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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Genghis Khan: Affordable Mongolian Cuisine in Maadi
You won't often come across a restaurant that serves Mongolian cuisine in Cairo. Having once seen a travel program about Mongolian cuisine and finding out they eat marmots, we were seriously hoping that this wasn’t the case at Genghis Khan in Maadi. The restaurant is located on Road 233, which has a high density of Asian restaurants and pet shops - not that we're implying anything here.
The entire front of the restaurant is made of glass, providing lots of daylight and a view of the street. There are just four tables laid out that seat a maximum of five people. On the walls we saw some interesting yet peculiar art pieces that are best described as Asian soft porn; naked ladies in titillating poses.
The menu is written in English and Mongolian; immediate relief followed when we didn’t find marmot on the menu. We tried to distinguish which dishes were specifically Mongolian but found it difficult since most dishes on the menu were just well-known Chinese ones.
As soon as you order you receive a kettle of green tea. Genghis Khan also offers soft drinks and beer; Heineken, Stella and Sakkara available ranging between 10LE and 20LE. While nibbling on fried peanuts with salt (15LE) we browsed through the menu and eventually opted for the sweet and sour chicken (35LE), beef with potato (35LE), tofu with soy sauce (25LE), rice with eggs (10LE) and noodles with shrimp (18LE).
The food arrived at our table within approximately five minutes and all of the plates were filled to the max; especially the dishes with rice and noodles – which you can easily share with two or three people. The tofu with soy sauce was a bit disappointing unfortunately; the taste of the soy sauce was lacking and the consistency of the tofu was spongy.
The beef with potato on the other hand fared better. The baked potato pieces were deliciously flavoured and it took us about three minutes to devour all of them. The beef was very salty but nevertheless tasty; combined with the potatoes, it’s enough to be a meal on its own.
The sweet and sour chicken plate was also huge. The succulent chicken pieces were drenched in a sauce that was a perfect balance between sweet and sour. The rice with eggs was good but lacked taste; though the stickiness of it made it perfect to combine with the sauces. The noodles on the other hand were slightly undercooked and tasteless.
Genghis Khan’s strongest point seems to be their potato and beef dishes. The portions come huge and are very affordable; we paid 160LE for five plates and some beverages. However, we were still left wondering what Mongolian cuisine truly is.
The thing we like most about shopping and dining zones like American Plaza is the numerous restaurants and food choices catering for those looking for a full meal or the ones looking for a quick bite on the go. We took a trip to Americana Plaza in Sheikh Zayed where among the many diners they have, we picked Fusion.
Known to be a haven for avid Asian foodies in the area, Fusion combines several Far East cuisines on its menu, including Chinese, Thai, Indian and Japanese.
Unlike the majority of Americana Plaza venues, the modern, orange and black ambiance inspired by the rich Asian cultures in Fusion restaurant, is both authentic and classy.
Tailored according to food preferences, the restaurant’s interior is divided to several sections including a Chinese corner and a sushi bar; the Teppaniyaki table is what stands out about Fusion’s setting the most, with the chef providing you a live show of your food being cooked over an iron griddle in front of you.
Being huge Chinese food fans, we took our seats into the Chinese corner, which encompasses dishes –mostly spicy ones— leaving you with limited choices with mild spices, including Chicken with Cashew Nut (45LE), Kung-Pao Cuttle Fish (45LE), Sweet and Sour Fish (45) and Crispy Chinese Duck (75LE).
We kicked things off with Golden Prawns Bags (40LE) as an appetizer which came in as crispy fried dumplings, infused with shrimps and served with a sweet chili sauce; similar in texture to the Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce.
Our appetizer had a perfect crispy texture on the exterior and a soft one on the interior; we particularly enjoyed the sweet and sour combination in our sauce; only we hoped the shrimps had more seasoning as it seemed there was a missing ingredient.
As our main dishes, we chose Vegetable Noodles (32LE) and a Sweet and Sour Shrimps Platter (88LE) served with steamed rice.
Our noodles were peppery, colorful and quite tasty; except that the featured vegetables were nothing but three types of onions (red, white and Chinese) with a single slice of both corn and mushroom.
Smothered in sweet and sour sauce, our shrimps didn’t have the promised crispy texture we’d hoped for, with an overcooked mediocre taste, which was a little disappointing.
We washed our meal down with a refreshing lemon juice (19LE) and with little room left for dessert, we opted for Fried ice cream (33LE).
Our ice cream had a delightful taste, with a gold crispy hot exterior and a cold delicious chocolate ice cream on the inside; the perfect combo of hot, fresh and cool. It was the first time we try a fried ice cream and definitely not the last.
Apart from several pitfalls including lack of shrimp seasoning in our appetiser and one of the main dishes being over- cooked, dining at Fusion was a delightful experience which we recommend to fans of Asian food. We really enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the prompt professional service which stood out on a busy Friday night.