The quest of this reviewer’s visit was to find out what exactly Austrian food is and why there is an Austrian restaurant in Cairo. The only Austrian dish that this reviewer could come up with was Kaiserschmarrn, a traditional Austrian dessert named after Empress Sissi.

Located on Geziret El Arab Street next to Bershka, Tirol is possibly the only Austrian restaurant in Cairo that we know of.

If you expect to see Edelweiss or waiters bursting into songs from The Sound of Music when you enter Tirol, you might be disappointed. The interior of the restaurant resembles an Austrian ski hut, minus the skis on the walls. What you do find are antlers, paintings of Schönbrunn Palace and some Mozart and beer pots, which is weird as the restaurant doesn’t serve alcoholic beverages. There are a few televisions that have music channels providing background music.

A look at the menu shows that the cuisine is not so much Austrian as much as it is Central European, including dishes like bratwurst, sauerkraut and goulash. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, the bratwurst and sauerkraut (32LE) were not available. For a starter, we sampled the Roquefort salad (32LE), which was less of a salad and more of a plate filled with vegetables and a bowl of Roquefort sauce. We ended up dipping our vegetables into the sauce, which was pleasant enough but lacked the sharp taste that Roquefort usually has.

As a main course we ordered the veal Zurichoise (52LE) and the fillet goulash. The veal was presented with a side dish of delicious rosti (baked potatoes) that was mildly seasoned but not excessively greasy. The veal came with a spicy, creamy mushroom sauce that was well-prepared and made with fresh mushrooms. According to the menu, the fillet goulash was supposed to come with noodles, but we ended up with sticky and undercooked spaghetti. There are many different recipes for goulash depending on country and region; Austrian cuisine dictates an excessive use of onions in the dish. Our dish was spicy but not to the extent that your nose starts running. There was only a touch of garlic in the flavour and the sauce was not too watery. The fillet was well-cooked yet still tender, with some fat on the edges, which this reviewer didn’t appreciate.

Unfortunately, there was no Kaiserschmarrn on the dessert menu and no other desserts that could pass as typically Austrian. Instead; we were given a choice of om ali, crêpes and ice cream.

As an Austrian restaurant, Tirol is not that special; the cuisine is good but not so good that you'll want to return. Service is efficient and waiters are very friendly; but you’re not necessarily receiving a quintessentially Austrian dining experience.