Experiencing Old Cairo At Khan El Khalili’s Nakshabandy Restaurant

Being more than 4000 years old, Egypt is the beating heart of civilization, history and culture. With such a rich heritage, companies like Culture Haus are there to create life-changing cultural experiences that give people a taste of Egypt’s past.

Beyond its work in arts, fashion, branded residences and property management, they also know how to create food experiences immersed in culture. Under its food and beverage arm is their new restaurant Nakshabandy.

Hidden within the meandering streets of the bustling Khan El Khalili, El-Nakshabandy is the special eatery that expertly weaves Egyptian heritage with the rich thriving spirit of local life.

The word “Nakshabandy” comes from two words, (Naksh) and (Bandy), which in Arabic means “Heart” or: God’s love engraved on the heart. That is the very spirit of Nakshabandy as it represents the heart of old Cairo.

The story of the restaurant is quite special as it was merely an empty space within the inner dwellings of Khan El Khalil. Through Culture Haus, Egypt’s past that is already thriving in Khan El Khalil’s streets made its way to the building that today houses Nakshabandy, breathing new life into it. We got the pleasure of visiting the new and revived eatery.

Under the dim lights of the restaurant, where cave walls dwell and centuries-old Arabesque balconies loom over guests, everyone got to embark on a journey back in time. With high ceilings and walls dominated by the classic Mashrabiya, we were teleported to the golden times of Cairo.

Even the seating pays homage to the old times. From the elaborately decorated red majlis boasting a low seating experience to the tiny poufs surrounding low tables, we got to step back in time to the world of Ottoman rule.

Then came the food, waiters dressed in waistcoats kept flowing in, gently balancing trays filled with a delicious authentic Egyptian feast. We got to indulge in everything from a hearty thick okra stew, and rich molokhia to succulent and juicy plates of mixed grill meats, grilled chicken, as well as plenty of choices from rice, pasta and freshly baked baladi bread.

Ending the day on a sweet note, oriental desserts entered the room as though they royal and prestigious, served in golden elaborate dishes. From a warm konafa nabulsi and a rich creamy Um Ali to a chilled Mastic ice-cream with chopped pistachios, it was a delectable.

As shisha smoke lingered and mint tea came in at the most perfect time along with the cacophony of laughter and guests wearing the restaurant’s very own tarboosh, the night came to an end as we all headed out to explore the thriving market of Khan El Khalili.

If you also want to experience the unique world of El-Nakhshabandy, you can book a table by contacting them on their official Instagram page.

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