La Cuisine: Supposed French Restaurant at Condcord Mall in New Cairo
With space at a premium in the centre of town, new restaurants in Cairo are increasingly setting up shop on the outskirts of the city, with New Cairo quickly becoming a giant Skittles bowl of food and drink.
Striving to conquer the art of authentic French food, La Cuisine in the Concord Plaza takes over a large outdoor patio area, as well as two floors of indoor seating.
Surrounded by glass railings, the outdoor seating area is kitted out with numerous patio heaters and sun shades, whilst the restaurant itself boasts an all glass front and a semi-circular window on the upper floor.
Opting to sit upstairs, we headed up the wooden staircase to the dimly-lit, cosy dining area. With wooden panelling to match the furniture, turquoise benches, deep red, textured walls and classical music in the background, there’s a slight French charm about the place; however, the emblems strewn across the walls and the flat-screen TV’s manage to damage the romantic feel considerably.
Throughout our meal, the staff members were courteous, polite and professional. The menu carries a vast selection of appetisers (24.95LE-49.95LE), salads (12.95LE-44.95LE), chicken (49.95LE-63.95LE), meat (59.95LE-83.95LE), seafood (49.95LE-97.95LE), pizza (34.95LE-54.95LE) and pasta dishes (32.95LE-57.95LE) which, other than the French titles, are largely international. The drinks menu, meanwhile, boasts all the usual suspects; our pot of earl grey tea (12LE) arrived nicely brewed, whilst our lemon and mint juice (15LE) was both sweet and tangy.
To start, we ordered one Insalata Caprese (28.95LE), before our mains of grilled, marinated sea bass (64LE) and escalope pane (74LE). After waiting a while, a bread basket was delivered, alongside a dish of flavourful sogo’, lightly stuffed, cheesy quesadillas and fresh, flavourful salsa and finely chopped olives.
Shortly afterwards, our generously sized, well-presented Caprese salad arrived. The large, fresh tomato was sliced almost all the way down, with the pieces of cheese slotted between. A small dish of pesto was served on the side and, although described as buffalo mozzarella, the cheese was more rubbery than we were expecting.
Our main courses were swiftly delivered, a little before our starters were cleared. Faring as the best dish of the two, the veal pane was fried to a golden-brown and flavourful crust, whilst the side of fries were also delicious. Unfortunately, the soft sea bass fillet was far too salty and we relied on the fluffy side of rice and perfectly-cooked, buttery vegetables to satisfy our hunger.
For dessert – at the waiters’ recommendation – we opted for a Nutella crepe (28LE), which was every bit as soft and sweet as promised.
Despite advertising itself as a French restaurant, La Cuisine is far from authentic. However, with a charming workforce and generously-sized dishes, La Cuisine is far from offensive.