The cosy restaurant serving Cairenes their favourite home-cooked meals has relocated.
Downtown's cosy little eatery, known for its traditional Egyptian home-cooked meals, fasahet Somaya, has moved from 19th street Youssef El Gendy to street 59 which is at the intersection between Hoda Shaarawy street and Falaky street.
Famous for it’s homey vibe and old school dishes, Fasahet Somaya first opened in October of 2011 and gained popularity among young Cairenese for its unorthodox servicing when it comes to restaurants. Founder Somaya Hamed - who cooks all the meals herself - fell in love with the art of cooking after she got married. At the urging of her friends, who thoroughly enjoyed her cooking, she decided to open her own place. Unlike most restaurants though, she wanted to have an authentic homey feel through and through.“I want people to feel like they're dining at home. Everything from the meals to the décor to the utensils feel like home. When I first started, everything was actually from home and still is. I have mama’s 7elal, my friend's masfa and my sister’s pan among other things,” says the talented chef.
Opening for only a few hours a day - from 6pm to 9pm - the eatery's clientele are served meals based on what Somaya chooses to cook that day.
“I don’t really plan my meals. I go to the market and it just depends what I find that day and what I feel like cooking. And that’s what gets served the next day!” explains Hamed of her technique. "I tried the traditional way of doing things with a set menu and all but I didn’t like it. It was too mechanical and routine for me.”Designed as an open space, diners are even privy to the preparation of their meals as they get to see what goes on in the kitchen. The venue - which only takes up to 12 people - makes for an interesting outing where you can actually get to know your dining neighbors.
“I want to be very transparent about everything. My diners get to see how I make their meals and again, it feel exactly like you’re in mama’s home. I also don’t want to be hiding anything and so everyone sees me peeling the onions and cutting up the meat,” emphasizes Hamed.
The quirky eatery has become one of the pillars of downtown Cairo and a gem for those who need a break from the mainstream dining options and would rather opt for something a little more personal. It's like eating at mama's house without all the yelling and existential questions about what your life plans are and why you haven't gotten married yet.
All images taken from Mantiqti.