Monday February 26th, 2024
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New Cairo's Ward Blossoms With a Fresh Perspective on Koshary

This abusive relationship we have with koshary has to end. In the meantime, here’s some ‘Ward’.

Layla Raik

“Ward is a love letter to Egypt. It’s something that can make it stand out globally.”

At last, our country has received what every girl yearns to hold: flowers.

Well, not exactly. The ‘Ward’ Egypt received deviates slightly from our traditional bouquets; this Ward comes in the form of heaping plates of one of the country’s most beloved dishes: koshary.

Amid a slew of ‘baladi’ eateries that offer the market next to nothing, Ward actually strives to slowly erase the bad rep koshary gastrointestinally receives. As much as we all love the exciting rush of flavour a single tablespoon of koshary gives us - drenched in sumptuous dakka and rich tomato sauce - our pursuit of the dish has often posed as a sacrifice we have to make for culinary enjoyment. There’s always the morning after to think about. And yet, the intestinal torment and seemingly endless bloating is made worth it by sheepish smiles and delirious unadulterated joy that makes us question just what was in that dakka.

“At Ward, we’re sure to use high-quality ingredients to help create a healthy koshary experience,” explains Eslam Tawfeek, co-founder of Ward. “Even the environment is more elevated; the traditional scent that often plagues koshary spots can’t be found at Ward. We want everyone to experience the place differently, from those who come for a small bite, the koshary, or dine in.”

Ward’s re-imagining of koshary is, as much as my Abo Tarek loving self hates to admit, necessary. The restaurant tackled cuisine-honouring with as much tact as it needs; allowing just the cuisine to shine, free of the stigma that holds people back from diving into headfirst. In simple terms, your friend who’s afraid of eating koshary because of the potentiality of food poisoning can finally enjoy the dish in all its glory - in a space designed to foster community and connection.

This abusive relationship we have with koshary has to end. In the meantime, here’s some ‘Ward’.Even the packaging helps streamline the koshary experience, “sauces come in small shampoo bottles, to avoid spills. The takeaway plates of koshary are microwaveable in order to make it easier to heat up your food.”'

The eatery is also not afraid of playing around with the unlimited potential hidden among the very lentils and rice of koshary. Some of Ward’s bolder creations include minced-meat-infused koshary balls (think pizza balls but ethnic), besara, and caramelised fries (kind of like fried onions, but not).

The koshary memorial site doubling as our next girl dinner spot can be visited at Arabella Plaza, New Cairo.