Sunday 18 May 2008

Sangria Bar, Casino El-Shagara, Cornish El-Nil, Cairo

In an enviable elevated position overlooking a wide and fairly picturesque stretch of the Nile, Sangria is a fine spot for a dusk-time drink. There are several garden terraces, one of which has a row of bar stools facing the river, furnished in tasteful Arabic style. The menu features a large and varied mezze spread, which includes flavourful Asian dishes, such as calamari in sweet and sour sauce, more subtle local appetisers and large baskets of bread roles. It can be difficult to fit all the plates around the bizarre channels that run through the middle of Sangria's low heavy tables, seemingly made from concrete. On a warm evening, you should make room for a bottle of Sakara Gold, a slightly sharp local beer served ice cold. Later on, Sangria draws in a dolled-up, Westernised clientele on their way for a boogie downstairs at the Absolut bar. 8/10