am.

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The Animals of Ancient Egypt By Caroline Seawright

Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn

Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes

Book Reviews Various Editors

Hotel Reviews By Jimmy Dunn & Juergen Stryjak

Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman

Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich

The Month in Review By John Applegate

Egyptian Exhibitions By Staff

Egyptian View-Point By Adel Murad

Nightlife Various Editors

Egypt On Screen By Carolyn Patricia Scott

Restaurant Reviews Various Editors

Shopping Around Various Editors

Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek

May 1st, 2001

April 1st, 2001

March 1st, 2001

February 1st, 2001

January 1st, 2001

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June 1st, 2000