Once mighty, now smarter but inconsistent food quality and prices too high to be competitive.
7Days 7Ways was the first English restaurant and pub to open in Luxor. The Englishmen who ran it, John and John, became almost as famous as their Luxor enterprise. So much so that the restaurant was often referred to as "The two Johns". The restaurant developed an enviable reputation for good English food and was especially famous for its Sunday roasts.
Another couple, Carol and Billy, were very well known and respected Luxor restaurant managers. They earned the Jamboree restaurant, in its original location near the northern end of Luxor temple, a huge reputation during their tenure of nearly 7 years.
Carol and Billy took over the running of 7Days late in 2006. The combined reputations of 7Days and its new management promised something special but Carol and Billy didn't really stay long enough to make a mark. They soon moved on and, for a while, the very English 7Ways became very 'Egyptian'.
Late in 2007 the management changed again. New Manager Laura made the restaurant non-smoking and reduced prices by around 20% to compete more closely with other restaurants, of which there are a growing number at this end of town. Laura and her job-share Theresa provided an English presence virtually all the time in this restaurant known for its Englishness. Hopes were high for the restaurant in this interlude. However, Laura left to start her own restaurant (Jewel of the Nile), taking the chef, now her husband, with her. So management changed again and there was another lull in 'Englishness' until early 2011 when Kim took over as manager.
Inside 7 Days 7 Ways after 2011 refurb
After all these changes, there are still familiar features: the tables in the rather narrow restaurant are still lined up along the walls and dressed in crisp clean cloths; there are still buy-one-get-one-free deals on alcoholic cocktails; the bird still chirps when food is ready for delivery, but a few coats of pastel paint, new furniture, new table coverings with smart runners and a refurbished Royal Oak pub upstairs have all resulted in a fresher and smarter restaurant.
We have summarised some of the recent history of the restaurant above because each phase has brought with it a loyal following, and many reviews that still exist online and in outdated printed guides hanker back to one of the earlier incarnations of this well-known restaurant. People who came to Luxor ten years ago may return to 7 Days expecting what they remember from the 'Two Johns' days, or other people may recommend the restaurant to Luxor newcomers, because of memories they had from those days or one of the subsequent eras.
But the restaurant is not the same as it was when it opened in 1996. The history, fame and Englishness will continue to find their way into reports and reviews of 7Days and these, with old memories, will carry on attracting visitors. However, these historic benefits will, over a long time, begin to fade, and the restaurant will have to stand or fall on its what it has to offer now.
Royal Oak, above 7 Days 7 Ways
The environment now is good. The recent spruce up is certainly for the better, and having the Royal Oak above for a pre- or post-meal drink is an advantage, especially with cocktails at 2 for the price of one: equating to around LE15 each. The restaurant is licensed and a good selection of alcoholic drinks is available. The service is a bit casual, though; the local waiters are smartly dressed but their deportment makes you wonder if their hearts are really in it. The menu is OK, incorporating a wide variety of meals but you need to choose carefully. We have been disappointed with curries and certainly do not recommend anything with pastry in it. The steaks and pastas are fine, but at LE60 for the steak and LE55 for a moussaka, you can do much better elsewhere. A few doors away, Maxime's steaks are much better and offer a bigger variety of sauces for a similar price, and pastas are available all over the place with a more generous portion and for a better price than here. Try Castello, for example, and save nearly LE20 on a bigger, better pasta. Some people have been happy with some dishes, but overall we found quality to be pretty average, with a few options worse than that, so lets just call the meals inconsistent.
Whilst the restaurant has been going through its own transformations, other excellent restaurants have opened up all around. Several have English proprietors, equal 'Englishness', better food and better prices. 7Days will survive on its reputation for a while yet, but we think the number of returning visitors will reduce as loyalty gives way to a realisation that food and prices are better at Maximes, almost next door, at King Tut, just down the road, at a host of good value restaurants in the area opposite the Lotus and Sonesta hotels, and at the higher class Snobs and Puddleduck. 7Days needs not only its makeover, but more consistent food quality and more competitive prices if it is to stand a chance against the new and growing competition.
Kim has done a good job since she joined the restaurant and deserves better, but to achieve it we think she has some more sprucing up to do. And it needs to start with the meals.
Review last updated Oct 2011
Prices at Oct 2011
Tel: (002) (95) 2366264