Jamboree restaurant - in the market
The Jamboree has a history that goes back way a long way. Once upon a time, it was a restaurant on several stories not far from where the back of the Savoy Market is now. It had only few tables on each floor but a good roof from which there were views of Luxor Temple. The heyday of the Jamboree was during many years of management by the Scottish couple, Billy and Carole, before they moved off for brief spells at El Kebabgy, 7Days and others. Many of the reviews of the Jamboree, especially older printed reviews, still refer to this old Jamboree, so if you are reading old reviews and recommendations, and not recognising the Jamboree, this may be the reason.
That old Jamboree was demolished, along with the nearby restaurants, as part of the central area redevelopment. For quite a long while there was no Jamboree at all until this new one opened near the middle of the tourist market. It is now quite easy to find just by strolling through the market, or cutting up to the market from the main road behind the temple, either side of the Susanna hotel.
Open front part
Its location is one of the attractive features of the Jamboree. It is on the first floor right behind quite a busy part of the market, so from the front you can look down on the bustle of the market without being hassled - at least until you leave. Beware as you get close, though. It is quite likely that someone will approach you pretending to be from either this or the nearby Lotus restaurant. He will accompany you to the door of either restaurant and signal to the owner that he has brought you there, for which he earns a commission!
The Jamboree has two halves. One part - the first part you emerge into when you arrive - is a traditional inside restaurant. Go through this to the left and there is an area that is roofed, but with an open front, so sitting at a table along that edge is like sitting on a balcony, overlooking the central area of the market.
Inside the enclosed part of the Jamboree
The inside (enclosed) part of the restaurant is smart and spacious. Tables are typical restaurant tables with double cloth covers. The balcony part is smart in a different and more practical way: iron chairs and tables with stone tops.
Most people probably come here for a drink and light snack whilst they are in town, but the more substantial meals are also available. Food is not exceptional. It used to be better, but the reduction in tourist numbers seems to have resulted in poorer quality meats and some things missing altogether from a menu that appears extensive.
This is the sort of place you come because you are in the area or because you want a fair meal, in an atmospheric location, not specifically for the best meal in town. It is, nevertheless, OK if you want an experience only this location can offer, rather than a plusher restaurant and a better meal elsewhere in Luxor.
View from the balcony of the Jamboree onto the market
Prices are quite good, especially for a central restaurant, where you might expect a 'location premium'. Hot drinks are between LE5 (for karkade) to LE12 (for English tea). Most cold cans are LE7. Beers and wine are available.
Jacket potatoes with filling are LE18 - LE23; leaf salads are LE9 - LE15 and filled omelettes, served with chips, are LE18 - LE22. For something more substantial, most chicken and fish dishes, including a range of tajines, are LE35 - LE43 and a Sunday roast is a very reasonable LE55. Our benchmark steak with sauce is LE52, which beats most of the 'southern cluster' restaurants, including Maximes (which used to be famed for budget steaks) by quite a margin. If you really want to splash out, soup followed by a whole duck with the trimmings is LE200. Desserts are LE9 (for a single scoop of ice cream) to LE24. If your meal costs LE35 or more a visit to the salad bar is included.
In the spring of 2013 the Jamboree tried to vary things a bit by introducing a barbecue on the balcony. This is fine, although the prices are a little higher than the same meats cooked traditionally.
All in all, a decent stop-off when you are in the market, and certainly one to think about if you are staying locally or to enjoy the atmosphere of the market below, but one for the overall experience rather than specifically for the food experience.
Updated April 2013
Prices at April 2013
Tel: 002 01008350074