Mokai Sushi: Sushi Restaurant in New Cairo Falls Short of More Established Competitors
Concord Plaza Mall, Road 90
12PM - 12 Mid-night
With sushi as popular as ever across Cairo restaurants, the newest eatery to join the pack is Mokai Sushi at Concord Plaza Mall in New Cairo. Competition in the area is fierce, with Sushi Bay, Mori Sushi, Makani Sushi and a soon to open Fuego all in fairly close proximity.
Mokai doesn't stop at sushi, however; the menu also features various items covering fast-food and main courses, and you can even grab a shisha. The venue is located on the outside of the mall and is essentially divided into two separate – they have different entrances – sections; one for sushi and the other for main courses and fast-food, as well as an outdoor area with fire heaters, shisha and LCD televisions.
We entered the sushi bar and sat on two opposite sofas as traditional Japanese music played in the background. The warm orange interior, dim lights and Japanese wall engravings give the place a calming atmosphere and the seating arrangement gives you privacy.
After checking the menu, we opted for Tempura Mariowase (50LE) as an appetiser, and a selection of Nigiri Sushi (10.5LE-12), Ebi Oshi Sushi (34LE/3 pieces), Salmon Sashimi (35LE/4 pieces), a Salmon Temaki (32/piece), and Maki Rolls (23LE – 90LE).
The Tempura Mariowase arrived first and was a plate of fried fish, squid and shrimp along with vegetables. Both were covered in a light, crunchy fried batter that tasted delicious with the accompanying Tempura dipping sauce and everything was fresh tasting, but the amount of vegetables far exceeded the amount of seafood.
Soon afterwards, we noticed that our sushi order was ready to be served; there was no waiter and the platter sat on the sushi bar for quite some time – sushi isn’t something that waits for too long.
The first of the sushi that we tried was the Sensei Maki (74LE/6 pieces) – one of Mokai’s special rolls. Delicately and attractively topped with salmon, caviar and sesame, they looked fantastic and tasted just as good, with the tuna, avocado, cream cheese and salmon working perfectly together.
The Philadelphia Rolls (34LE/half portion) brought cream cheese, avocado and cucumber together, which are all wrapped in smoked salmon and topped with teriyaki sauce; a simple combination of ingredients which made the roll light and tasty. Another of Mokai’s signature sushi, however, didn’t fare as well. The Paradise Roll – tempura, cream cheese and avocado, topped with smoked salmon and sweet yuzu sauce –lacked the flavour of yuzu and ended being very similar in taste to the Philadelphia Rolls
Sitting in the centre of the dish were three pieces of Ebi Oshi; blocks of pressed sushi topped with bite size shrimp. Again, the pieces lacked any distinguishable flavour, while the Salmon Sashimi suffered similarly despite being noticeably fresh – the marinated sashimi might have been the better option.
The Salmon Temaki cone, meanwhile, was every bit as good as it looked. Stuffed with fair amount of salmon, lettuce, cucumber and avocado coated with rice and nori, it held together perfectly and wasn’t the mess one might think.
As for the Nigiri Salmon, again the fish lacked taste compared to nigiri we’ve tried at other sushi places around Cairo.
As a venue, Mokai is generally inviting, though when if compared with the more establishes names such as Mori and Fuego, the restaurant comes up just short. Most of our order was satisfactory, but we left remembering the bad more than we did the good.