• Finding a vegetarian dinner in Zamalek.

5 Sharia Sayyed al-Bakry
Zamalek Cairo

L’Aubergine is where the cool kids of the American University hang out.  Sitting between its smokey, decorated walls, I noted how each table was international – Spanish, French and American at one, German and Arabic at another.  Each of the four tables spoke multiple languages.

I had asked my hotel to recommend a restaurant. They refused.  I asked them which direction to go to find one.  They pointed me down a quiet street with no action.  Defeated I ended up at L’Aubergine (with an almost European menu) having noticed it on a walk a few hours before.

I ordered a Stella and wanted to cheers myself.  I had just returned from Mt Sinai that day and perhaps the mountain air had made me too solitary.  No doubt I was singing to myself too.

The pumpkin kobaba was interesting and delicious.  It resembled an Indian Kofta but with mashed pumpkin, lentils, nuts and spinach in the middle.  The pumpkin was spiced with cloves.  The three dumplings were served in a creamy, yoghurt sauce with a hint of lemon.  It was a really bizarre dish but it came together well.  

To accompany was half-saffron rice and a warm salad.

The atmosphere at L'Aubergine was international.  I feel defeated trying non-local food when travelling but Zamalek is a foreigners suburb (the embassies and the international university are here) and in my hungry state it was hard to find anything Egyptian and vegetarian.  The lady with whom I shared a room ate at Subway - now that would have been a disaster.