Wesam Masoud is cutting quite the swathe through Cairo's culinary scene as a chef-about-town, gourmet consultant and now restaurateur with the upcoming opening of his debut restaurant in CityStars...
Despite the fact that over the last two years the economy has tripped and tumbled its way into 7 pound-to-the-dollar SOS calls to the IMF, we’ve witnessed a surge in dining options throughout Cairo. Perhaps it’s part of some elaborate plan to keep us spending our increasingly worthless money until we go flat broke, but we’re not really into conspiracies, and as long as we’re eating, we’re happy. So bring on the trendy deliveries, the third hundred sushi spot, and more cupcakes. We’re prepared to drown ourselves in burgers. Of course, not all of these new spots are gems; even though many claim to be ‘organic,’ ‘local,’ or ‘gourmet,’ most seem to be a little unclear on what these labels actually entail. Sill, we go there anyway, knowing that there will be food. New food, often good food, but not food that gets us especially salivating. But this time it’s different. Wesam is opening a restaurant and we can’t bloody wait.
Wesam Masoud has been quietly making his mark on Cairo’s culinary scene for years, having collaborated on or created menus for the likes of Cellar Door, Cairo Jazz Club, Mr. Wok, and most recently, Left Bank to round out his restaurant resumé. He’s also been not-so-quietly writing about food on Twitter and with his past gig as Cairo360’s foodie contributing editor, keeping many of us in constant suspense about what he’s eating now, how it tastes, and whether it’s worth a munch. And now, Wesam Masoud is giving Cairo an incredible gift with his very own restaurant.
Wesam’s style is a little different than most of Cairo’s kitchens, and he promises to bring a few new techniques and interpretations to his food that have until now been reserved for the most haute hotel menus. But while we’ve grown so wary of these claims coming from other new restaurants over the past couple years, we are confident that he’ll deliver. Wesam can back up his geeky talk about hot gels, savoury foams, and sous vide ballantine chicken. How do we know? Because this science nerd cum chef studied for a degree in neuro-surgery prior to dedicating his life to food. His cuisine is cerebral to say the least.
Wesam told us that he wants to repackage the classic Caesar salad incorporating the chicken and crouton. We know it’ll be truly creative. He’s including a steak carving station. We know he’ll only use the best cuts of meat he can get his hands on. His desserts will incorporate lots of local fruits from small farms, and we know the grilled fruit skweres with sa7lab foam will actually be local. Wesam’s a stickler. So the service is going to be top notch. You wont have to listen to clubbing music while you’re eating, because be believes the sound of chatter and clinking silverware is the best soundtrack a restaurant can have. He’ll have suggested juice and food pairings.
What might be the very best part of Wesam’s working title restaurant is that despite the headiness of his concept, it’s going to be completely relatable and accessible to all of us. The concept is decidedly Mediterranean and much less expensive than one might imagine when they hear ‘micro greens’ on the menu. The restaurant wont be open till later this spring, but that’s fine since it gives us ample time to psychologically prepare for the trip to CityStars.
Keep up with what Wesam Masoud is cooking, eating, and tweeting @NotHungryCuzI8