Blackstone Bistro: New Menu at Zamalek Favourite
As a firm favourite amongst Cairo restaurants, Blackstone Bistro has, over the years, cemented itself as a go-to for a well-made, unfussy meal. With branches in Maadi and Zamalek, the restaurant has invariably maintained a consistency that has rewarded it with unbridled loyalty amongst many Cairenes. In recent times, however, that consistency has translated into a plateau – one that has seen it overtaken by similarly conceived eateries.
The owners have looked to remedy this by crafting a new menu – one that has retained much of the old menu, but with some new standout items.
With the fanfare of new culinary offerings, old favourites are easy to neglected, so we began our meal with a classic: artichoke spinach dip (41LE). Served with a generous amount of pita bread chips, the dip remains as a stalwart of Blackstone’s small appetiser section. Thick and full of flavour, the concoction has a perfect and subtle balance of creaminess and acidity to keep it interesting.
Of the new menu items, we tried the lamb burger (62LE), seared and braised duck (120LE) and steak and mushroom flatbread (59LE).
Blackstone’s burgers are popular among its frequenters and much was expected of the new lamb burger. Though the patty was cooked to the requested medium-well, a severe lack of seasoning rendered the burger flavourless, despite the addition of a rather refreshing and zingy mint yoghurt and feta cheese aioli.
The duck dish come in gargantuan portions, served with zucchini fritter cakes, sautéed vegetable and a fig sauce. Though the duck was tender and flavourful, the skin had zero crisp and very quickly turned into a unappetising, chewy, flappy appendage. Acting as a platform for the duck, the zucchini fritters lacked seasoning and slowly turned into a mush. On paper, the most intriguing aspect of the dish was the fig sauce, but that too lacked flavour when combined with the other elements of the dish.
Luckily, the steak and mushroom flatbread saved the meal. Again, the dish is large and can easily be shared between two – though based on our experience, you might want to keep it all to yourself. Topped with grilled beef tenderloin, mushrooms, spinach and a generous helping of melted cheddar and mozzarella, the base itself was perfect; the crunch of the outer crust makes way for a soft centre, all the while circulating the aromatic flavours of the fresh ingredients. It even stood up to an overnight stay in the fridge and tasted just as good cold.
For dessert, we fell back on Blackstone’s cheesecake with some very sweet and saliva-inducing caramel sauce; a pretty satisfying, if unspectacular, end to the meal.
You’d be forgiven for being unaware of Blackstone’s menu changes; they aren’t exactly screaming from the rooftops about it. It’s a long overdue move that has been handled sensibly and none of the new dishes have come out of leftfield; instead, they fit into the old menu with ease, though they clearly need some tweaking.