The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Lucca Steakhouse

Lucca Steakhouse: Fine-Dining Meets Hearty Dishes at Al Guezira Plaza

reviewed by
Omar Yousry
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Lucca Steakhouse: Fine-Dining Meets Hearty Dishes at Al Guezira Plaza

Though there’s a handful across Cairo, the concept of a steakhouse has never really sat well on the city’s dining scene. They close as often as they open, but if Lucca can maintain what we found at the time of our visit, then we wouldn’t be surprised if it was around for a long time to come.

Holding something of a hidden spot at Sheikh Zayed’s Al Guezira Plaza, the restaurant has an interesting entry way that features different parts of a cow hanging from the wall like at butcher’s – vegetarians beware. Lucca boasts mostly wooden furniture with tables that seem to have been directly cut from a huge tree trunk, with brick exposed walls and a huge bar with bar seating available.

It all made for a familiar feel, but one peculiar feature was the incredibly low lighting – so low, in fact, that it was difficult to browse the menu or even see the contents of our dishes.

After taking our seats inside, we ordered the Butter Shrimp (127LE) as our appetiser with the Lucca Special (450LE) and Shashlik (380LE) as our mains and the mac & cheese (57 LE) and the homemade fries (32LE) as their respectiv sides. Most of the main dishes have no side items and have to be ordered separate.

First, though, a basket of bread arrived with a side of pico de gillo and olive paste; the bread was soft and chewy and the sides made for a perfectly appetising start to our meal.

Coming fifteen minutes later, the butter shrimp serves up eight pieces swimming in a chilli butter sauce that gave off a delicious aroma. The shrimp themselves were fantastic, perfectly fried to a flamingo pink, with each bite offering a great buttery aftertaste all while being well seasoned and slightly spicy.

But we were here for meat and weren’t disappointed. The Lucca Special is a 300 gm fillet sliced into six medallion-sized pieces that were cooked on top of a hot plate while topped with an oil that creates a large fire when being prepared next to the table; however there was an unknown issue at the time of our visit so it was cooked on the grill inside the kitchen which was a little disappointing.

The medallions were served pieces of bread, all while topped with arugula with more spices. However the medallions came undercooked instead and had to be returned to the kitchen.

Coming back a few minutes later, the beef tasted great and was cooked with a nice pink centre and brown exterior, making it tender, juicy and flavourful. Even the arugula had part to play, offering a peppery, fresh backdrop to every bite.

Considered a Turkish dish, the Shashlik came as six beef medallions that had a thin layer of fat on the outside that gave it a little more flavour when being grilled. With a juicy and tender texture, the beef had nice grill lines giving a smoky aftertaste.

Moving onto the sides, coming in two small bowls the mac and cheese were topped with a kind of breading which gave it an extra crunch, and after digging in further it had a nice smooth cheesy texture that worked well with the beef. Not offering anything too special, the homemade fries were skin-on fries with a side of regular and hot mustard.

Having already been a hot on Jordan and Saudi Arabia, it looks like Lucca Steakhouse has found a home in Egypt, too. It offers elements of fine-dining, but without losing the wholesome, hearty food a good steakhouse demands. The only issue is the pricing; with no sides offered alongside most of the main dishes, as has become custom in Cairo. Lucca offers a great dining experience, but maybe only on special occasions.

Our only issue would be the high prices compared to the portions we got, and not having a side dish included it a little bit absurd which can lead to people not coming back for a second time, and keeping it for special occasions only.

360 Tip

Lucca also offers a selection of beer and wine.                                     

Best Bit

The Shashlik was out of this world.          

Worst Bit

Prices are waaaaaaaay too high for the quantities we got, and no sides??!!                              

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