A little nostalgia goes a long way, as we found during our recent visit to Bikia Eatery. If you need a touch of the ‘balad‘ in your life, this is the Sheikh Zayed location to head for. You will find dishes that have been a mainstay of Egyptian sustenance for generations.
Type of Cuisine & Signature Dishes
Remember your favorite childhood street snacks, and treats turned out by your grandmother? Bring on the foul, the sojouk, the feteer, the mombar and the hawawshy! The comprehensive menu has those, and loads more.
Signature dishes are the Bikia Bomba, Feteer in many forms, Chicken Liver Salad, Alexandria Liver Sandwich.
We were looking for an authentic dining experience and were spoilt for choice, so asked for recommendations. Not a problem, dishes were described and suggestions made. Our starters of cheese and meat sambousek came alongside a dainty serving of Baba Ganoush, and were quickly followed by the Chicken Liver Salad. Both the cheese and meat sambousek were freshly fried and piping hot, the white cheese was sharp and tangy, the meat spices just right. The Baba Ganoush was also seasoned to hit the taste buds, there was a discernible peppery kick hidden in that creaminess.
The Chicken Liver Salad was a delight. Tender chicken livers on a bed of pomegranate seeds, lettuce and rucola, dressed with a zingy balsamic, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice glaze. The piquancy of the dressing set off the warm earthiness of the livers and was a winner.
Following up, we shared a dish of Chicken Fatteh and a dish of Moussaka. The Chicken Fatteh was presented with a contemporary twist. A layer of rice drenched in yoghurt sat over a crunchy base of fried shami bread, and the chicken came as grilled strips, which rested lightly on top. The Moussaka was hot and filling, with a generous amount of eggplant and minced meat bathed in a béchamel sauce, making for good winter comfort food! Presentation of all items was quirky and vintage, and drew on the bikia theme, adding to the mood.
Taking a break to sip on our lemon and mint juice, we considered the dessert options. We had to taste the signature Bikia Bomba, the Sugar and Milk Feteer and the Sweet Potato with Honey and Béchamel. The famous Bikia Bomba turned out to be a large aluminum mug brimming over with a layered combination of oriental pastries, fresh banana, apple, mango and creamy roz bil labn, all drenched with fresh mango and strawberry juice. It was the gloopiest sugar-laden offering we had ever encountered, and although we did our best, we could not polish it off. Hat’s off to the many aficionados who can…
The Sweet Potato and Honey with Béchamel was just as described, sweet and tasty, and thankfully in a manageable portion. The feteer came liberally dusted with powdered sugar and was accompanied by a small jug of milk. It went down very easily, we are rather embarrassed to admit.
By the time we had cleaned the plate, time had slipped by and Bikia was rapidly filling up, so we decided to forgo tea or shisha and headed off into the night.
Juices, shakes, smoothies, hot and cold traditional beverages, tea and coffee.
The Décor & Ambience
Bikia lives up to its name, the interior has a distressed, reclaimed ‘downtown’ vibe, but is cunningly merged with trendy industrial style lighting, minimalist wooden tables and metal based seating. Memorabilia is a feature, especially the wall display of old cameras. There is a mezzanine area and large roof terrace in addition to outdoor seating in the main courtyard area, making the area more spacious than you’d first imagined.
There is a ‘meet-up’ mood in evidence; it is obviously becoming a hub for a sector of the community. Music ranges from mid-range pop to more Arabic beats as the evening goes on.
Clientele Mix & Price Range
The crowd is a mix of singles, couples, groups of friends, girls on a night out. Mainly 20s and upwards when we visited, but the night was still young. No doubt weekends would see quite a few families as well. The final bill is Inexpensive
Opening hours: 8 am to 2 am
Address: Atrium Plaza, Sector 12, Sheikh Zayed.
Tel: 0106 355 5000
Delivery and Takeaway: Both available.
Facebook / Instagram: BikiaEatery