Chef Samir Shaltout - Casual Fine Dining RestaurantsFood ★★★★☆ Ambiance ★★★★★ Service ★★★★☆ Creativity ★★★★☆ Value ★★★★★meal for 2 $30-40 plus drinksNo Alcohol
This was our 4th visit to Chef Samir Shatlout over the past couple of years. Every time we go it seems as if he has done more improvements to the restaurant interior. The decor is very Egyptian. He has done an excellent job and has many details that really make the restaurant look nice. Lots of crystal chandeliers and neat matched rows of Egyptian art. My only criticism is the plastic table cloths (they are Egyptian themed with his logo). This is a shame as everything else really is first class almost to the Fine Dining level. The plastic coverings were enough to almost knock off 1 star on the ambiance, but he has done such a fantastic job on everything else I still feel it deserves the five-star rating.
The service has also drastically improved with each visit. The first several years ago was a bit rushed and lacked professionalism. Lately, the service is much improved and significantly more professional. It would have been nice if the wait staff would greet the people when they enter instead of just pointing at a table.... The restaurant is small with only 12-16 tables so it would not be that difficult for the wait staff to greet and walk you to the table. Small gripe, but he has done such a fantastic job with everything else, it would be a nice touch.
The food, however, is the main reason to go. This is an Egyptian Restaurant and while the dishes are similar to other Middle Eastern countries, there are slight differences. For example Falafel's in many countries are made with Chick Peas. Egyptian Falafel's are made with fave beans which give them a slightly different flavor. Chef Samir Shaltout is a Halal restaurant which means there is no alcohol and pork dishes served. Overall the Food a Chef Samir Shaltout is excellent
Tonight I had Chef Samir Shaltout's Duck with onions and spices. The dish was quite large, as it was a half duck. It was cooked to the point extreme tenderness and the meat easily fell off the bones. The duck was served piping hot. Many restaurants do a poor job at bringing slow cooked poultry back up to temperature and this was NOT the case at Chef Samir Shaltout. The seasoning was a bit bland compared to the other meat dishes I have had here. The shawarma, kofta, and Egyptian steaks are full of flavor, the duck less so. It was still good, just a bit weak on the seasonings. All of the dishes come with rice and a side of salad. I am not the type of person who rants about salad dressings, but Chef Samir Shaltouts salad dressing is really good. Olive Oil, lemon, oregano, a touch of dill and other seasonings. The dressing is really good!
We also had the Chef Samir Mixed Grill which has a combination of Chicken Kebab (excellent), Shish Kebab (little dry, but good), Kofta (excellent), Beef Shawerma (a bit dry but good) and Chicken Shawerma (excellent) served on a bed of rice with a side of his great salad. This dish is a great combination and if you have never eaten here, or have never eaten Egyptian food, this is what you should get. This is also a very large dish. Two people could share an appetizer or soup and then share this as dinner. Lots of big bold flavors and everything was cooked perfectly. If I return, I would probably order this again.
If you have never tried Egyptian Food you should go and try the mixed grill. If you are familiar with Egyptian food, there is plenty on the menu to please you. Try it, I think you will like it.