It was a rainy & unseasonably cold mid-week night in March when the Jacksons & the Williams headed out over the Bridge for this year’s Dinner Club # 3.
We were down for Jay’s pick; Radio Cairo a Moroccan/South African restaurant in Cremorne.
The restaurant has full frontal windows facing the street so you can see the diners at their tables. It’s pretty full and lively. The walls are painted a deep golden rusty yellow and there are African artefacts adorning the walls.
Ian, Jay & I are seated while we wait for Neen who is running late. The restaurant doesn’t have a website (in this day & age, why oh why?) and when booking I couldn’t understand the waitress enough to determine if the place is licensed or not, so we bring a couple bottles of wine and then on arrival discover that they are in fact licensed with an extensive international wine list. Oh well, corkage is $3 per person.
We decide to share entrees and pick our own mains.
To start we order the Onion Bread, Jungle Bread and Boerewors.
The Onion Bread $5.75 is like a little pizza covered in caramelised onion and melted cheese topped with fresh chilli. It’s similar to the Jungle Bread $5.50 which is also a little pizza-base like bread covered in chilli salsa and topped with melted cheese and fresh chilli.
The Boerewors $14.65 is a South African sausage that is minced beef with African spices (coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves & allspice). It’s tender grilled and served on a sauce of spicy BBQ and mustard.
For mains, Jay & Neen go with the Jerk Ribs $24.75 which are rather small on the rib and serving size, but Jay assures me the jerk spices are awesome and the meat was so tender and smoky it tore easily off the bone.
Ian and I debate back on forth on which lamb dish we will order. He finally decides to go with the hearty Lamb Shanks $24.75. Luckily, he lets me take a quick photo with my phone before he ravenously tears into them. They are tender and swimming in a sea of tomato, onion & chilli thickened broth.
I order the Mechuui Lamb $24.95 which is tender fillets of grilled lamb served topped with a tomato & chilli salsa. It’s a good combination; the lamb is tender and chargrilled. The salsa is cold and fresh and really spicy. I love it!
We share some side dishes; Couscous $8.75 which is Moroccan inspired and yellow from added saffron, fluffy and mixed with nuts and raisins. Just how I like it! And a fresh Tomato, Mint and Raita Salad $5.85 which is a dish of diced tomatoes with fresh mint and topped with a yogurt. It balances out all the meat perfectly.
The food is tasty but the serving sizes are quite small, so we find we’ve still got room for dessert. Neen, Ian & I each choose the Royal Lanka $8.00 which is vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and praline. It’s a dessert of simple flavours and it looks like something I’d whip up at home straight out of the cupboard and freezer, so I’m a little disappointed. It is served with a rose petal and a dusting of icing sugar at an attempt to class it up! Moroccan Mint Tea $5.00 is a nice digestif.
Jay orders the Portuguese Tart $5.50 which is obviously bakery bought but accompanied by a piping hot, thick, Arab Coffee $6.00 he’s happy with his choice.
All in all, dinner at Radio Cairo is nice but a little generic. While we all enjoyed our meals, I’m left a little confused with the culinary inspiration. It’s not Egyptian, it relies heavily on it’s geographic neighbours; Moroccan with hints of South African and Indian. But they do what they do well and without a website in an area that is flush with Thai and Japanese eateries, it’s a local gem that relies on word of mouth for patronage!
Radio Cairo | 83 Spofforth St, Cremorne NSW 2090 | 02 9908 2649