The Salahadeen Feast, a Privilege Reserved for Mara House Guests.

Nestled within Mara House on Salah Al Din Al Ayubbi St., the Salahadeen pays tribute to the iconic figure Salah Al-Din Al-Ayubbi, renowned as the ‘Sultan of Egypt,’ despite not being of Egyptian origin.  From 1138 to 1193, he made history as the romantic and famed unifier of the Arab World, achieving remarkable feats including the conquest of Jerusalem in 1187 and the victory over Richard the Lion-Heart & the Crusaders in 1189.

Do you believe in synchronicity, or do you attribute “happy accidents” to mere coincidences?

The Story of the Salahadeen

When Mara envisioned and constructed Mara House, could she have possibly foreseen that the street would bear the name of Salah al Din Al Ayubbi from the annals of Crusader history? The answer is no; she wasn’t even aware that Saladin of the Crusades was Salah al-Din al-Ayoubbi.

Could she have anticipated that Saladin’s era would profoundly captivate her imagination 15 years later? Again, the answer is no.

And could she have predicted that her family’s quest for the perfect restaurant name would be answered simply by her son’s question, “What is the street called?” Once more, no. And so, it was that the restaurant at Mara House embraced its identity as ‘The Salahadeen’.”

Step into a world of timeless allure at the “Salahadeen”, where the centuries melt away, and you’re enveloped in the opulence of exotic Arabian luxury. Here, reminiscent of the grandeur cherished by ancient Sultans and Pashas, dining becomes a symphony of flavors. Embrace the tradition of Kings and Queens from eras past, savoring not one, not three, but a sumptuous selection of 15 authentic Arabian dishes served in 3 courses – a delectable journey to delight your taste buds.

The popularity of the authentic “Salahadeen Feast” served in the charmingly elegant Mara House restaurant gracefully catapulted Mara House to the pinnacle of TripAdvisor’s rankings during its public opening, a position it held until it’s closure to the public due to the events of 2011.  Our culinary offerings embody the very soul of traditional, nourishing Egyptian cuisine, a cherished heritage lovingly passed down through the generations.  We use only the best of freshest of foods available in the market each day, and the dishes change with the seasons.   The remarkable Chef, Amr, learned his culinary skills from a tender age, from his own mother.  Today, the Feast stands as an exclusive indulgence, a cherished deligh  reserved solely for in-house guests.

For guests who choose to indulge in our feast multiple times, we vary the dishes served each night to offer an expanded array of delectable dishes for them to savor.


The following comments were taken from reviews which have since been deleted from TripAdvisor as the restaurant is now private, only for in-house guests.  Apart from the reviews below you will find many more recent references to the food we serve in general reviews of on the Mara House page

Book your accommodation now at Mara House and your place at our Salahadeen Feast.

The dinners whipped up by their resident Chef is a delicious sampler of Egyptian cuisine.

  • TerriChin, Bonn – Stayed February 2016, traveled with friends (Reviewed on TripAdvisor)


“Mara House in Luxor

Ahmed and Amr were the staff during our stay and they were great. Amr is an amazing cook. Our breakfast had a variety of interesting Egyptian foods. We treated ourselves to dinner and the sauces and soups were outstanding. Definitely have dinner there.

Great place. Great people. Great food.

  • Steve G – Stayed January 2016, travelled with family (Reviewed on TripAdvisor)


 “The food Armha prepared for us was exceptional and without a doubt the best meal we had in Egypt.”

The food Armha prepared for us was exceptional and without a doubt the best meal we had in Egypt.  We will be recommending Mara house to our friends, and hope to return in the future.

Serena A – Stayed September 2015, travelled as a couple (Reviewed on TripAdvisor)
Salahadeen: The Best Meal Of My Trip (Ameen!)

As others have noted, the restaurant isn’t open every day so it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. That said, the decor, the splendid food and the overall atmosphere make it an unforgettable meal in a marvelous little out-of-the-way neighborhood of Old Luxor.

With its splendid soups and salads with marvelous entrees, dinner with Mara at Salahadeen will be one of the highlights of your trip to Luxor–it certainly was one of mine.

