Salah Salem Street
Tel: 20 2 510 9150
Concierge.com's insider take:
Inaugurated in 2005 under the auspices of the Aga Khan Foundation, Al-Azhar Park sits atop a reclaimed medieval garbage dump just east of the wall marking the edge of the tenth-century palace city of the Fatimids. The 74 acres of green, interspersed with marble plazas, a reflecting pond, and shaded gazebos, have become Cairo's version of Central Park. On the park's northern promontory, in a Moorish palace purpose-built by local craftsmen, the Citadel View restaurant serves Egyptian and Asian dishes (but no alcoholic drinks), including pigeon soup and fattah, a layering of meat, rice, brown bread, and vinegar and garlic-spiced yogurt. The draw is less the food than the atmosphere on the terrace, which offers spectacular vistas not just of Saladin's fortress and the Mohammed Ali mosque but all of Islamic Cairo. Book ahead on balmy nights and for the popular buffet lunch following Friday noon prayers.
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