The Lantern restaurant.
The Lantern used to be round the corner, where Puddleduck was until it closed and opposite The Regal Lounge. is now. It was a bit tucked away so it could be difficult to find. Now it is in the road opposite the Lotus hotel; the same road as Deans and Snobs, so it is difficult to miss.
The light decor of the old premises has given way, first to dark blue, then to dark olive walls with complementary fabrics, and latterly to Victoria plum walls with smart black and white fabrics, offset by a bright white ceiling with ornate roses surrounding chandeliers. It is the sort of decor you would expect in a restaurant that you dress up to go to, although there is no dress code as such, so this is one restaurant where you don't have to get too hung up on what to wear.
The waiters are smartly dressed and efficient and the owner, Debbie, is evident much of the time, playing the tables in a want-to-be friendly way rather than in the style of a maître d'hotel.
A local bread and dip aperitif is offered on arrival. The menu has grown over the years, especially in 2014, and is now very extensive and varied. Roasts are available every day except Saturday. Other options are largely English International with quite a few variations not to be found elsewhere and a specific chicken and duck menu section. There are also local dishes. In addition to the printed menu there are daily specials which are written on a blackboard and on a piece of paper that can be brought to table if you are out of sight of the board. If you were to make the lantern your regular restaurant there are certainly enough main course choices to give you a reasonable variety of meals for a holiday-length stay and a good range of other courses too, including a smallish list of desserts supplemented by daily specials.
Prices are on he higher side by local standards. Typical main courses, including tagine and curry, are around LE60 - LE70: a range of steaks are a little higher. There are also snacks for the lighter appetite or lunchtime. Overall, the prices are significantly higher than at Snobs, just across the road, which may be considered as local competition and about on a par with Deans, almost next door.
Meals are served in decorative modern cuisine style and by and large the food is very good and served nice and hot. Portions for the main course are fine and for the dessert courses are plentiful.
The restaurant is not very big but about 40 seats, possibly more, have been fitted in. The Lantern is very popular, so it is understandable that every inch has been taken up, but it can feel a little cramped in some parts. Some other restaurants are long and thin and have seats that are close to each other 'back-to-back'. However, the shape of the Lantern is almost square and some tables are close 'side -by-side'. As a result, you can be sitting almost next to someone at the next table and quiet conversation can be quite difficult in one part of the restaurant, especially if diners nearby are speaking loudly. Mercifully, though, the background music is very background, so you don't have to compete with loudspeakers as at some other places nearby.
Overall, some very good meals in a recently-improved environment. Prices elsewhere have risen and some rivals have closed, so we think the Lantern competes better than it did. The Lantern clearly benefits from recommendations and repeat visits from an obviously loyal following, possibly including a tour rep or two. With that on their side and with a sufficient number of holidaymakers who want some Englishness without being too worried about a few pennies, the Lantern doesn't have to try as hard as other restaurants. If that is what you want, you will be happy at the Lantern.