Grand Hyatt, Cairo
The Revolving Restaurant is only open for dinner around 8pm. Prior Reservations are required (even if it is a couple of hours before) Jeans, shorts and open shoes for men are a non-no - as the hostess politely informed us over the phone. Jackets aren't required, but wouldn't be out of place either.
This is a lovely restaurant to take your date to with its awesome ambience, phenomenal food, panoramic view and attentive yet unobtrusive service. It is also a place I would recommend for formal business dinners or if you need to impress your (prospective) inlaws or anyone else for that matter.
The lighting is low and the ceiling is decorated with colored LED's forming asteroids, satellites and other heavenly objects :)
The restaurant is situated on the 41st floor. Access is through a private lift on the 40th floor (where you may be seated for awhile but can use that time to order a drink - Yes alcohol is now being served again at this restaurant) The restaurant completes an entire revolution every 75 minutes, situated as it is on the Nile, its an almost panoramic view of the entire city. To disguise its one blind spot, they have created a replica of an Ancient Egyptian temple on the outside.
The Restaurant has an open chef's kitchen. But there were no wafting odors to dull the experience.
Complimentary fresh baked bread was served along with pate and herbed butter. We were hungry and ordered 2 appetisers each. all of which were outstanding.
The Smoked salmon was served with pancakes, mashed potatoes and a salmon mousse.
The Salad St Jacques was pan fried scallops (slightly crisp on the outside, tender juicy & succulent on the inside), served on a crisp potato pancake with marinated red peppers and some greens. I would highly recommend this dish any day.
The Prawn Salad was a combination of king prawns and Scampi with a basil, lemon and avocado base.
The Carpaccio was other worldly. Some of the best that I have eaten. The green dressing and the cheese served with the carpaccio were an excellent combination with the meat.
For the main, I ordered Australian lamb chops which were done exactly the way I wanted. Not too tough, not too soft. The sauce (lamb jus) served with a white bean salad as a base was excellent.
My husband ordered more prawns . But given the superior quality of all the other dishes, he felt this was a bit lacking. He couldn't put his finger on it, but he knew something was missing. This is the only dish that needed something more. all the others were beautifully and perfectly balanced. Since I don't eat prawns unless I have cleaned them myself (long story about allergies) I couldn't check on what was missing. This was served with ratatouille which he quite enjoyed.
We ordered 2 sides of mushrooms and pureed potatoes (Fancy restaurants never say mashed potatoes they say pureed potatoes) The mushrooms were FANTABULOUS!. After all the tinned stuff most restaurants serve as mushrooms, this dish was outstanding. It was a mixture of 4-5 different fresh mushrooms and it had a wonderful woodsy yet fresh flavour. I would even eat this as my appetiser or my main course if I wasnt too hungry.
For dessert, he had the creme brulee which came in three flavours. Mango-jasmine and chocolate were familiar flavors, it was the strawberry-basil flavor that was an eye and taste bud opener.
The choclate fondant that I ordered was my other star of the evening. Crisp exterior, molten interior. Words can't desribe how amazing this desert was. The ice cream accompanying it, could have been a bit better, but the vanilla ice cream was a necessary touch to balance the chocolate. an absolute for anyone - chocoholic or otherwise!
My husband was initially apprehensive about eating French food. Although he had been forced to watch a lot of French cooking programs along with me, he had never encouraged me to try cooking any of these dishes as he felt they would be bland. Fortunatley eating at the Grand Hyatt's Revolving Restaurant has completley altered this perspective. French recipe books are next on the shopping list! (Like I need an excuse)
This was supposed to be a treat for me, so my husband did the ordering without letting me look at the menu. But knowing me for over 8 years and knowing what is good for him, he did let me make my own choices after describing each one to me. I'm not too sure of the rates, but what he said was that appetisers were in the 50LE+ range. Mains were between 80-150LE and side dishes were about 25LE.
Portions are a decent size. Slightly small by Egyptian standards. But it allows you to choose an appetiser, main and dessert for yourself.
Definitely a must visit.