Koshari Missiles around the Corner.

blankFolks who aspire to open their own restaurant someday, should you ever plan to unleash a bi-lingual menu into the Dubai restaurant scene, please do not substitute human judgement with automated translation tools (hm. Google Translate?). It can do bad, bad things with your menu, like so:

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai - Menu

Foul (stewed fava beans) with ghee/clarified butterfat in Arabic + Automated Translate = Foul with obesity

I picked up this menu from the new corner restaurant on Rigga Road, Deira, called Soarikh Restaurant. Google Translate tells me Soarikh means Missiles, which seems like a perfectly plausible name for a restaurant. I will be so kind as to volunteer a tagline: Our Food is So Darn Good, You Will Be Blown Away. 

Translation hiccups aside, I read Soarikh’s menu backwards and forwards as I walked over to the stationery shop. The more I read, the more excited I got – the place was Egyptian (read: Koshari is now steps away from my apartment!) On my way back from the stationery, I stared into the restaurant for signs to confirm the Egyptian culinary stamp, and true enough, there were bottles of Kraft Cheese stacked up by the oven. JACKPOT. The place had to Egyptian. Egyptians love slathering on Kraft Cheese into their layered pastries. I haven’t encountered that phenomenon to the same extent in a Lebanese or Syrian bakery, nor a Turkish or Iranian one for that matter. It’s a dead giveaway of Egyptian layered pastry.

By the time I trotted back, I was convinced that I had to order a midnight snack that included the obese foul sandwich and a feteer (tossed, layered pastry) with labneh and za’atar. The foul (stewed fava beans) sandwich was surprisingly flavourful. Thick pastey beans, crunchy onions, tomatoes and lemon – it was so good that I flipped the khubz open like an oreo, and just scraped off the fava bean filling like a child (don’t judge. at midnight, the well-mannered etiquette-respecting diner in me turns into a pumpkin.)

The feteer was room temperature by the time it reached home – this is not something to ask for delivery (continue suspending judgement. even the practical voice in me turns into a pumpkin at midnight.) – but from the fact that  I polished off three-quarters of the pastry in one sitting, it clearly wasn’t all that bad. Any carb-loving soul would have a hard time not enjoying slightly crisp and chewy sheets of pastry, with a sour, za’atar-speckled thread of creamy labneh stitched all across the insides. I’d say it would be the ideal midnight snack if my apartment was bang opposite the restaurant. Or if for some unfathomable reason, I put up a little tent right next to the warm cosy ovens.

I went back the next day to try their goods in person. We headed right for a bowl of Alexandrian foul, scooped up with a slighter sturdier, crustier version of the khubz you get in most Lebanese places. I’m a fan of the Alexandrian Foul in this place – the onions, tomatoes and lemon are just right, making it anything but a plain old, stodgy, tasteless bowls of beans (I have sadly tasted the latter too.) I’ve made a mental note to try their Foul with Fried Eggs version for breakfast sometime too.

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai - Alexandrian Foul

True to my feteer fetish, a savoury Feteer graced our table. Soarikh’s version waltzed in with a naughty stream of melted ghee meandering across the golden sheets of baked pastry, and with Turkish cheese, tomatoes and olives cozied up inside.

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai -  Turkish Cheese Feteer

The Turkish cheese turned out to be crafted with goat’s milk, pungent, with a slightly bitter edge and aromatic with the gamey smell of stables. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but with the occasional briny olive or refreshing tomato chunk to cut through the gaminess, the flavours really grew on me.

_MG_7093Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai - Feteer with Turkish Cheese

And then the dish that can really hit the spot on a carb-craving day, Koshari. It came just as it should, with layers of rice, garbanzo beans, green lentils, macaroni, spaghetti and those glorious fried crunchy onions all over the top.

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai - Koshari

That said, the Al Ammor loyalist in me knows that I will probably crawl back to Ammor for their koshari if I get a chance. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but something in my tummy just whispered that it preferred Al Ammor’s version. But biases aside, Soarikh’s koshari was more than good. The tomato sauce was definitely worthy of a repeat-order, as was the extra chunky and garlicky Hummus Shams that we had requested for on the side (under the koshari sub-menu, you can order extras on the side).

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai  - Hummus Shams

The small portion of Koshari was more than enough to feed my folks and myself, and even though my folks are admittedly small eaters, beware of over-ordering.

Soarikh seems to be getting a good deal of attention from folks in the neighbourhood – I’ve caught people carrying takeout orders and even spotted an Egyptian server from my favourite Mandi restaurant lurking about for his koshari fix. They do a mixed platter with foul, taamiya (Egyptian fava bean falafel) and other yummies the same way Al Ammor does, so that’s probably going to be next on my hit list. That, and the pretty awkward sounding Chick Eyes Falafel.

Soarikh Restaurant - Egyptian Food Dubai - Menu

Soarikh Restaurant
Phone: +971 (4) 250-0115 or (52) 844-1669
Directions: Al Rigga Road, Beside the Port Said Mosque. Check out my Google maps link.

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

4 thoughts on “Koshari Missiles around the Corner.

  1. Shy says:

    Ha ha..Good one Ms Frying pan…That Koshari sure looks good..I have missed your reviews..guess the tours are keeping you busy…The African one is on my “To do” list”…Inshallah one day soon:))

  2. marwa says:

    very nice review. there is a suarikh restaurant in Alexandria for foul and Fetter and koushari. it is a land mark in Alexandria that people have to have a meal thier when they are visiting Alex. and funny enough it blossoms more at night and stay opened till 3 or 4 am.


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