We came across a quote by American novelist and food writer, Nicole Mones, who said that “Chinese food tries to engage the mind, not just the palate. To provoke the intellect.” After our recent visit to the Peking restaurant in Maadi, we couldn’t agree more with her spot-on assessment.
It’s hard enough for Egyptian restaurants to compete with the hundreds of competitors across the country, but the fact that a Chinese cuisine & Asian fusion restaurant can stand out for almost 60 years in a foreign land is quite a fantastic achievement.
Our journey started before we even sat at the table. After a warm and friendly greeting at the door from the security guard who opened the door for us, we walked down a narrow corridor, at the end of which, we were greeted by the host who was well-dressed in a chic black suit. Upon turning left, we were impressed with the restaurant’s dedication to creating a calm, soothing, and elegant atmosphere. In all seriousness, we truly felt at ease and totally relaxed, just by walking into the room. After the hospitable host led us to our table and lit the candle centrepiece to complement the ambience, we started examining the menu.
We started our meal with a signature starter, the Crisp Shandong Vegetables (25 LE). A quick piece of trivia: Shandong is the name of an eastern Chinese province. Apart from the delicious flavour, especially when dipped in the complimentary sweet chilli sauce, the crispy vegetables didn’t taste too oily despite its fried nature. In the words of Goldilocks, it was just right!
We then moved to the appetising main courses, the Chicken with Cashew Nuts and the Mixed Fried Noodles which cost approximately 80 LE and 50 LE respectively. The former dish’s ingredients are quite clear in its title, with the addition of some vegetables and sauce that were mixed into the mouthwatering concoction. To maintain the warm temperature of the dish, the plate was placed atop a thin plate heated by steam that was powered by the flame of a candle underneath. A simple yet ingenious method to ensure maximum heat and satisfaction.
As for the Mixed Fried Noodles, it was served with chicken, prawns, and vegetables. Unlike the Chicken with Cashew Nuts, we felt the amount of proteins mixed with noodles was quite minimal; we would have appreciated it if they added a bit more onto the plate. Nevertheless, the explosive taste of the meal was indisputable.
Of course, no protein is complete without a side of starchy carbohydrates, which you have to order separately for some dishes on the menu. So, we ordered 2 plates: One Steamed Rice with Eggs and another with just vegetables. Finally, we washed all of it down with a few glasses of fresh lemon juice and soft drinks.
Our only significant negative comment would be the lack of available waiters, as we had to wait for a while to find someone to help us or take the order. We understand that the pressure of continuous customers can be tough, but maybe they could spare a few extra waiters, or evenly distribute the available ones amongst the tables.
Overall, it was definitely a unique experience. We can’t wait for our next visit there and recommend that you try it out very soon!