“I thought you said this was a doner kebab shop?”
It’s on the evening of the first day of Eid that I’m standing in a small shop my brother has brought me to. He was craving a doner kebab and had read reviews recommending Adam’s Doner & Grill. The only problem is that it didn’t smell of a doner kebab shop as I step in and read items listed on a chalkboard behind the counter– very London-Turkish-Kebab-shop style. It smells of the most delicious Indian spices. My mouth is salivating. One look at the menu and we both realize they not only serve doner kebab here but tandoori. We look at each other and smile. This is turning out to be a very good Eid.
It takes half an hour to wait for our order, so we know it’s fresh. We can see the staff behind the counter working hard on our food. I’ve chosen the tandoori with rice. I could have chosen it with a wrap or salad, but I’m in the mood for saffron-colored basmati.
The seating is outside with quaint canteen-style wooden bench tables on the pavement in a quiet street in Heliopolis. They’ve even put marble counters around a couple of pillars in front of the shop with stools to sit on. I could see myself relaxing with friends and family whilst gathered around one of the tables and enjoying a meal.
“Doesn’t it feel like we’re in London?” my brother tells me as he leans against a noticeboard Adam’s has put up that has all sorts of adverts and postings. On the glass door, there is even a London underground sign that warns “Mind the Glass”, as opposed to the “Mind the Gap” signs found in London. It’s almost a shame that we are taking our food home.
With the delicious aromas wafting around the car, we’re thinking it wasn’t a good idea to order take out. This food was made to be eaten right away. The drive home is a very long, agonizing journey and it’s very hard not to reach over to the back seat and grab a bite. And then there’s getting home and having to photograph the food before I can devour it. While I took a couple of photographs I pinched a chip from the small packet and had to sit down. Adam’s chips are by far the best I have tasted. They not only taste oven cooked, although I saw that they were fried, there is an incredible seasoning of paprika and salt that sent my taste buds to heaven. It’s a shame that the small packet is expensive for its tiny size, 10.00 LE, but worth every penny. I did not want to share.
The food is in a plastic take-out container which is a good, generous portion for one person, although to be honest, it’s the portion of the rice that is generous. The tandoori has been cut up and scattered over the basmati rice, with some fried crispy bread, slices of tomatoes and garnishing.
The chicken tandoori, 20.00 LE, is delicious. The spices are perfect. Although mild, there is a container of yogurt on standby. To think I had to visit a doner and grill to find the perfect tandoori spices in Cairo, not an Indian restaurant.
The crispy bread pieces provide a crunchy texture, giving the experience an extra dimension. Everything was perfect except for the basmati rice, 18.00 LE. I think I felt it tasted more of the factory it was previously in. But it is great that Adam’s offers choices, so next time I could order the tandoori in a wrap if I felt the rice hadn’t improved. On the menu, it does mention they add garlic mayo sauce to the tandoori wrap, 28.00 LE, so I would definitely request they hold the mayo so I could specifically enjoy the taste of the best tandoori spices — and chips! — I have had in Cairo.
Adam’s Doner & Grill
3 El Mamaleek Street
Off El Marghani Street (Opposite Heliopolis Club),
Tel: 02 22 58 42 79
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