Sobya dessert at Al-Rahmany at A- Sayeda Zainab, Cairo - Monika Sleszynska
CAIRO – 10 September 2017: If you love going to timeless places with a traditional feel of Egyptian culture, visit Al-Rahmany cafe in Cairo and eat Sobia (also Sobya) with a difference. Yes, that is right. There is a Sobia you can eat, not only drink.
Food in Egyptian culture is treated with much respect and meaning. No surprise, since it is an important element of celebrations, gatherings and beliefs. It is an invitation to sharing and nurturing.
Al-Rahmany cafe has been serving Sobya since 1920 - Monika Sleszynska
The warm Egyptian tradition is caringly reflected in the little local café Al-Rahmany in Al-Sayeda Zainab. Set few minutes’ walk east behind the Garden City; Al-Rahmany has been serving Sobia dessert since 1920.
Mostafa Shokry enjoys visiting the area of his childhood for a taste of 'Sobya Al-Rahmany’ - Monika Sleszynska
For Mustafa Shokry, who used to be a resident of the Al-Sayeda Zainab area, visiting Al-Rahmany cafe is a celebration of childhood memories, as whenever he received money, he would come for a treat with friends to buy Sobia and walk to the Nile and eat it there. Sitting by the Nile with a friend and enjoying Sobia is certainly a delicious taste of Cairo.
Sour version of Sobya at Al-Rahmany - Monika Sleszynska
Sobia at Al-Rahmany is different as its texture is thick and therefore is served as a dessert not a drink. Sobia is more than just a white tasty portion that brings joy to ones’ taste buds. Commonly called ‘Sobia Al-Rahmany’ comes in two variations; sweet and sour, both served in a glass, with sprinkled cinnamon to be eaten with a spoon.
Mostafa Shokry with Sobya in front of Al-Rahmany cafe - Monika Sleszynska
Al-Rahmany cafe is famous for its unique tasty recipe and thick consistency. The place is highly popular not only in Ramadan but all year round and especially in the summer evenings. The recipe is kept secret and no one but the family of Al-Rahmany knows the secret to its texture and taste.
Al-Rahmany cafe and the neighborhood streets in Al-Sayeda Zainab, Cairo - Monika Sleszynska
The traditional and widely known Sobia comes in a form of a rice and coconut drink. The sweet white liquid mixture is one of the most popular fast breaking drinks for the first meal of the evening iftar, so during the holy month of Ramadan Sobia appears on many dinner tables and is sold abundantly by street vendors, little stands, shops and trough home deliveries packed in bags or bottles.
Liquid Sobia is commonly found in juice shops along the year. Many enjoy making Sobia at home. In general, Sobia recipes vary slightly with preparation methods and ingredients. For example, the Egyptian Sobia is much different from the Saudi variations which are based on grains and richly flavored with spices like cardamom. Usual recipes are based on soaked powdered rice mixed with coconut milk and sweetened with sugar. The white liquid mixture is chilled and served cold as a smooth milky drink.
Sayeda Zeinab Mosque is a few steps away from Al-Rahmany cafe - Monika Sleszynska
There are no tables or chairs at Al-Rahmany cafe. People enjoy it while standing or take it to go. The idea of having the special Sobia by the Nile is certainly appealing.
Sweet Sobya with cinnamon at Al-Rahmany - Monika Sleszynska
Sobia is also a female Islamic name meaning, “good and noble girl”. Egyptian white Sobia dessert certainly reflects the goodness and nobility food can bring.
5 Al Gawali
5 Al Gawali, Al Inshaa WA Al Munirah, El-Sayeda Zainab, Cairo Governorate
15 minute walk towards east behind the Four Seasons Nile Plaza hotel.
Two minutes south from French Cultural Centre and Cairo French Institute.
Entering the area from southern direction of Nile Corniche turn right into Ismail Seri, take first left into El-Shaikh Ali Youssef and the second right is Al-Gawali Street.