It’s located in the wonderful “Mara House” which would now be my top-recommendation for anyone thinking of visiting Luxor–an easy or carriage ride from anywhere you’d like to go. The rooms are beautifully decorated little “suites” and the staff is extremely fine. You might start with drinks on the rooftop and continue from there–or ask for an after dinner beverage overlooking the old town…

Your hostess, Mara, is a splendid Irish mystic whose taste and judgement is impeccable. Her “Mara House” is the “private Egypt” of which I had dreamed and her hospitality was marvelous!
She can also provide any tour of the area that you might wish–from Abydos to Karnak–and arrange for an airport pickup should you need one. The service is excellent!

Enjoy the experience–but remember to call ahead as it takes all day to prepare one of Mara’s Egyptian feasts!


The best meal of our trip
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We were lucky enough to be staying at the Mara House, the sister hotel to Salahadeen, but weren’t sure when we arrived if the restaurant would be open. How lucky we were that it was. Mara only opens when she has enough people wanting to eat there, as she’s a way from the tourist strip and there’s no passing trade who might pop in on the off chance. However, even if you are staying in the grandest of Luxor’s grand hotels, make a booking, hop in a caleche and get yourself down to the Salahadeen for the feast. It was without doubt the best meal we ate in a week of very good meals in Egypt (who said Egyptian food isn’t good?). It’s a three course extravaganza of the very best of local cooking (cooked by a local, too, Mara’s excellent chef, Amr). But three courses doesn’t really give you a sense of it. You start with two soups, then move on to an array of different dishes, presented mezze style, including the quintessentially Egyptian molokhia, fabulously spicy pickled vegetables, foul medames and umpteen other things – all delicious.
Everyone should try
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Salahadeen not only looks beautiful (decor) but the food is excellent and you can’t find most of these local cookings elsewhere. When I heard it is open, had to go there again. Reservation is needed. At first you might think the cost is more than in other restaurants – but – they have lots of different food and i just couldn’t move when I finished eating. If you eat starters etc. in any other restaurant the cost will be the same if not more.

– Jackie E, Taurinya, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Thanks for a wonderful dinner experience!

We had a wonderful evening at Salahadeen @ Mara’s house – the food was to die for (many thanks to the chef and kudos to his enthusiasm!)! This was the best dinner experience we had in Luxor, and we strongly recommended it. The place is in a non-touristy area of Luxor – which we found interesting and insightful to see.

Dining at Salahadeen requires a bit of preparation as they are open only if they is a sufficient number of guests. So best is to get in touch with Mara before your trip to Luxor, e.g., via e-mail and suggest a couple of dates that may work for you, or call while you are in Luxor. We found all this uncomplicated and very much worth the effort!

A real feast!
Here’s one of those hidden gems you might be looking for.

First, you get to experience the real Luxor as you by taxi or calesh ride to where the locals live. It’s only a five minute ride from the trainstation, but still an experience in itself. I’m sure Mara, who runs this place, can arrange that for you as she has her own drivers who knows how to get there smoothly. As you arrive you’re in a dark and dusty alley, but as soon as the gates of Salahadeen swings open the magic begins.

The decor is lovely, like you’d imagine it’d be in One Thousand and One Nights or something. The music is setting the mood (even though I’d prefer some more “magical”, mysterious music) and the staff will take very, very good care of you.

The thing is, this restaurant is only open when there’s a worthwhile number to open to, so it’s very exclusive. You really need to call or mail in advance, probably several days, maybe even weeks, to make sure it is open (might be different on bigger holidays, like Easter). And there’s only a few tables, although I’m sure they can make room for more if needed. A quick call or email is all it takes, Mara will respond immediately.

I’m not a big eater, I get full very quickly, but wow… The food was so good I just had to dig deeper. 15 dishes cooked, served and eaten in true traditional Egyptian fashion with the dishes served on one large tray that you spin around. You’ll be instructed how to get the most out of the food as well, combining different dishes to make it even more delicious.

I’ve been in Luxor for five days, and this is easily the best food I’ve tasted so far. Highly recommended for that extra memorable experience.

