Already on the foodie radar for its memorable pop-up events, presided over by its four founding partners; Alia, Nada, Chef Maha and Chef Yomna, Lokali has now thrown open its doors in Maadi. Catching it only a few days after its launch, we dropped in for a late lunch.
Signatures Dishes & Dishes Sampled
At present the menu is mainly about breakfast items, salads, pizza, sandwiches and burgers, with appetizers, pasta and other main dishes coming soon. The scrambled eggs and omelet dishes are already scoring good reviews, it should be noted. True to Lokali’s ethos, locally sourced, chemical-free ingredients are used in all dishes, and products, including bread, mayo and condiments are made in-house. The focus is on recapturing traditional flavors and produce, with a contemporary twist. Vegans and vegetarians are also well catered for.
Reaching Lokali an hour before closing time, we opted to share a salad to start, with a sandwich and burger to follow. We had just started sipping on our Aswan Hibiscus Iced Tea, (with bio-degradable straws, we were delighted to note) when our Mixed Greens & Strawberry Salad, complete with a selected addition of sous-vide duck breast arrived. It was easily large enough to share, and we loved the play of flavors between the sharp sweetness of the strawberry, the garlic confit and the creamy tang of goat cheese. The honey and cilantro vinaigrette was a perfect match; we would come back again for that alone.
Our Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich and Lokali’s Burger followed a few minutes later, on locally handmade plates. Both portions were substantial, even with our healthy appetites we were challenged to clear our plates. The burger comes with a variety of add-ons, we went for beetroot marmalade and melted cheese. It was a combo made in heaven. Burgers come encased in fresh, buttery, homemade brioche buns, another Lokali touch. The beef patty, also cooked sous-vide before browning, was huge, moist and succulent. Made from a mix of lean local sirloin and brisket, the flavor was exceptional. The batter-fried chicken with cheese, tomato and gravy came served on a basil and roumi waffle, again in a generous portion. Both dishes were accompanied by crunchy potato wedges with wonderfully fluffy centers. Top marks!
There was really no room left for dessert, but we managed a dainty scoop of homemade peanut butter and eshta ice cream: a nice finishing touch.
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverages Available
We would love to try out the pasta dishes as soon as they are added to the menu. A visit for breakfast is definitely a plan as well.
The beverage menu is still being prepared; expect to find traditional local drinks, along with coffee and tea.
Lokali is refreshingly informal. It exudes boho chic, both in the compact interior and garden area, with local ethnic elements blending with edgy lighting. Seating is simple but comfortable, with wooden chairs and a rug-covered corner section, which we swiftly headed for. There is a selection of colorful striped blankets available for anyone wanting to ward off the chill of a winter evening, a thoughtful touch. Background music is relaxing and sets a chilled out mood.
Clientele mix: Everyone who enjoys good uncomplicated but imaginative food, and those who are vigilant about the sourcing of local chemical-free produce. Also, lots of young urban professionals looking for downtime relaxation.
Price range: Very reasonable.
Responsible pet owners, Lokali is a pet- friendly zone!
Opening hours: 10 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday
Address: 33B, Road 250 Digla, Maadi
Tel: 0100 046 1332