I have only tried Koshari and Hawawshi before and my exposure to Egyptian cuisine was limited. I absolutely love Koshari for it’s simplicity and how nutritious it can be and here at @heliopolis_1 we were in for an absolute feast.
We were invited by @heliopolis_1 thanks to @nomanaksamia and together with @foodingmyselfaround and @shareeka23 we headed there for early dinner. Located right opposite ‘Ajdan Walk’ in Khobar, parking is a little hard to come by thanks to the ‘Tea Time’ next door.
Mr. Ahmed who manages the restaurant welcomed us and had us seated in the VIP section of the restaurant. Looks can be deceiving and the restaurant might look small from the outside, but once you climb the stairs to the first floor you will see that the restaurant has a lot of space and this is where all of the customers are seated.
We were served,
‘Mixed Grills’ – SR. 130 / Kilo
‘Koshary’ – SR. 20
‘Stuffed Pigeon’ – SR. 50
‘Pasta Bechamel’ – SR. 25
‘Hawawshi’ – SR. 20 (Normal / Spicy)
‘Mousakka with Beef’ – SR. 25
‘Mixed Salad’ – SR. 25
Everything that was served was exceptional and all of the food came together. I despise having to wait for the dishes to be served one by one so this was great. The ‘Mixed Grill’ was a sight to behold, with the grill tray stacked with ‘Hawawshi’, Awsal, Egyptian Sausages, Sheesh Tawouk, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Ribs, Kebab and a whole lot of grilled chillies and onions. The Egyptian Sausages is packed with seasoning and it is very unique in terms of taste. The Hawawshi is packed with meat and had a little heat which quite frankly gives it a bit of an edge.
The Koshary feels healthy and it is, packed with pulses and doused with a tomato based sauce which would go well with meat based curries and grills and for SR. 20 and the quantity served, this is a bargain.
‘Hamam Mahshi’ is a stuffed pigeon that is stuffed with ‘Freekeh’, a cereal food made from green durum wheat and doesn’t have much flavour on its own. The fat from the pigeon adds a very subtle flavour to the rice and the meat itself tastes more like duck.
‘Mousaka with Beef’ is an eggplant based curry cooked with minced beef which feels more like a stew than a curry and can be eaten on its own. This is best eaten with plain rice to really enjoy the flavour this unique dish has to offer. You don’t get to see much of the mince but you can sure taste it.
By the time we got to trying the ‘Pasta Bechamel’, we were stuffed. Each of us tried a spoonful and enjoyed the creamy meaty goodness of this dish but it could have done with a bit more white sauce. No complaints though, this was one exceptional meal.
The ‘Mixed Salad’ came with Humus, Baba Ghanoush, Tabouleh and Tomatoes with Garlic which compliments the grilled meats that I wrote about in the beginning.
I would like to thank Mr. Ahmed for the exceptional service and hospitality. He also reminded me of the various lamb dishes that are prepared to suit Desi tastes and dietary requirements and I look forward to trying them out on my next visit.
P.S – The restaurant needs a bit of refurbishment and parking can be hard to come by, but don’t let that stop you from visiting ‘Heliopolis’.
You can use ‘Discount Code’ – ‘HELIOPOLIS 571974’ valid till the end of September for 10% off the bill.
Location – https://goo.gl/maps/78R6iE2vg9b3ZmbZA