  • **********************

great range of food in a lovely dining room
Mara House is supremely comfortable and the dining room is a beautiful and relaxing venue for the wide and varied feast which is prepared when there are enough takers in the hotel. The meal consists of a large number of small dishes served on one large tray; having read other Trip Advisor reviews, it appears that others had had these served sequentially: starters, hot & cold etc. In our case, we started with a choice of two soups and then the rest all came together. I think it might have been nicer to have the hot and cold dishes served separately, but the range was excellent and the food all freshly prepared. Mara House staff are extremely helpful and attentive at all times, and it is a pleasure to be so well looked after.

Fantastic food in an amazing setting
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have been to Luxor lots of times but first visit to Salahadeen. There was a power cut in the area so it was difficult to find in the dark Our taxi driver eventually found the right place and it really was the RIGHT PLACE ! The house/restaurant is furnished in style and the food is authentic Egyptian – two soups for starters, then a dozen or more small dishes, some hot and some cold. A simple dessert followed. Everything was excellent. Mara was away in Cairo but that did not detract from the great dining experience. Because of the lack of tourists you need to make an advance booking as the restaurant is not open every night.


“Lovely food, excellent service.  Thank you for an enjoyable evening” – Marvin & Carrie (UK) dined 20 Feb 2012.


“Well another wonderful meal here 😀 read more


“Tolles Esseu, supter service, Agypten wie ich es liebe!  Underbara matupplevelser!  Fantastisk.  Njutit varje gekund”. – Katarina & Micha (Sweden/Germany) dined 20 Feb 2012.


“I can’t stop thanking all of you for making us feel at home.  We enjoyed every bit of our stay from the delicious food, the cozy room, the good advice and the excellent service.  This is a place that we will never forget, Mara.  We wish you the besta and you deserve to be No. !!  Gracias.  Michael & Jeanne-Marie (Arizona) dined 18 Feb 2012.


Thank you Mara and the staff!!!  For everything and the Egyptian meal.  We enjoyed it 🙂  Good luck with everyone!  Maybe we will be back on day.”  – Ming & Kwan (Neatherlands) dined 18 Feb 2012


“Salahadeen is a delightful change from the predicable hotel restaurants  read more.  – John & Nancy Pantone (USA) dined 13, 14, 15 Feb 2012


“Can’t thank you enough for this wonderful experience, for the Cead Mile Failte, the wonderful Salahadeen Feast, the beautiful room and surroundings.  Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and delicious food.”  – Elizabeth & Gregory Finch (UK & Switzerland) dined 15 Feb 2012


“Thanks for a wonderful stay, the Feast was lovely, Mara is great.  Wish you all the best”  – Annalisa & Michelle dined 14 Feb 2012


“I just thought that I’d make you all jealous…..  more….. Edward & Freda (Luxor)dined 13 Feb 2012


“We really enjoyed the meal, the soups are very good, – all the dishes are very interesting, thanks a lot for a good evening!”  Uffe, Berit, Lau & Philip (Denmark) – – dined 13 Feb 2012


The restaurant is, again, excellent. It does not open every day, but most days when the house is busy. The only food provided is a mini banquet of a variety of Egyptian dishes: 2 soups, 9-11 various dishes of meat and vegetarian, a desert (these all changed each day). All brought to your table and the staff explain what each dish is, how it’s made and what from. And one cannot, physically, eat all of it. There was loads, and very fresh and tasty. -Oct 2009


“The food was superb, with lots of dishes served at once. If you go to Luxor and aren’t staying at the Mara House make sure you try and book as I feel you will not get this type of experience of traditional Egyptian food in many other places (where you can safely eat without fear of stomach upsets)” Oct 2009


What an amazing meal. As vegetarians, we were served two different kinds of soup, ELEVEN sampler entrees, and an absolutely delicious desert. If you’re fortunate enough to visit when the restaurant is open full time, don’t even think about eating anywhere else. It was the best meal we had in Egypt.  11-Sept-2009


I had the privilege of dining at Salahadeen with a friend on October 19th.  We ended up having another lovely couple from London ask to join us at our table which made for a fun and festive evening.  The food and atmosphere was divine!  I highly recommend this authentic Egyptian feast of a meal.  Mara House is worth finding.  It is clean and welcoming.  I will definitely be back the next time I’m in Luxor.

