Ali Baba restaurant
Ali Baba was due to close, because of the ongoing redevelopment of the central area, but the date has moved time and time again.
This restaurant is behind the Luxor Temple between McDonald's and Sindbad. Its entrance is a few yards along the busy road that sweeps past McDonald's and goes left away from the temple. You go up a slightly rickety wooden staircase and arrive on a first floor rooftop with a trellis and canopied cover.
The seating is a little cramped. Tables are arranged regimentally and covered with cloths, topped with a glass sheet. This is an improvement on the thick, blue plastic cloths they used to have. Seating is on benches with rather tatty covers. Some of the benches are missing a seat slat or two, so take care when you sit down, but they are sturdy enough. Overall the place appears somewhat scruffy and the kitchen area a little disorganised. A backpacker would be more comfortable here than someone staying at the Winter Palace. Even so, everything works out OK.
There used to be a more substantial menu, but it was also more expensive. The range has reduced somewhat, but so have the prices. The menu now offers a few international dishes, a few more egyptian or oriental dishes and a small number of italian options, plus sandwiches, omelettes and sides. A fair range of local full meals are around LE40 - LE45; mousakka is LE30, a mixed grill LE50, pizzas are between LE20 and LE30. Omelettes are from LE10. Unlike before, now it provides fair competition for its neighbours, Sindbad and Hamees in terms of value.
View from Ali Baba
The food is fine if not spectacular. In fact there is little to get excited about apart from the view. But what a view! From the end of the restaurant furthest from the entrance there is a superb vista of the back of Luxor Temple, similar to the one from the top of McDonald's but without telephone wires in the way and similar also to the view from the balconies at Snacktime and Café Latte. If you don't want to eat here, it is worth coming for a drink to marvel at the temple and the west bank beyond. Beers are from LE8 a glass and a freshly squeezed juice is LE9. In what other city can you sit within yards and full view of a main attraction and sip a cool drink of your choice for around £1?
For a similar outlook from a more limited number of tables and more restricted fast-food menu,Snacktime and McDonalds are close by or if you just want a drink, the newer, cleaner, fresher Café Latte is a few steps along the road.
Review updated October 2014
Prices at October 2014