The Grill El Gouna
A restaurant review
On a cosy winter’s night shortly after the New Year celebrations, we headed to The Grill El Gouna for a family meal. Located next to the lagoon on The Kafr it was an idyllic spot to enjoy the early evening meal. Although it was cool, we chose to sit outside in a comfortable corner which was very inviting with its fairy lights and sofa type seating for the children. It was tucked up well enough to stay warm while still enjoying the benefits of being outdoors.
The Grill El Gouna affords its patrons the option to sit inside or outside but one can tell that the outside is by far the most popular. Since it is positioned next to the bridge that joins Down town with The Kafr, a fair number of people are continuously passing by. These are most often holidaymakers exploring the less obvious places in El Gouna and seeing what lies outside of Abu Tig Marina. Fair play to them I say as this allows The Grill’s visitors to engage in one of life’s most interesting part times – people watching. Usually, when you’re out for a meal, private conversation is the order of the day, but let’s be honest: most of us are just ‘oh so curious’ about the life of that person we’ve never seen before, and will probably never see again.
The indoor area was toasty warm and beautifully decorated and the outdoors provided the same inviting look as well as some gas heaters for those who wished to use them. The tables were adorned with floral table runners and candles – a very professional and ambient setup to walk in to.
But, we chose The Grill for a family meal so that we could watch a different kind of person – our children. Unlike many other restaurants, The Grill has a good space next to it for young kids to play where they can be seen at all times. Although not cordoned off, there are not many nooks or cranny’s for children to disappear into. This can make a parent’s life a little more relaxed – at least for the evening. They can ride around on their bicycles on the smooth floor surface next to the restaurant and pop back to the table for some nourishment when they get a little peckish.
You can’t miss The Grill. From Downtown, simply cross the bridge to the Kafr and it’s directly on your left. And at night, you certainly cannot miss the big bright red lights that draw your attention. When you get closer, the smell of beef and fresh bread is rather tempting and almost impossible for the hungry to resist. The bread is made in a traditional oven on sight so freshness is a guarantee.
We came with hungry bellies and couldn’t wait to get started on choosing our starters. We were warmly greeted by extremely attentive staff who made us all feel very welcome and got the kids settled. They had an excellent sense of humour too which made the evening get off on an even better foot.
We opted for the chicken soup because on a cold evening, soup is always a favourite. We also ordered the Sambousak Meat – minced meat in pastry. Both starters certainly did not disappoint. The kids and I tucked into the soup and bread and honestly, it could have been a meal on its own. It was deliciously creamy and utterly tasty with large chunks of chicken in it and really did remind me of good comfort food with an extravagant taste to please any visitor. Our youngest got stuck in and absolutely relished it. TheSambousak Meat too was exceptionally tasty and was the perfect balance of pastry and meat and really super as a starter, even to share, as there are four pieces to the dish.
Once we gave ourselves some time to digest the starters, we were shown the fresh cuts of steak available to choose from. We ordered our steak with a side of mashed potato and mushroom sauce. The kids went for a more traditional chicken pane and French fries to accompany their glasses of milk. This never gets old and certainly went down a treat with the children who ate between playing with their toy cars. We also went for a boneless grilled chicken, a specialty of the grill, with grilled vegetable and rice as a side.
Each element of the dishes was a sensation to the taste buds. Creamy mashed potato with the mushroom sauce perfectly complemented the steak. And boy was the steak scrumptious. It was melt-in-the-mouth tender and cooked to perfection. We were able to choose a brand new steak knife, flown in from the states, which made the whole affair even more memorable. Truly one of the best steaks we have had the pleasure to enjoy in Gouna thus far.
The grilled chicken and vegetables too were full of flavour and were the perfect blend of herbs and spices to please any pallet.
After all of that masterfully prepared and cooked food, we managed to find a teeny gap for some dessert. We ordered the crème Brule and although we were pretty full, we managed to finish it all such was its mouthwatering taste. Smooth and creamy, it did not last long.
Throughout the meal, the waiters continued to take care of us and ensured each course of the meal was tidied away in a timely fashion whilst continuing to keep up the light and comical conversation. The kids found themselves laughing and having fun with the staff which always puts a parent at ease. Mr. Ahmed, the owner, ensured we, his guests, were comfortable and offered us engaging conversation while talking about the chef’s specials on offer.
The Grill has recently opened a sister restaurant in Sohkna. On a recent trip to Cairo, I saw the unmistakable red glow of The Grill. Sticking to a schedule, it was not possible to stop, but The Grill is very well placed – overlooking the Red Sea in a unique and beautiful stretch of Egypt’s coastline. But, back in El Gouna, we would say it’s a fantastic place to eat, sip coffee in the morning or drink beer as the sun sinks below the horizon. If you are looking for a quiet place to sit down, relax and enjoy some truly magnificent meals, look no further, and if the kids are with you, bring their bicycles so they can enjoy some riding while you wine and dine in style.
Thank you to the wonderful staff for making the evening such a treat for the whole family. The Grill really is an alluring place with lovely staff and tremendous food on offer.
The Grill El Gouna