Janis Bane – Oct. 2008


Last night we went with Marvin, Carrie and Lindiana to the Salahadeen Restaurant. This is a new establishment buried in the district behind the railway station. I know “the wrong side of the tracks” comes to mind but this is a peaceful area not frequented by tourists so has that added, real Luxor, feeling.

Booking is essential because all food is prepared freshly on the day and the large number of dishes presented need to be organised with numbers in mind. They offer a courtesy taxi to collect you from hotel or wherever and return at the end of the evening. I think this is a shrewd move on the part of the owner because it is quite a long way to walk through some area’s of re-development.

You are welcomed at the door and go into the tastefully decorated bar for complimentary Karkade and then pre-dinner drinks. You then move through to the dinning room which has a beautiful Moorish fountain as a centrepiece. The furniture and decor reminded me of the AlHambra in Spain.

The meal itself consists of 4 sequential trays each loaded with 4 or 5 dishes for communal eating.
The first course consisted of dips and salads and bread being used to scoop up your portions.

The second course was a very tasty chickpea soup followed by a second tray of fried aubergine and various pulses.

The third tray contained beef, liver and chicken dishes as well as the delicious potato dish which is so popular. This was served with roasted sweet potato as well. Its all about choice. Needless to say we just had to try everything.

The final course was a delicious fruit sourbet with pomegranate. Finally the meal was rounded off by a cup of chai.

All the food presented to us was superbly cooked and presented with smooth but unobtrusive service.

Our host was a delightful lady and we left saying we would definitely return.

The meal was a fixed price of LE100 per head so not necessarily the cheapest you will find but the quantity and quality make it good value for money. Oct. 2008  Barry on


This restaurant offers a unique dining experience in Egypt because it offers genuine Egyptian food.
I have been to Egypt on a number of occasions and have found a lot of restaurants offer a far blander, westernised equivalent of Egyptian foods.
The restaurant offers a set menu of 14 -16 different dishes over four courses; with the offer of a break between if it is needed!
The price for the meal comes in at 100LE a person and the restaurant has a bar with a large range of lagers and spirits including Heineken available at 10LE and spirits such as Smirnoff vodka and Gordons Gin.
Salahadeen restaurant is located in a suburban part of Luxor a short taxi journey away from the fuss and constant interruption of the tourist section, something that the restaurant is happy to arrange for you.
This restaurant is definitely worth a visit for people looking for the real Egyptian experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here, the food, the excellent and friendly service and the peace away from the tourist quarter.

TDPO5 tripadvisior October 17

We wanted to try Egyptian Food and decided to visit Salahadeen on the recommendation of ‘our flat at luxor’. It was easy to book a reservation via email before going on holiday and the complementary taxis arrived on time as promised. Although you can phone and book while you are there – best do it in advance as the food is slow cooked so they need a bit of notice.

We wanted a bit of an adventure and we got one. As some of you are aware there is lots of regeneration and lots of building works going on in Luxor. Once the taxi crossed the very basic level crossing, we entered the real Luxor and for just a few minutes I did wonder whether this was going to be a good idea.

Amidst all the chaos appeared a beautiful white building that looked out of place with its surroundings. At that point I realised that this was going to be a really good adventure.

This was a superb dinning experience. After pre-dinner drinks in the bar, we were escorted to the dining room which was wonderfully decorated with hand crafted Egyptian furniture and art works.

Mara (the owner) describes the meal as a feast and that it certainly was.

Each course, and there are four of them, was a wonderful experience. It is a mezze style meal with a selection of different things to try, salad and dips and bread to start, followed by soup, followed by vegetable dishes, followed by meat course that was wonderfully slow cooked beef and very tasty. The liver which is a very traditional was beautifully cooked, and I don’t like liver!

On one hand it was disappointing that dessert was missing due the mangoes being too ripe to serve, but on the other we were glad as we were so full we would have been unable to eat anything else.

It was good to try Egyptian food, new tastes, flavours and ingredients, we didn’t like all of it but that was due to our personal taste, but we did try it all as it looked so good. Some Egyptian food is meant to be eaten in small quantities, which is why each course has a selection of foods for you to dip in and try.

It was worth every penny, and an absolute pleasure to drink nice room temperature Egyptian red wine (why do some hotels serve it cold!)

we recommended it to friends we had made at our hotel and they too enjoyed it.

