Snobs (contact details beneath review)
Snobs used to be in very small premises located amongst recently-built flats in the residential area on the way to Television Street, a little way off the tourist trail. Even so, it became very popular with people who were willing to seek it out to enjoy the quality food for which it soon gained an excellent reputation.
In the autumn of 2005 Snobs moved to much larger premises in El Rhoda El Sherifa St, opposite the Lotus hotel, much closer to the hotels at the southern end of town. At the time the road was a side street with no other tourist restaurants and little else of interest to visitors. Since then many other restaurants have followed Snobs into the road.
The restaurant has since been restyled and now sturdy wooden tables covered with burgundy over white cloths. The waiters blend in too, with matching shirts and ties, once smart burgundy and cream but more recently a suave burgundy and grey.
Snobs is run by Moamen Abdel Fatah, an extremely talented young chef, providing the kind of individuality and finesse rarely seen in hotels and busy restaurants. The management at the Old Winter Palace could learn a thing or two from Snobs. Moamen used to work in the royal guest palace in Saudi Arabia and has cooked for the King of Saudi Arabia as well as Heads of State from around the world. If its good enough for them .....
Uniquely for Luxor, as far as we can recall, you are offered a refreshing towel soon after arriving. This is a most welcome freshener in a climate that is usually hot and quite dusty. There is also a complimentary aperitif. Service is attentive without being obtrusive and overseen by a truly excellent maître d'hotel as well as the owner.
The menu has English and international options, including Egyptian and oriental choices with a good variety of vegetarian dishes. We have tried many of the menu options and have never been disappointed. Well cooked, well presented and ample portions provide just what you look for in a great meal.
Prices are very keen for a restaurant of this quality. Three courses with soft drink can cost under LE100. Soups are mostly LE15, which compares very favourably with local competition, and a range of salads are around LE25. Our favourite salad in Luxor is the Snobs salad at LE28, a blend of traditional salad ingredients and fruit, beautifully presented, fresh, tasty and so large it could be mistaken for a main course. Pasta and pizza dishes start at LE40 and steaks with sauce are mostly LE65. An impressive range of fish, meat and poultry main courses are mostly LE50 - LE63.
For a special occasion try the 'Grand Mezze' selection, a wonderful variety including prawns, other fish, various meats, spring rolls etc, delivered with a fanfare. It is suggested that at least two people share, but, depending on your appetite, we think it could satisfy three or even four.
At the end of your excellent meal, you can finish off with a wonderful cappuccino. These come in three sizes. The small is really quite big; the regular is huge and the large is massive.
As well as excellent dining in the evening, Snobs has a full snack menu well suited to lunchtime, including some of the best omelettes in town from around LE38, sandwiches with salad or chips from LE35, pizzas from LE45 and other favourites.
Snobs does not sell alcohol but you can take your own wine if you are discreet. There is no formal dress code, but you may feel out of place if you are not smartly dressed. Smoking is permitted at the far end, but efficient air conditioning means this shouldn't be a problem for any but the most sensitive non-smokers.
We have high regard for several restaurants in Luxor that offer extremely good quality with value, such as Puddleduck for an excellent international and English menu in an English ex-pat restaurant; King Tut for very good value and excellently prepared meals, especially the Italian fish ones; Jewel of the Nile for Egyptian and international dishes in a very friendly environment and Sofra, near the railway station, for excellent value and reasonable (but not faultless) Egyptian food in a colonial setting. However, if we had to choose just one place to eat in Luxor, for variety, for quality food cooked impeccably, for excellent presentation, for service the way it should be and for value, we would choose Snobs.