Carpaccio: Sloppy Dining Experience in Heliopolis
Riviera, Oasis, Sheraton Area
The Riviera Oasis complex by Cairo airport
hosts an unruly amount of dining venues, and an even more unruly amount of
Heliopolis residents. The various cafes share the open grounds, and patrons of
each meld into one sea of eaters, drinkers and smokers. It’s really quite the
maze to get around/
Carpaccio is one of the few out-and-out
restaurants cut from the same cloth as the other branches; the dark sleek
interior and diverse clientele.
On the large menu, the formaggio fonduta
(36LE) is described as an oven baked mix of smoked cheese, mozzarella and
parmesan served with Italian bread. The fondue was thick and tasty, but was
almost certainly Egyptian roumi cheese. It was served with three bite-sized
pieces of cold garlic bread and several bread sticks. It was so little, that we
ordered a separate side dish of garlic bread which never even came.
The menu described the pacific pizza (45LE)
as a baked pizza with salmon, sour cream and dill. The base was akin to pitta
bread, we suspect that the faint white cream was actually Philadelphia cheese
spread and we couldn’t taste any dill whatsoever. To top it all off, several
large pieces of smoked salmon were slapped on top with no consideration of placement.
So when it arrived cut up into segments, some slices were almost completely
covered in salmon, while others had barely any. The whole thing arrived
lukewarm, but the salmon tasted fresh and was the only positive on a
desperately disappointing dish.
The penne siciliane (31LE) comes cooked
with a tomato sauce, eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers, and topped with
parmesan. While the pasta was cooked well and the sauce had rich and spicy
taste to it, the vegetables promised by the menu were pretty sparse. The large
serving also didn’t come with parmesan as promised, and so it was tough to get
through on account of its sheer blandness.
Saddened by the experienced, we chose not
to risk further disappointment by ordering a dessert, although we were tempted
by the 15LE per-scoop Hagen Dasz ice cream.
The food wasn’t even the main gripe; the
service was pretty shocking. The kitchen is on the ground floor, and so that’s
where all the staff were stationed. We noticed that all the diners in our
section on the upper floor were struggling to find staff and get their attention.
We might as well have eaten the 160LE
that we spent on the three dishes and two drinks.