Le Steak: Standard Steak in a Standard Restaurant
It’s safe to say that we Cairenes like our meat, unless you’re a vegetarian.
But for those of us who crave veal, steak, burgers and kofta, Cairo is full of
restaurants that cater to our carnivore desires.
Located on Le Pacha 1901 boat in Zamalek, Le Steak is a French
restaurant that attempts a Parisian bistro atmosphere with its Art Nouveau
menus, wooden ceilings and flooring, booths and charming chandeliers. Popular amongst an older clientele, Le Steak’s atmosphere is more cosy than trendy; it’s
the type of restaurant that your dad would love but you wouldn’t want to bring
your hip girlfriend to.
If you feel like brushing up on your French, all items on the large menu
are listed en Francais, though you can cheat and read the English and Arabic in
fine print. Although the cuisine is predominately French gastronomy, we were
baffled to find the odd mention of spring rolls with vegetables. If nothing
strikes your fancy, the restaurant also offers menus from all nearby
restaurants on the boat; so you can order sushi from L’Asiatique or
risotto from Piccolo Mondo, though we recommend you order appetizers
from the Lebanese restaurant Le Tarbouche such as the chicken liver
and stuffed vine leaves.
For appetisers, you can select from their standard soups: tomato,
chicken, mushroom or gratinated onion (22LE to 34LE), and salads such as the
endives with walnuts and blue cheese (50LE) or starters such as the mushroom
Our selection of mushroom cream soup was a tiny, coffee-mug portion of
thick, creamy and very standard soup that filled but didn’t delight. The
mushroom and rocket salad (49.90LE) was a large plate of rocket with sliced and
canned mushrooms, large slices of parmesan cheese and a drizzle of balsamic
vinaigrette. Again, it was normal and tasty, but not exciting.
Although it boasts a long list of fish and poultry dishes as main
courses, what Le Steak does best is, uh, steak. If you’re feeling adventurous,
you can try the restaurant’s speciality of Chateaubriand, a tender cut of 250
to 280grams from the tenderloin of rare meat (107.90LE). If you’re wary of
bloody steaks, you can opt for the safer options of beef fillet with pepper,
Roquefort, mustard or béarnaise sauce.
It’s difficult to get medium-rare just right, and our order of beef
fillet with béarnaise sauce (83.90LE) was tender and juicy, though we could
have done with less blood and more flavour. Nonetheless, the fillet was tasty
enough to be eaten on its own without the béarnaise sauce, which, combined with
the very thick mashed potatoes on the side, was a little too creamy for our
beef fillet with wild mushroom sauce (86.90LE) was equally well-cooked and
tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The dessert menu offers a selection available to all outlets on the
boat, including dark chocolate flourless lava cake, fruit salad, strawberry
meringue and date tart with vanilla ice cream (between 15LE to 31LE). After a
heavy steak meal, we recommend the lemon sorbet, which is a light way to end
such a filling meal. A two-course meal for two excluding wine will set you back
Our main complaint about Le Steak is that it’s too standard: the
cuisine was good; the service was good; but just good, not amazing, and
definitely not memorable.