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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Asian Corner: Quick and Easy Asian Food at Citystars
After an evening of shopping at mammoth Cairo mall Citystars, the perfect ending is a hearty meal at one of the mall's many dining options. Bored with burgers and French fries, we took the plunge and decided to try Asian Corner.
Located on the first floor of Phase 2, Asian Corner offers South-East Asian dishes from countries like India, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The ordering process is relatively quick. Most meals are already pre-made and are stored in display ovens, which made us question the food's freshness. You pick your meal through the glass display with the assistance of a staff member, who explains the components of every dish. If you are still confused, you can sample the different dishes of beef, chicken and fish with a toothpick.
The only menu you can peruse is displayed on the wall behind the counter. With all the foreign names and titles, it's a good idea to dismiss the menu altogether and stick to the staff's recommendation.
Most dishes consist of a portion of beef, chicken or fish and a side of either rice or noodles. Asian Corner offers over four different types of rice.
We ordered the Mahraja meal (29LE): two portions of beef or chicken, a side of rice or noodles and a chicken-stuffed spring roll. For an extra portion of beef or chicken, you can have the super Mahraja meal (35LE).
We chose the spicy chicken and the white sauce chicken. The spicy chicken could easily pass as the spiciest thing this reviewer has ever tasted. It literally caused our eyes to tear up and our noses to run, but we kept eating anyway. The white sauce chicken was served floating in a milky sauce. It had a weird pungent taste that we disliked immensely. We also made the mistake of ordering the spicy biryani rice, which only served to set our mouths on fire further.
As for the spring roll, the stuffing was scarce – especially the chicken portion- but it did help in cooling down the spices.We also tried the chicken sweet and sour meal (23LE). The chicken was nothing short of ingenious. Drenched in a thick sweet sauce and served with chopped onions and peppers, the chicken was so delicious that we ended up forcing down every last bite. We had the vegetable noodles on the side. The noodles were served with shredded carrots and green pepper. They had a greasy feel to them, and uuch to this reviewer's disappointment, the noodles were served lukewarm.
Although it's going to take a lot of trying until you have picked your favourite dishes at Asian Corner, this is a restaurant that has definitely provoked our curiosity and will have us coming back for more.