Saturday July 13th, 2024
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The Best Pasta & Pané in Egypt - A SceneEats Guide

In other words, ‘Macarona w Panee’, but we have to keep it classy…

Ziyad El-Helbawy

The sudden, and this year particularly rough, return of summer brings with it a series of rituals deeply ingrained in the Egyptian psyche. Chief among these annual traditions is an unfathomable yet entirely warranted obsession with, excuse our Franco, 'macarona w panee'.

Scientists have long jested about understanding the almost instinctual bond felt when presented with a plate of breaded chicken by the beach. While no conclusive theories have been put forth, the answer seems to lie within the crispy, golden shell and tender, juicy interior of everyone's favourite summer companion: fried chicken.

Whether it's the nostalgic pull of childhood memories spent at seaside resorts or the simple yet sublime joy of biting into that first crunchy piece, fried chicken holds a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of Egyptians. While the classic Egyptian 'panee' holds its own, one must acknowledge the mastery of the Italians in this culinary art.

Parmesano, Milanese, or Scallopini – the names may vary, but the soul-satisfying essence remains the same. For this week’s SceneEats Guide, we’ve scoured the country for spots serving what we humbly deem to be among the best Italian-style breaded chicken. Whether on the shores of the North Coast or catching up with friends after work, these spots truly hit the spot.

Il Divino | Branches all over Cairo & Telal, North Coast

Serving authentic Italian cuisine in Egypt for well over a decade now, Il Divino quickly took over the country with tastes quite literally divine. A classic plate with irresistible flavours, Il Divino’s Chicken Milanese, gently laid atop a bed of spaghetti, is a dish you’ll keep coming back for. 

Carlo’s | Branches all over Cairo

Making its way onto this guide is none other than Carlo’s classic thinly-sliced Chicken Scaloppine. No tricks with this one, it’s you, your chicken, and a side of fries against the world. 

Pier 88 | Branches all over Egypt

Panko fried chicken by the shore? We’re collectively crying in the office right now. Armed with their signature Chicken Milanese, Pier 88 has truly mastered the art of Italian cuisine, overseen by Italian restaurateur and founder Giovanni Bolandrini.

Zia Amelia | Downtown, El Gouna & U Venues, New Cairo

A cult classic beloved by all ‘gounies’ near and far, Zia Amelia is the go to spot in Gouna for a good ol’ Chicken Parmigiano. But if perhaps you’re currently unable to go the distance, you’ll be happy to hear that Zia Amelia has opened a new branch at New Cairo’s U Venues 

Pattini | District 5 & Mivida, New Cairo

Another delicious take on the Chicken Parmigiano, New Cairo’s family-owned Italian bistro Pattini pays all due respect to the classic Italian dish. 

Il Loft | Waterway, New Cairo

Breaded with reverence and fried to crispy perfection, Waterway’s Il Loft - aside from being perfect for first dates - knows just what to do with a cutlet, and we can’t help but go back for more. 

Foufa’s | 5A, New Cairo & Masaya, North Coast

Founded by two sisters following their culinary globetrotting adventures, Foufa’s serves up all sorts of global dishes, but it is perhaps their signature Chicken Milanese that takes the proverbial cake. 

Crave | Branches all over Egypt

We know what you’re thinking - Crave? Well, absolutely, and anyone who argues otherwise has never tried their breaded chicken and pasta combo, and would be surely - and sorely - missing out.  

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