Our Kurt Galalah reviews Mohandessin's newest food joint Tabalina, which offers international cuisine to tantalize everyone's taste-buds.
Would you go to a restaurant that doesn't serve beer, wine or any alcohol? The answer is of course NO! But with Ramadan knocking on ours doors, and every booze-fueled restaurant in the city taking an alcoholic-break, they could be the next best thing.
I was wandering the streets of Mohandessin - Thawra Street to be exact - when I suddenly bumped into Tabalina; a restaurant/caffe. CAFFE? DOUBLE Fs? I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS THE STORY BEHIND THE DOUBLE F'S! So I waddled inside searching for an answer but upon entering, I was completely overwhelmed with how massive the place was.
It was so gigantically spacious it could fit two Godzillas, a Snorlax and 500 clones of Kim Kardashian's fat bottom. I seated myself and was about to examine the menu, when a woman approached me, introducing herself as Reem Yunis, the owner of this mega-food house. She asked me whether it was my first time here.
I ignored the question, deafened by my double Fs dilemma, and instead asked, "Why does Caffe have double Fs? Is it a typo?" She laughed and said "It is not a typo. Caffes with doube Fs in Europe means you can smoke inside." I immediately thought, “What’s the point of that?”, since you can smoke indoors ANYWHERE in Egypt anyway, but at least I got my answer (a disappointing one because half of me wished it was a typo, but an answer nonetheless).
She told me to dive into the menu, and I did. The prices were reasonable, and it didn’t take a day to browse: six pages, tops. They make a point of calling themselves international, so there’s something for just about every taste.I went for mombar, vine leaves, cheese sambousak and seafood pasta. It was superb.
It only took them 15 minutes to get everything on the table. Presentation was excellent and the mombar were still sizzling. The vine leaves were beautifully fresh and the sambousak were warm and perfect. As for the pasta, it was close to, if not actually, the best pasta I've ever had.
I couldn't fault a thing with the meal, and the polite young waiter only came over once to make sure everything was fine. I didn't have any space in my belly for dessert but the list was oh-so-precious.
I was ready to leave when Reem magically appeared again and asked me about my Tabalina experience. I answered with one word, "Perfect." And it was. The food was top notch and she couldn’t have been nicer, and when chatting with her, it was obvious she was genuinely keen to hear my feedback.
After leaving, I remembered Tabalina didn't serve any beer, wine or any alcohol and I didn't mind it one bit. And sometimes that's what you need. Knock on the door any time, Ramadan, I'm ready for you.