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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 lengths that one is prepared to go to for good burgers in Cairo are pretty much infinite. Despite a whole host of gourmet burger restaurants opening around Cairo in recent times, there’s one place that has been around well before them: Fuddruckers.
Located near the small fountain in the outdoor restaurant area, the Mall of Arabia branch of Fuddruckers offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The waiter by the entrance welcomed us and led us to our requested outdoor table, which was notably immaculate. The venue itself was rather crowded during the time of our visit.
Menus were laid before us in no time and we began to scan them with rumbling stomachs. Fuddruckers offers perhaps some of the most appetising starters around; from Mozzarella Sticks (42LE) to Buffalo Chicken Wings (39LE) – some of the items can make for a full meal themselves. For main courses, Fuddruckers offers its infamous burgers, alongside steaks, chicken sandwiches, wraps, protein-topped salads and chicken and seafood platters.
Looking for something a little more exotic, we went for Caribbean Chicken Salad (44LE), alongside the sinful-sounding The Works Burger (47LE/ 1/3 lb.). Fuddruckers offers burger patties in 3 sizes; 1/3 lb, ½ lb and 2/3 lb; knowing, however, how generous their servings usually are, we decided to go with the smallest patty to save us the trouble of eating long after we were full.
One of the many available waiters came by and swiftly took our order and within twenty minutes, our glorious dishes were garnishing our table. The Caribbean Chicken Salad, which consisted of chopped lettuce, pineapple pieces and tomatoes topped with grilled chicken chunks and tortilla crisps, all drenched in honey mustard dressing was quite the tangy surprise; it tasted distinctly fresh with the sweetness of the dressing and pineapple pieces balanced by the savoury grilled chicken.
The Works burger, which comes with a side of French Fries, and consisted of a beef patty topped with sautéed mushrooms, cheese, lettuce, tomato slices, beef bacon and mayonnaise, was quite the hefty delight. Needless to say, we contemplated unbuttoning our jeans to leave some breathing room for our newly stretched stomachs. We would’ve, however, preferred a little extra mayo on the burger.
All in all, Fuddruckers, as usual, did not disappoint, with its efficient service and scrumptious dishes. Our food tasted fresh and was presented quite well, while the waiters were always around in case we needed something.