Will we come again? – See you next time Mara – it was a pleasure. – “Smudgejg” on  October 2008


Dinner was an experience we will never forget, true Egyptian Food. We thank Mara and her staff for a wonderful stay and we shall return again in the future. John, Julie and Jason.  7 Oct. 2008


After a few  truly amazing days in Luxor with all its intoxicating sounds, smells and sights we were verging on the brink of  sensory overload as we stepped into the  quiet refuge of  Salahadeen Restaurant situated in Mara House. I confess to having inkling as to what we would find given that I had read a review on Trip Advisor and had taken the opportunity to visit the website

My family and I were not disappointed. Mara House is a tranquil oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city situated on the outskirts somewhere behind the train station – just ask any taxi driver to take you there or Mara will arrange, with her compliments, a taxi to collect you from your accommodation.

On entering Mara House we were greeted warmly by Mara herself and as we sipped karkadeh in the beautifully decorated bar area, it was interesting to hear her story of how, once bitten by the Luxor bug, (so many of us have been) she decided to move from her native Ireland and build Mara House. The house itself is a rather large, grand building which comprises a number of apartments available to rent together with the Salahadeen restaurant. Mara is indeed a brave lady taking on such a huge project in a foreign land but she has done a fantastic job. The house is beautifully decorated in true sympathy with its surroundings and Salahadeen restaurant is both comfortable and sumptuous. A great deal of attention to detail has been given to everything from the alabaster wine goblets to the feature fountain which is the focal point of the room.

Mara sensibly serves a fixed menu at 8pm each night and ravenous after our day of adventures we eagerly awaited what proved to be an enormous feast of wonderfully flavoursome Egyptian food. The first taste of Mara’s food was a selection of cold mezze style starters with a plentiful supply of flatbreads – delicious! Then arrived bowls of steaming soup followed by another large assortment this time of hot mezze style dishes and even more flatbreads. Just when we thought we could eat no more the main course arrived!!!! This was a homemade tagen with a large baked sweet potato and enough rice to feed the population of Cairo. Thankfully, pudding was no more filling that a bowl of deliciously sweet mango. How we managed to move from the table is beyond me but with great difficulty we forced ourselves to leave – with the promise that undoubtedly, one day soon, we would return.

Salahadeen is a true gem. Go quickly whilst you can book a table – the word will surely be out soon!!!

The Stanmore family September 2008


Sep 5, 2008

We arrived at the Salahadeen Restaurant and Bar, at Mara House Luxor, at 7.30pm on 4th September 2008. Joining the other diners in the bar, we were enchanted by the pleasent atmosphere which the decoration and furnishings created. Although we stick to soft drinks, there were wines, beers and spirits available. (I noticed that Heiniken was LE 10 and most of the spirits were LE35,)

It wasn’t too long before Mrs. Vaughan personally led us into the lovely restaurant, where we were seated at a good solid table, on matching meshrabeya chairs. A nice touch was the fountain in the middle of the room, and the elegant drapes which served to partly divide the dining areas
The meal is advertised as an “Egyptian Banquet,” which it certainly was. We worked our way through 5 courses, and 19 dishes!

The starter was a selection of 5 cold Mezzas with baladi bread, followed by a delicious soup. Then came a selection of 7 hot Mezzas, also with bread.
7 hot Mezzas

7 hot Mezzas

These were followed by the main course consisting of 5 dishes, which were, rice, sweet potato, lamb tagen, moussaka, and lambs liver with onions. The meal culminated in a selection of sweet Egyptian cakes, washed down with black Egyptian tea and hot Karkadeh (hibiscus).

I would defy anyone to manage to eat everything placed in front of them.
Although there were two dishes which I didn’t try (simply because I don’t like them) everything else was a treat. Tastes which I hadn’t bargained for joined with well known and loved ones to further the experience of my palate. Even though I’ve lived in Luxor for over 12 months, some of these tastes really took me by surprise!

I thought the cost, at £10 per head, was very reasonable, as it also covered the cost of picking up the diners and returning them to their lodgings when they had had their fill!  We certainly had a taste of the REAL EGYPT.  Excellent!

Edward – review written for