Sokrats El Gouna
An evening spent at the Marina is pleasant at the worst of times. That is how idyllic the Marina is. But an evening spent at Sokrats El Gouna Resaurant is more than pleasant, it’s perfect. At Sokrats El Gouna is located in the heart of the Marina and the deck watches many passers-by as they wave and smile at the people they know. Sitting under the stars with great company makes this even more enticing with the delicious smells that permeate the air.
Cairo, in 1925 competed for the title of most beautiful city in the world against the likes of Berlin, Paris and London – and won! At Sokrats El Gouna, wanting to capture this spirit have decorated and refurbished the restaurant from the new wooden floors all the way up to the lamp shades on the ceiling. From the beautiful black and white photography of Egypt old to the intricately handcrafted furniture, you really get a sense of what Egypt was like in times gone by. Keeping with the theme of authenticity, their prized and famed Fateer is prepared and expertly twisted and tossed right on the deck, behind glass, for all to see. A traditional brick oven, custom built for the restaurant along with organic and locally sourced ingredients help keep the authenticity visual and tasteful!
Fateer, for those like me who didn’t know, is an Egyptian specialty and At Sokrats have certainly specialized in making perfect Fateer. Eaten with a savoury or sweet filling, your options are endless. But be careful, you can fill up fairly quickly on Fateer! In fact, that’s the one and only ‘complaint’ that they have ever had: It’s too much food! And they have not adhered to this complaint or minimized the portions at all! In true Egyptian style, the portion sizes are generous and presented with much pride! For most of us, it can be disappointing to leave a restaurant still feeling a little hungry. But have no fear, for in the case of At Sokrats, you’re dared to fit it all in! So much was the case that we had to come back for dessert 2 days later!
At Sokrats menu is well varied and they cater for a wide selection of breakfasts including regular egg dishes, traditional foul and taameya – commonly known as the original Egyptian falafel. But being dinner time, we opted for Fateer and at the owner’s recommendation, we ordered the chicken curry and the chicken and spinach. Both of them lack absolutely nothing in satisfying the taste buds and the texture of the Fateer is tantalizing with it’s balance between crispy and soft. Needless to say, it was a challenge to finish the meals. A challenge we both lost.
The interior of At Sokrats creates a different, slightly more intimate atmosphere than the exterior. Also, I had to smile at the table with the board games stacked on it. These games heart-warmingly display the restaurant’s catering for young and old and that they like to add a family element into the atmosphere!
I had to make sure I heard correctly when the owner told me that the restaurant has only been open for a total of 1 year and 1 month! The amount of atmosphere in At Sokrats, if atmosphere could be measured, is considerably high for such a young restaurant, but it becomes evident why when they explain how much thought and loving labour has been put into it. Apart from a few extra colourful decorations, most of the decor is handcrafted here in Egypt. And the craftings are of the most intricate designs! Our favorite little touch of cleverness was the copper trays which are an exact, only smaller, imitation of the much larger tables!
A couple of days after our evening meal we ventured back mid morning. At Sokrats atmosphere changes from the intimacy of evening to the expectancy of a sun-filled day! All the partorns, including us, were waving at our peers passing by, again showing off At Sokrats ideal location. And allow me to note that, facing a more-or-less southerly direction, At Sokrats has an amazing balance between sun and shade. Only needing a few umbrellas at the far end, most of it is shaded by surrounding buildings, keeping it nice and cool during the warmer hours of the day. This time we opted for sweet Fateer. Again, spoiled for choice, I was tempted to try the Peanut butter and Jam, 120LE, which is apparently an invention of a pregnant woman with odd cravings. But sticking with firm favourites we went with the Nutella and Banana, 110LE and Apple Cinamon, 86LE. My Nutella and Banana caught the eye of one of the partorns who, being much healthier than me with his breakfast Fateer, informed me quite matter of factly while pointing at my half eaten Fateer, “I’ll be back within the next 2 days to have one of those!”
What does the future hold for At Sokrats? There is much excitement in the owner’s eyes when he speaks of all the plans they have for this gem at the Marina’s heart. “We have a jazz musician every Wednesday and we’ll hopefully have a classical guitarist joining up soon. We want to hold poker evenings in the winter, and comedy nights as well,” he says, hinting at a comedic friend sitting nearby. And having friends nearby seems to be just another part of At Sokrats way! Friends will come in, have a Fateer and something to drink and then move on or they might sit, be merry and create memories for hours. It doesn’t always have to be a 3 course meal.
Open from 9 am to 11 pm you can visit At Sokrats El Gouna Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner and simply slow down and enjoy! Don’t let the 11 pm curfew stop you though. They stay open until the last hungry guest has left!
Hours: 10.00 to 0200
Phone: 0127 922 6082
Sokrats El Gouna