The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Asia House

Asia House: Indian Cuisine at the Shepheard Hotel

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Asia House: Indian Cuisine at the Shepheard Hotel
Located
on the Garden City Corniche, the Shepheard Hotel was originally built by an
Englishman, but when it was burned down in 1952, the hotel was later rebuilt by
the state-owned Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels.

One of
the hotel’s seven dining venues is Asia House, which serves Indian cuisine. The
restaurant’s decor is more Arabic than it is Indian, with an alabaster fountain
and arabesque woodwork. The menu is shaped like a Chinese hand fan. Already
confused? So were we; but in the end it’s the food’s quality that matters.

For a
starter, this reviewer sampled the satay (85LE) of twelve pieces of lamb,
chicken and beef served with peanut sauce. The meat was nicely spiced and
grilled well but it still had a juicy and tender texture. The peanut sauce was
tasty and a bit spicy, but its texture was oddly crumbly and its portion was
too small for the twelve pieces.

For a
main course, we had the chicken tikka (88LE) and the sea bass Thakkali curry
(95LE). The chicken tikka was served sizzling in a pan with tomato, onions,
peppers and cabbage. It didn’t come with any side dish so it was a good thing that
we had already ordered the buttered naan (22LE) on the side. The naan tasted more like baladi bread with an Indian twist, but it was tasty nonetheless.

The
chicken tikka was spiced well and grilled close to perfection. The meat had
that nice barbeque taste, and combined with the grilled vegetables, it made a
very healthy meal. The sea bass Thakkali curry is a sauce made of tomato,
cumin and coconut, which had us thinking of superlatives such as ‘to die for’.
Yes, it was that good. The sauce was a bit spicy but nicely balanced with
the cream. Unfortunately, the sauce left the fish’s flavour indiscernible, but
the fish meat itself was firm and came in a generous portion.

For
dessert, we were served a complimentary dish of kolfi (35LE), which is an Indian
variant of ice cream. It’s a custard-based ice cream that tastes quite
delicious once you get the hang of its texture.

Asia House’s staff is friendly and gives you
space during your meal. Service was fast but since we were the only guests at
the time of our visit, we don’t know what it would be like on a busy night.

If you
want a pleasant dinner of Indian food in one of Cairo’s landmark hotels,
then try Asia House. It doesn’t come cheap, though; we paid
479LE for one starter, two main courses and two beers.

360 Tip

When you have dinner at one of the restaurants at the Shepheard, you receive discount coupons that you can use on your next visit.

Best Bit

The sea bass Thakkali is splendid.

Worst Bit

The whole decor of the hotel and restaurant is a bit outdated.

Map Data
Map data ©2016
Map DataMap data ©2016
Map data ©2016

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