Charwood’s has long been a household name for steak lovers in Cairo. Originally a sole restaurant on Gamaat El Dowal Street in Mohandiseen, Charwood’s is finally spreading its wings across the city.

The new branch in the recently launched Arkan Mall brings Charwood’s signature steaks to Cairo’s suburban community. Maintaining its down to earth sophistication and limited menu of specialties, Charwood’s opening widens the spectrum of available options for Sheikh Zayed residents.

Hany – Charwood’s headwaiter for at least the past five years – can also be found in the Sheikh Zayed outlet, adding to the familiarity of the atmosphere. The menu is pretty much the same as in Mohandiseen, with some minor additions such as grilled chicken and chicken brochette, both priced at 75LE. They also serve an Australian rib-eye steak for 190LE. A minor difference in prices is hardly felt, with the occasional 5LE-10LE extra on select dishes.

The spacious interior is whitewashed in the traditional Charwood’s style; however we did miss the decorative assortment of bottles and copper knick-knacks available in the Mohandiseen branch. We were told that they are soon to arrive, as the restaurant is slowly but surely settling into the new space. They do have an outdoor seating area which could be a delight for diners seeking some fresh air, although you may want to be prepared with some insect repellent.

Charwood’s Sheikh Zayed is unique in that it has a fully functional bar with a bartender to sport. Filled with a selection of local and imported wines as well as a selection of liquor, this is one of the few places in the area that serves alcohol.

As is customary, we were served a green salad and fresh bread upon being seated. Wanting to try out their new dishes, we settled on a grilled half-chicken served with a baked potato and grilled vegetables (75LE). Accustomed to only the best from this household name, we were not impressed. We ended up struggling with a puny piece of chicken that did not retain much flavour.

On the other hand, the chateaubriand, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables, was delicious and came in a generous portion – making for a lip-smacking dinner (115LE/half portion, 215 LE/double portion). A bottle of Cape Bay white wine (185LE) didn’t quite hold up though, luckily we were offered a cold beer on the house to compensate.

Although our experience was overall pleasant, they have yet to meet the high standards they’ve set for themselves in Mohandiseen.