For the past two months, I have been spending most of my days in Downtown as my work is based there. Every day I walk down Mohamed Mahmoud Street on my way to work, I pass by a small restaurant called Oldish. To be honest, its exterior design didn’t look appealing enough to me, but I liked how small and cozy it looked so I wanted to check it out.
I personally love whenever a restaurant uses a frame chalkboard and doodles on it creatively. And that is the first thing that won Oldish love points before I even stepped foot into the restaurant. Three steps into the place, I felt like I stepped into Narnia’s closet; the small restaurant turned into a three-area-place. There is an indoor area overlooking the remarkable graffiti of Mohamed Mahmoud, another indoor fancy area with music and cozy lights on and a beautiful outdoor garden inspired by the old days of Cairo.
Because of Oldish’s wonderful interiors (and wanting to take blog photos), we decided to sit in the garden. I took my time to notice the little details; from the central tall tree, the antique shelf, the 20’s suit and tarboush, to the vintage shuttered windows and doors. The restaurant is part of an old apartment building so you may find pleasure in watching a mum line-drying her laundry (if you find that creepy then let’s pretend I didn’t suggest that). The general outdoor atmosphere is relaxing, I felt like I was on the peaceful side of Wust El-balad. Although they didn’t play music on in the garden, the breeze of air and lovely setting set the mood just right for me.
Wherever I go, whichever restaurant I eat at or hotel I stay in, I always order pizza and a lemonade smoothie… unless they don’t make any then I settle for a burger sandwich and Pepsi. To my surprise, Oldish has this huge menu selection from proper breakfast plates to lunch meals to desserts and a variety of drinks. But even though their menu selection is so tummy-pleasing, especially that they make stuffed vine leaves (my favorite), I went for a margarita pizza and a lemonade watermelon smoothie. Honestly, the pizza wasn’t the best I’ve ever eaten, but it was still cheesy and delicious. I’d give it 7 out of 10. The smoothie though was refreshing; it is the kind of drink you’d have while you’re tanning on the beach.
After we finished our lunch, we moved from the garden to the fancy indoor area. The lights were dimmed, classic music was on, and the tables were a bit fancy; it was kind of romantic and calming. I could easily imagine myself going on a proper date there. I loved how they paid attention to the details; from framed photos of Arabic poetry to even bathrooms inspired by the old Arabian times. I mean, I never thought I’d upload bathroom photos on my blog but theirs are just too nice not to share with you.
On your way out of Oldish, you will find a big tack board where hundreds of Polaroid photos are stuck and nice notes on. If you have the time to check them out, please do, it will definitely make your day a little better!
Oldish is now one of my favorite spots to go to in Cairo. It is the kind of place you’d want to go to if you just need to put your life on hold and enjoy some time alone or with good company. It is the kind of place you’d go to just to wind down. Plus, the staff is friendly and they have free Wifi. What else do you need?! Go call someone you love hanging out with and decide on a day to check this picturesque place out! Don’t forget to tell me in the comments if there are other cool places in town I should go see as well.
Keep an eye on @DowntownCairo Instagram as one of those photos will be featured there. Yay!
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