Thursday April 18th, 2024
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This Cottagecore Restaurant in Korba is a Vintage Dream Come to Life

Founded by a group of youth seeking to preserve Old Cairo’s visual identity, AlKu5 feels every bit like a warm Cairene hug.

Ziyad El-Helbawy

This Cottagecore Restaurant in Korba is a Vintage Dream Come to Life

Evoking the warm and comforting spirit of a 20th century Old Cairo home, Heliopolis’ Alku5 is stirring all sorts of nostalgic feelings within our weary yearning-for-a-past-we-can’t-go-back-to souls.

Filled with all sorts of memorabilia one has come to associate with the cozy houses of our elderly, AlKu5 was founded by a group of youth with the purpose of preserving Old Cairo’s visual identity. Every detail from the individual plants’ pots, plates and vases - even the choice of music throughout the ‘Cottage’ - has been meticulously selected to adeptly pay homage to an aesthetic and identity exclusive to Egypt, one that slowly finds itself erased in favour of more contemporary vibes.

Vintage radios and television sets dot the space, surrounded by natural shades of wood. Colourful pops in the form of embroidered textiles line atop the seating arrangements, and verdant greenery bring a touch of nature to an otherwise earth-toned haven. Cup of tea in one hand, the sweet melodies of classical Egyptian music in the background, and vast views of Cairene streets in direct eyesight; not even a meteor strike will wake you from your reveries at AlKu5.

Oh and yes, of course, it would be a crime to forget about the food. Serving up more than a few morsels of edible Egyptian heaven, Alku5 truly takes Grandma-esque hospitality as its core value. Oriental breakfast options leave no ‘fala7i’ fare unserved, from old cheese and ful to omelets and ‘feteer meshaltet’. Oost-noon options echo favourites cooked daily in each and every Egyptian home, be it ‘Molokhia’ or ‘Tagines.’

Whether it be breakfast get-togethers over the Korba spot’s signature ‘Mayor Home’s breakfast’ or a first-date where both parties are unafraid to get intimate over a plate of fattah and an oven-hot clay pot of Moussaka, Alku5 is truly home away from home. With hay overhead and kilims underfoot, we think it’s safe to say we just found the most cottagecore café-restaurant in all of Cairo.

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