It was on a cold wintery night when we headed east of Cairo to the wondrous elevated community, Katameya Heights, to try out new restaurant, the Smokery. Located in the New 9 Clubhouse, the seafood restaurant specialises in salmon in all its forms.
A cobbled path will lead you downwards to the restaurant where an outdoor area surrounds a pool – perfect for group gathering and casual food and drinks. Being so cold, the indoor seating was our only option. The large glass windows, lookout onto the club and the décor is uncomplicated. Made up mostly of black and grey hues, prominent mosaic accents and tables covered in red floral tablecloths. It provides an atmosphere that is more suited to a sunny weekend morning than a rainy night.
The service was exceedingly friendly and to begin they brought us cut up carrots and cucumbers, with a salmon dip – which was nicely cold, firm, and absolutely delicious.
With a menu designed by Chef Vincent Guillou – of Tamarai
fame – we started our meal with the Smokery fiesta for two (118LE) – though it could easily be enough for four. A food stand arrived with extended arms carrying a variety of salmon preparations that included choices such as cubes of salmon with olive oil and herbs, as well as lemon dressing. The highlights of the dish were easily the salmon maki rolls and salmon pâté on crostini. While all the salmon was lovely and fresh, with a melt in your mouth quality, the latter two offered more in the overall balance of taste.
Our other starter, the salmon tartare (77LE), was also very good. With a wonderfully robust salad on the side, the ingredients of the tartare were powerful and flavourful, yet still balanced enough to please unadventurous eaters.
The roasted salmon ‘St. Jaques’ (160LE) comes with scallops, seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes, topped with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce. The fish itself was excellent, as were the scallops, and the mix of vegetables were elegant and tasty; the only slight setback was that the sauce was mildly too sweet.
The grilled salmon (118LE) is cooked in a sort of ratatouille style prepration, drenched in a sauce of fresh vegetables. Again, the salmon was grilled to perfection, and with a lovely lemon kick and the dish was as light and as healthy as a dinner can be. We also tried the salmon tagliatelle (69LE) in which we found the sauce bit too thick and all too filling . Despite that, it was still flavoursome and we ate most of it.
Settling on a crème brûlée (45LE) for dessert, we were not disappointed. With a very satisfying crack to its shell, the custard within was creamy and soft, without being overly sweet. Having given it a quick heat before serving, it was still quite cold on the bottom, though
In case you’re not a salmon fan, the Smokery also serves a few filet dishes including a beef teriyaki starter and other main courses. Otherwise, be prepared to eat a lot of that pink fish.