Sign in using your account with
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.
While new restaurants in Cairo are largely gunning for your tastebuds with new cuisines, Swiss food is rarely given the appreciation it deserves. However, Swiss Cottage in Maadi is one eatery that aims to provide it at its best.
Dimly lit and intimate, the restaurant is comfortably sized and the walls are adorned with decorations reminiscent of Switzerland. Taking our seats on padded chairs tucked underneath red clothed wooden tables, we were surprised to see New Year and Christmas decorations still hanging, even though it was the end of January.
In true European fashion, the welcoming staff are well dressed in black uniform; we were hastily brought menus by a bubbly waitress who advised us on its selections. The menu includes a pleasant variety that neither confuses, nor restricts.
As a staple of Swiss Cuisine, cheese fondue is served in four varieties; plain (125LE), tomato (130LE), cottage (140LE) and Swiss mushroom (150LE). There are also salads; green (15LE), Greek (20LE) and cottage potato (20LE).
The restaurant also naturally offers raclette; a native Swiss dish consisting of freshly melted cheese over potatoes accompanied with tomatoes, onions and pickles. Customers have the option of adding a dash of Swiss herbs and the dish comes as full (130LE) and half (70LE) portions.
We opted to share a Swiss cheese and Mushroom Fondue (150LE), before our appetiser of a Cottage Mix (45LE), and our main course of the mix table grill (95LE).
The cottage mix consisted of slices of smoked turkey, air dried beef Grison and salami; all of the quality cold cuts were fresh, flavourful and smoky.
The fondue was served atop a lit flame and we were brought a basket filled with cubes of white bread, made to be smothered in the bubbling mushroom cheese concoction using elongated forks. The Swiss cheese and mushroom combination was delicious; it was pleasingly bitter, but enhanced by the presence of fresh mushroom slices.
For our mixed grill, we were brought our own personal electric grill. After a plate filled with raw cuts of marinated beef, chicken, sausages and organic potatoes was laid in front of us, we clumsily began cooking. Our inexperience was quickly exposed when a piece of chicken went flying across our table - it was left on the heat until it got stuck.
Goofy cooking antics aside, the mixed grill tasted fabulous. The beef, chicken and smoky sausages were fantastic when combined with the selection of house sauces – garlic, curry, thousand islands and salsa. Full control of the cooking meant we could have our meat perfectly cooked to our own preferences; a novelty experience in Cairo.
The Swiss Cottage is an ideal spot for a romantic date or casual – but expensive – dining; it’s fun, cosy and the food is delicious.