Both Engi Aboulfadl and Raghda Kassem-Tantawy run Bilhana Catering, which supplies and delivers both ready and semi-cooked Egyptian meals at your convenience, and also caters for dinner parties and events. We caught up with them to find out more!
What service do you provide?
We provide Egyptian and some Mediterranean cuisine dishes catering for dinner parties of any size. Whether you’re hosting a dinner for family and friends or throwing a party to celebrate a special occasion, we work with you from choosing various dishes to finalizing the finishing touches. We create menus tailored to suit your particular likes and budget. We’ve also added on a semi cooked menu option to ensure that busy families, young professionals or any individuals who miss home cooking but don’t have the time can enjoy delicious home cooked meals. We deliver them frozen with instructions on how to cook. With Bilhana, we provide the taste of home cooking professionally delivered
What inspired you to start your business?
Meaning ‘Bon appetit’ in Arabic, Bilhana offers authentic Egyptian cuisine. Launched in 2016 by two Egyptian friends living in London who share a strong passion for cooking. As mothers we were both keen on ensuring our families had an appreciation of their native cuisine. Since joining forces we’ve spent hours experimenting with ingredients and dishes, impatiently waiting to host the next party so our family and friends can try our twist on traditional and staple Egyptian dishes. What we’ve created is a catering service that remains true to the taste and cooking preparations passed down through generations, whilst introducing a fresh level of innovation to traditional dishes to deliver food that is delicious and memorable.
What makes your food business stand out from your
We were one of the first to start catering authentic Egyptian food. We are mothers who also understand the nutritional factor and importance of quality ingredients and the impact that has on taste.We are keen on preserving and showcasing Egyptian cuisine and hopefully make it mainstream. We also deliver all over London, Kent, Surrey and Berkshire so our reach is quite large.
What’s your favourite cake/dish and why?
I’d have to say our Molokhiya is probably one of the best out there. It’s a bold statement but we can back it up – by how much our customers rave about it. It’s quintessentially Egyptian and simple to make but very easy to get wrong. This is probably my signature dish. Raghda my partner makes the meanest Om Ali – again another Egyptian staple (she makes the dough from scratch!) and crème filled Konafa as well. I also have to say our hamam (stuffed pigeon) is also one of our most demanded dishes.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
We are a fairly new business. We started December 2016 and so we still get very excited when we get positive reviews on our page and people calling us to say a friend recommended them. It really makes our day and gives us the motivation we need to keep pushing and working hard to get more customers.
I also have to say working together. We are friends first and our skills and personalities complement each other. Our kids are friends, our husbands are friends and having these strong bonds makes the hours spent rolling vine leaves all worth it and FUN! It also means we can lean on each other when we need to.
But it’s also the potential of making Egyptian cuisine more known/mainstream – which it isn’t yet.
It’s a shame because it’s a very diverse, boasts amazing flavors and has a lot of dishes suitable for all dietary requirements.
How do you see your business progressing in the future? / what dreams do you have for your business?
To make Egyptian cuisine commonly known – have our own restaurant one day and just grow our customer base
Are all your products halal? If so are they HMC or HFA certified?
All our products are Halal.
How can people contact you if they would like to place an order?
Send us a message on our Facebook page would be the easiest. It’s also where our menu is and images of our dishes. https://www.facebook.com/bilhanacatering/