A chef, a foodie, and a creative mind, Amira Elhamy brought African flavors and ambiance to the Red Sea with Bongoyo resto-bar. After years as a caterer, and a stint in Tanzania as a chef, Amira returned to Egypt to introduce us to a new, rich cuisine: African.
Amira made El Gouna her base for her new restaurant, as the resort city is quickly becoming a gastronomic capital.
All dishes are African-inspired from all over the continent, making Bongoyo home to several signature dishes. The owners, like the serving team, will recommend the Zulu Buns, the Lamb Shoulder, the Seafood Malindi coming all the way from Malindi, Kenya.
Also high on the recommendations list is the Malva Pudding as a sweet finish to the meal.
Once seated, we were served a complimentary soda water infused with pomegranate, apples and grapes. We started our meal with a duo of delicious appetizers: Pineapple Salad and the popular Zulu Buns, a South African fried dough filled with pulled beef and raisin stew.
The bread was not a texture we were accustomed to, a mix between profiterole dough and hard-shell bread, made with a yeast dough and similar to the Caribbean Johnnycake for those who know.
The salad was whimsically served in an actual hollowed-out pineapple, made with thinly diced bell peppers, corn, cherry tomatoes, and more pineapple in it, it was one of the freshest salads we’ve tried, and it tasted like summer on a breezy fall evening.
Then the star dish of the night soon arrived: Kenya Roasted Short Ribs. The meat is for two hungry people and was presented on a layer of buttery grilled vegetables and mushrooms with a side of Swahili Pili Pili sauce. Incredibly tender and moist, the ribs took us to food heaven, the yellow sauce gave the dish a surprising kick that we didn’t know we needed. The Pili Pili sauce is very spicy and very flavorful, perfectly complementing both the vegetables and the meat.
For the second main course, we had the African Beef Fillet, cooked to pink perfection. If a place knows medium from medium well, then know you’re in a true meat lover’s spot. The sides were Five-Spice Rice and Pink Pasta, both well cooked and full of unusual flavors, as the spices came straight from other African countries.
We had to go for dessert, and that only means Malva Pudding. It is not a pudding, but rather a cake, a malva (marshmallow) cake with apricot, and a scoop of ice cream. The apricot is visible but not overpowering, and even though it’s pretty sweet, the ice cream balances the sweetness, making it our new favorite dessert.
Other Menu Items that Appealed
For our next visit, we’ll make sure to try the highly recommended chicken wings as they looked crunchy and appetizing coming out of the kitchen. The menu is a real treat for meat-eaters. However, there are vegetarian options because, at Bongoyo, no foodie is left behind.
Décor & Ambiance
Bongoyo successfully created a miniature African vibe with wood and wicker furniture, accessorized with patterned cushions, and with tall hunter statues at the entrance. The lights are dimmed in the outdoor area and a little bright in the small indoors part, creating a fancy and mysterious mood with a bar in the middle of the venue.
The décor and the food were carefully curated to give patrons a comprehensive experience. It is definitely the new “it” place for friends and family gatherings, or for a quaint date-night with stellar food and cocktails.
Clientele mix: The ideal place for group dinners and dates.
Opening hours: 6 pm – 12 am
Address: Opposite to Ebeid Supermarket, Inas Eldeghedy St., Downtown Gouna
Tel: 0121 266 4696