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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.
Nothing sells quite like a juicy burger here in Cairo. Quite frankly, why wouldn’t it? It’s a tried and tested sandwich that almost everyone craves.
Having landed in Cairo from New Zealand just last year, Burger Fuel has made a name for itself on Maadi’s Road 9 despite fierce competition just down the road. Recently, they’ve opened up a second branch at the increasingly popular The District.
Sporting the same dark purple colour scheme and immaculately clean interiors, we stepped inside to place our order. We opted for a Third Pounder with Cheese (40LE) and a Burnout (49LE) for our sandwiches and an order of Cheesy Fries (24LE) as well as Moto Bites (29LE) for our sides.
After placing our order we chose to enjoy the breezy weather outdoors. A mere fifteen minutes later, a waiter showed up with our tray of food and a couple of Doofers—Burger Fuel's patented foldable cardboard burger holders.
The Third Pounder with Cheese featured a 100% pure ground beef patty topped with melted cheddar, butter, Dijon mustard, relish and Burger Fuel’s signature aioli. The sandwich also features a lot of pickles, but we opted to have them removed—which they weren’t. Aside from the confusion about the pickles, the burger was very tasty, and the toppings created a sweet, zesty and cheesy flavour.
The Burnout, featuring a grilled chicken breast topped with beef bacon, fresh avocado, stilton cheese sauce, Dijon mustard, salad, relish and aioli, was quite the hit. We prefer our chicken breasts relatively thin and this was the case here. The chicken itself tasted quite good and was complimented very nicely with the cheese, relish, aioli and mustard. The beef bacon also created a contrasting flavour that we found quite pleasant.
We absolutely hate it when a good main course or sandwich is ruined by a subpar side, like boiled potatoes posing as wedges, or sautéed vegetables without so much as a pinch of salt. This is definitely not the case here.
The Cheesy Fries, seasoned and topped with melted cheese, were both crunchy, soft on the inside, and complimented by a delicious chilli aioli dip. Take notes burger joints, take notes.
Similarly, the Moto Bites—fried balls of pumpkin, carrot, chickpeas and ginger, served with lemon aioli or yogurt relish, were also a smashing success due to being fried well without excess oil and perfectly tasty.
We found our experience at Burger Fuel to be very pleasant. The staff is very friendly and the food is delicious. The prices are a little steep with a burger and fries easily setting you back at least 70LE, but otherwise, The District Branch definitely lives up to its Maadi counterpart, if not surpassing it completely.