In an effort to associate ‘Kazlak – Smokery & Grill’ with sustainable gastronomy in Egypt, founder Masoud Waleed decided to invite a select group of Cairo’s top media personnel and food bloggers to his cozy restaurant in Maadi Courtyard last August to offer them a taste of a new menu that showcases offal in ways never before seen or tasted.
By most restaurants, offal is considered a waste product of the cattle-slaughtering process that is not used in any fancy dishes. This is because offal mainly consists of bits and organs that are very difficult to turn into something palatable.
In Egypt, a place that serves offal dishes is known as a ‘Masmat’ usually located in humble suburbs or close to slaughterhouses and serves food in a way that is far from glamorous.
For Waleed, offal is just another opportunity to show the world that the circle of sustainability does not have to end at the fillet, the sirloin and the ribeye. With his passion for sustainable, locally sourced cuisine and his creative culinary talent, he was able to turn these unwanted cuts into a stunning set-menu of five courses, which he called ‘Project Masmat’.
First, a Kawarea (Knuckle) Soup with Green Apple, then a Smoked Tongue Salad, followed by Fried Head Meat with sweet and sticky rice flavored with caramelized onions, then comes the piece-de-resistance; Grilled Sweet Breads with pickled lemon sauce and spicy potatoes and finally a very original Sweet Potato Glacée with a smoky, charred demi-glace.
Waleed made personal table visits to get some feedback on his latest creations. “When a beast is slaughtered for us to consume, it is forced to give us its most prized possession… Its life! The more waste we discard from its carcass, the less respect we pay to the life that this animal once lived,” he explained.
Project Masmat is the start of many more projects to come under the Kazlak experience. The five-course set-menu is currently available with a 48-hour pre-order notice for 300 EGP (excluding service & tax) per person. The restaurant is planning to regularly roll out more projects that aim to open the eyes of Cairo’s general public and introduce their tastebuds to novel dimensions of flavor.