It’s always fun to try out different cuisines around Cairo but our latest visit to Nişantaşi was so exceptional that we just had to share it with our readers.
If you’re ever looking for the perfect spot for a family gathering over a scrumptious feast or a quiet dinner out on the terrace read on, because Nişantaşi has all that and more to offer.
By Mariam Elhamy
Signature Dishes: Out of the many signature items on the menu, their specialties would have to be the Nişantaşi Tajin and the Tuzda Lamb Shank and they both come with a show.
We are not exaggerating when we say that our tasting experience was nothing but a journey of flavors. Our work was cut out for us when we were handed Nişantaşi’s tablet menu because it included various sections with so many delicious dishes displayed with a photo and a description of every ingredient on the plate in both English and Arabic.
We loved being able to see every dish so that we had some idea of what we were ordering. It gave us recommended dishes based on the item we were viewing which made our selection process easier. The detailed description of each dish also helps you rule out if the dish has any ingredients that you are allergic to or you just don’t like.
The first dishes to come to our table were the Nişantaşi Salata, the Nişantaşi Meze, the Sigara böreği and a freshly baked breadbasket. These palate pleasers kept us busy until our main dishes arrived. The salad was a mix of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion and mint but what made it really special is the exquisite olive oil and crunchy walnut pieces.
We chose the Nişantaşi Meze because it had a little bit of everything, from spicy tomato yogurt to baba ganoush, sliced olives and hummus. For those of you who have no idea what a Sigara böreği is, it’s a roll of deep fried thin pastry filled with Turkish white cheese.
On with our meal, the next to arrive was the highly recommended Pide, which is the Turkish equivalent of a pie baked in a wood fire oven. We ordered ours half filled with chicken and half filled with sliced beef fillet, both halves had melting cheese and we couldn’t decide which one we liked more.
For the main course, we went for the signature Nişantaşi Tajin. The Tajin came on a skillet flaring with fire and the top bread layer was cut and rolled in front of us revealing grilled Adano kofta and prime beef fillet. We could barely wait to get our forks digging in it once it was served on the table. Marinated in a special sauce, a mix of vegetables and sweet prunes, the meat was so tender and full of flavor that it immediately sent our taste buds into celebration mode.
As if that wasn’t filling enough, Nişantaşi decided to treat us to one more of their special fire shows. When the waiter first started expertly banging with his tools to the sound of some traditional Turkish music we didn’t know that there was something cooking in the fire. He asked us to crack open a hard shell of salt with a small hammer that revealed a wrapped Tuzda Lamb Shank, two pieces of lamb that were so tender, the meat was basically falling off the bones.
Our senses were really delighted when we dug into the crunchy Dondurmalı Baklava that was served with vanilla ice cream and pistachio. No Turkish meal could ever be complete without the traditional Fıstıklı Künefe, a pistachio filled kunafa. And since we have an extra sweet tooth we ordered ours with Nutella on the side, yummy!
Other Dishes that Appealed
On another visit (definitely happening very soon) we’d love to give Nişantaşi’s delicious looking breakfast and Döner a try.
Décor & Ambience
The décor is really everything you’d expect from a Turkish restaurant. With hints of black and gold, the venue is very elegant and spacious. Their outdoor seating area overlooking the mall’s dancing fountain is great for a family gathering when the weather is nice outside.
It leads into an indoor area that is comfortably furnished, inviting you to stay and enjoy a leisurely meal. For those who are looking for a quieter spot, the small terrace on the other side of the restaurant has the perfect table for two.
Clientele mix: Families, friends and couples.
Price range: Affordable, the normal range
Good to know: You can enjoy the taste of Istanbul at home too with their home delivery service. Order online through their website
Address: Cairo Festival City, New Cairo – Citystars Mall, Nasr City
Telephone: 0122 253 3336
Working hours: 10 am to 12 am
Facebook / Instagram: nisantasi.eg