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6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt.
One Oak: Surf & Turf Specialist's New Branch at Point 90
Deciding where to dine out with your friends can be an exhausting decision – especially with that one friend who's scared of dying from sushi or that other friend who has suddenly decided that they hate all kinds of meat. Luckily, One Oak is one of the few crowd pleasing restaurants, offering great variety with its surf and turf menu.
Located inside Point 90 Mall in New Cairo, the newest branch of One Oak has an elegant spacious indoor area, using a greyscale theme with touches of wood and red lighting, which added a beautiful contrast to the waffle-patterned wall and eye-catching grape-like lighting. The service bar adds a casual and positive energy to the whole place, but one thing that was a little off-putting was the on-trend exposed industrial ceiling which actually only served to take away from the elegant ambiance. The outdoor area was a little generic and simplistic.
We sipped on Red Bull Cherry Bomb Cocktail (36LE) and munched on South Western Rolls (32LE) while checking One Oak's big menu. A mixture of lemon, blueberries, cherry syrup, and mint leaves with Redbull, the Red Bull Cherry Bomb Cocktail seemed interesting, but the lemon and blueberry flavours were weak, while the mint leaves only acted as just garnish.
The South Western Rolls had a similar problem in its balance of flavours, meanwhile; jalapeno, mixed peppers, sweet corn, red kidney beans, mozzarella cheese and grilled chicken wrapped in fried tortilla bread to be fried, rolls had a fantastic outer crunch and some interesting flavours, but the generous amount of mozzarella overshadowed the rest of the ingredients and the sweet Thai chilli sauce dip just didn't work-perhaps ranch would've been a better call.
Moving to the mains, we started with the Quatro Steak Skewer (148LE) with blueberry sauce – a dish comprised of beef tenderloin, rib-eye, striploin,and rump all in a hanged skewer- because go big or go home. The beef was perfectly marinated and bursting with flavours, but the four pieces were unevenly cooked, ranging from a medium rare to well-done
The blueberry sauce had a jam consistency and wasn't as sweet as we expected, but the fruitiness of the sauce worked perfectly with the steak marinade.
With seemingly endless of options for side dishes, we went with the creamed spinach topped with melted cheese. The dish was rich in flavours, but was too heavy and we would've enjoyed it as a dip rather than a side dish.
After the turf, we had to surf with a sushi platter. We ordered a classic Sake Nigiri (9.50LE per piece), and from their 'New Style' Nigiri creations we tried the Maguro Wasabi (16.50LE per piece) and Mango Ebi (14.50LE).
Starting with the sake nigiri, the salmon was fresh and cut perfectly, while the texture of the rice was flawless. The same can be said for the Maguro Wasabi – except there was nothing 'new style' about it. The green onion and orange caviar were missing, while the wasabi mayo tasted like regular mayo – essentially, it was tuna nigiri.
The Mango Ebi, on the other hand, can proudly call itself 'new style', as the touch of the mango sauce worked perfectly with the shrimp.
Fried sushi is as common as authentic sushi and so we had to try the Konafa Roll, which came as a shrimp tempura and crab uramaki roll drizzled with teriyaki sauce; the was great in theory and had interesting flavours, but the excitement of the crunch was missing crust, due to the unnoticeable konafa crust.
One thing that caught our eye almost immediately however, was the Spicy Lemon Roll – a classic of Mori Sushi. One Oak's version is bigger in size, but in terms of flavours, the ratio of rice to salmon, shrimp and cream cheese off and we felt like it was fried rice roll. Even though the sauce was just as good, we think Mori Sushi wins this round.
We finished our meal with a luscious Cinnamon Fried Banana (40LE); five banana bites coated with a crispy crust, drizzled with honey and cinnamon. The bananas had a scrumptious crust and were bursting with cinnamon flavours, while the vanilla ice cream added a lighter touch, though the honey, as stated in the menu, was actually caramel.
Overall, the new One Oak branch is impressive – but the interior design and atmosphere were the stars of an otherwise up-and-down experience.
Maintaining the quality of two completely different cuisines – in this case, sushi and steak – is no easy task, though One Oak proves otherwise. Located right by the entrance of Tivoli Dome in Sheikh Zayed, One Oak is already a favourite in the area.
After walking in, we were greeted by a waiter and guided to our seats which were next to the glass windows overlooking Tivoli. After being handed our menus and picking our dishes for the night, we were served a basket of bread alongside peas with soy sauce and nigella sativa, as well as a peculiar cinnamon and sugar butter. The latter was cut into thin, circular slices and boasted a pleasing balance of sweet and savoury when paired with the bread. The peas, meanwhile, were boiled and served in their pods; a nice, more refreshing nibbler of a dish.
From the menu, we started with Cheesy Crispy Camembert (55LE) as an appetizer; six triangular pieces of camembert cheese, fried evenly and served with a side of sweet chilli sauce. The cheese pieces were hot enough to keep the cheese inside melted, with the chilli sauce cutting through its richness and making it lighter in taste. The cheese itself was rich in flavour and the quantity was just enough to prepare us for the main dishes.
For our mains, we chose a Tenderloin Fillet (120LE) a sushi platter of Pink Oak Roll, Pesto Roll and Spider Roll. We ordered our steak well-done, and that's what we got; many will argue that a steak should be cooked to a medium-rare, but our steak was cooked evenly and wasn’t chewy or rough – testament to the quality of meat used by One Oak. The steak came with well-cooked, well-seasoned potato wedges and a pleasant lemon butter sauce.
Moving on to our colourful sushi platter, the Spider Roll (62LE/6 pieces) – shrimp tempura, salmon tempura and Teriyaki sauce – was full of flavour, boasting perfect balance between the shrimp and salmon. Of the restaurant’s signature rolles, the Pink Oak Roll (48LE/4 pieces) – salmon, crab mayo, shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and sesame – was large in size, but what made it really interesting was the different phases of chewing and textures, with each element contributing equally to the overall taste. Next in line was the Pesto Roll (46LE/4 pieces) – shrimp tempura, salmon, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese and pesto sauce – transpired to essentially be a combination of the first two rolls in taste, though the addition of pesto gave the roll an edge that lacked in the Pink Oak.
Washing our food down, we ordered a One Oak Signature Cocktail (33LE), which contained banana, blueberry, raspberry, kiwi, fresh peach and pineapple – and it was every bit as fresh and fruity as it sounds, despite the blackberry and banana dominating the taste.
Preparing to put a cherry on top of our meal, we opted for a Nutella Cheese Cake (33LE). The round cheesecake had a delicate biscuit base, a lush body of cream cheese and a thin layer of Nutella over the surface. As delicious as it was, it was clearly taken out of the fridge and served before resting, so it was cold and a little stiff.
Despite the imperfections, One Oak delivered on most of its promises – the key now is consistency.