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

Ponderosa Steak House

Ponderosa Steakhouse: US Steakhouse Chain Making Noise at Citystars

reviewed by
Gaser El Safty
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Ponderosa Steakhouse: US Steakhouse Chain Making Noise at Citystars

There’s nothing this reviewer likes better than a good steak; unfortunately, few Cairo restaurants deliver. Call it primal if you will, but when it comes to pure satisfaction from a dish, little can match up to a medium-rare cut.

Having landed in Citystars just last year, Ponderosa Steak House is one of those restaurants that takes meat very seriously. The restaurant itself is franchised from the US; many will remember it as the steakhouse right next to Disney World in Orlando.

Located on the fourth floor of phase two, the restaurant boasts a light wooden décor with bright lighting. The wooden panels cover the walls and are matched by the chairs and tables.

As we stepped inside, we were greeted by a pleasant waiter who showed us to a vacant table, placed menus on it and disappeared to find a bottle of water.

The menu, like many American diners in Cairo, features a wide selection of mains and appetisers, covering beef, chicken and seafood. We opted for a Fried Shrimp (45LE) appetiser alongside Chicken Wings (40LE) for our starters.

For our mains, we opted for the 280g Sirloin steak (110LE) as well as the Seafood Platter (130LE). Serving time was generally decent and the ambiance of the restaurant kept the loud and crowded at bay.

Our appetisers arrived with an array of sauces including tartar, marinara and ranch. Both the chicken wings and the shrimp were fried very well and drained of excess oil, retaining a very decent crunch. We favoured the chicken wings, though, as we found them to be more flavoursome.

The mains arrived shortly after. Our Sirloin was ordered medium-rare alongside sides of baked potato and green beans. The steak was served it just how we ordered it, retaining a great level of juiciness and natural flavour. The baked potato, topped with butter and a little cheese, was creamy and delicious while the seasoned green beans were similarly simple but delicious.

The Seafood platter, featuring salmon, fried and grilled shrimp with the same baked potato side and brown rice, will definitely get you full. The 150g salmon steak was seasoned with lemon, dill and butter and cooked to perfection. While the fried shrimp was just like the appetiser, the grilled shrimp soaked up more of the zesty flavour and was by far the superior of the two.

While the prices at Ponderosa may seem relatively steep, it is certainly reflected in the quality of food. With pleasant staff and more than pleasing food, Ponderosa’s only downfall may be being located inside such an insufferably busy mall.

360 Tip

Dining at Ponderosa during a weekday is recommended - weekend human mall traffic is just too much to take.

Best Bit

Rarely does a Cairo restaurant - outside the city's hotels, maybe - serve up such a delicately and expertly cooked steak.

Worst Bit

Being located in a mall does this restaurant - or any other for that matter - no favours.

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