What’s All Inclusive Food Like in Egypt?
Egypt is now a well-established ‘fly and flop’ holiday destination that’s become increasingly popular with British folk in recent years. Offering warm sunshine, great sites and luxury hotels all at competitive prices, this north-African country is a honey trap for families and couples who want a good value package holiday and a change from the usual big European resorts. Of course one of the major draws of Spanish and Greek resorts is the fact that British tourists are able to stay well within their comfort zone thanks to the largely English speaking locals, shops stocked with tabloid red tops, and of course, the national institution, the English breakfast, because after all, who wants tapas or Mezze for breakfast?!
While many holiday travelers flock to sample other cultures, including their food, there are some holidaymakers who require the veritable security blanket of an English menu complete with pies, Sunday-roasts and fry-ups (Benidorm has sandwich shops that wouldn’t feel out of place in rural Yorkshire), and the concern with emerging destinations such as Egypt for the less adventurous will always be ‘do I have to eat Camel’ (Camel is delicious by the way), ‘is Pork off the menu?’ and the classic ‘can I get a good cup of tea?’. Having spent a week in Egypt doing little more than stuffing my face, I feel I’m fairly well qualified to answer such questions.
We stayed in Jungle Aqua Park, a hotel that felt like a themed area within a large theme park. The entrance was like the gates to Jurassic Park (kudos to them), it had a huge pool that snaked around the 1000+ apartments, and it its own water park, which was almost as good as the seven all inclusive restaurants! Now, I eat pretty healthily on a day to day basis so I see a holiday as an excuse to eat whatever the hell I want, and I sure got my money’s worth!
Check out these other joints for mouth watering food and drink as well!
- Tagine – Moroccan delights
- Club MC – a snack bar (the main culprit for the extra couples of pounds I came back carrying)
Typically, we made a b-line for LeMarche at breakfast time, most of the food was served buffet style, but was replenished regularly so never ended being cold (or developing an unsightly skin). Chefs were on hand to cook omelets there an then, with your choice of toppings; somehow they managed to do this in less than a minute (it takes me a good hour from the planning stage to the finished product when I concoct an omelet at home). The usual breakfast fare was on offer, including sausages (not pork) huge selection breads, fruits, yogurts and juice.
Due to frequent and lengthy lie-ins, lunch would follow soon after, usually in form of a pizza and chips chaser. Again, all the pizzas were cooked fresh on-site in Club Mc, with a choice of toppings, and bottomless pits of (good quality) chips, and if you wanted dessert, there were wraps, rolls and sandwiches. If you wanted actual desert there was a dedicated ice cream parlor, though when we went it was only serving three different flavors – none of which were chocolate!
The place really came alive at night (though all the restaurants closed at 9pm, meaning no Spanish-style midnight dinning) the Colonies bar offered live music (well, an Egyptian Elvis impersonator, among other slightly suspect acts), while the trendier Indigo bar had dim lighting (that’s trendy right?) and played music that at least had a chance of appealing to people under 60.
Anyway, back to the food. Tagine really was the jewel in the crown here and without doubt the most popular restaurant. As you’ve probably guessed the faire was predominantly middle Eastern/Moroccan with plenty of slow cooked lamb, lebntils, cous cous, bread and humus. Yum.
The more I ate here, the more I appreciated the level of care that had been taken regarding the cuisine, in Asian Plant, there was a Chinese chef cooking the Chinese food and an Indian cook cooking the Indian food, a great touch. It would be easy for a place like this to provide barely edible and uninspiring slop, but Jungle Aqua park seemed to hit a fine balance between efficiently churning out mass produced food, and it actually being quite nice.
Very nice in fact! My two favorites dishes are steak and curry, so imagine my delight when, on our last night in the hotel, Asian Plant they were serving steak kebabs with Madras sauce and selection of sides including Naan and Dahl (lentils in a garlic sauce) which pretty much encapsulates my ideal meal.
Carb fanatics won’t be disappointed either here, the Italian kept hearty portions of lasagna and various different types of pasta coming with an almost relentless efficiency. The only downside were the desserts, which were generic across all the restaurants, no Italian Tiramisu or Pineapple fritters here, just an uninspiring collection of cakes exhibiting a wide variety of hues, but a very similar flavor.
We were super impressed by the food at Jungle Aqua Park, something that was evident from our ever-so-slighted expanded waists and new found mild lunchtime pizza addiction. The offering here was a good few notches above the average all inclusive sludge and in some cases, near top restaurant quality, highly recommended. Oh and in case you were wondering, I did eat Camel, you’ll struggle to find pork, and the Egyptians love a good cup of tea!
We’ve been on a few times with different companies, Hayes and Jarvis were the most memorable, though Jungle Aqua is only available through a few tour operators.