Caviar Seafood Restaurant: Dining Beside the Great Pyramids of Giza
13 Cairo-Alex Desert Rd (In front of Mena House),
10AM - 1AM -
Good seafood restaurants in Cairo are hard to find, particularly ones so close to one of the Seven Wonders of the World; the Great Pyramids of Giza. Making the most of their proximity and, as a result, their incredible pyramid view, Caviar boasts full length windows across its entire front side making it a tempting tourist trap.
The décor is typically Egyptian; golden hieroglyphics and scenes of ancient times are spread across one wall, whilst vintage photographs of Egypt are pasted onto several rectangular pillars. Dark marble surfaces and green foliage add to the old-fashioned feel of the restaurant.
Being the only couple amongst two large parties of tourists, we were given a choice of tables but were soon forgotten about. We reminded the waiter that we needed some menus before scouring their wide variety of seafood dishes; seafood soups (30LE), hot and cold appetisers (35LE-50LE), salads (40-45LE), fish fillets, pastas (55LE-65LE) and risottos (35LE-45LE).
The drinks menu is small but adequate, boasting fresh juices (20LE), smoothies (20-25LE), sodas (15LE) and a selection of hot drinks (15LE). We indulged in one Florida smoothie (25LE) and a non-alcoholic mojito (20LE). Both were deliciously fresh; the Florida smoothie was thick with large, real fruit pieces, whilst the mojito was sweet and smooth but lacked any sort of soda, essentially turning it into a standard lemon and mint juice.
To start, we opted for some shrimp fingers with a cocktail dip (35LE) before moving onto a shrimp risotto (40LE) and Cotoletta bolognese fillet (80LE).
We wouldn’t have minded about the long wait that we endured had we been given a bread basket or even a bottle of water to help pass the time. After we requested a large bottle of mineral water (20LE), the waiter simply placed it on the table, unopened.
All the food eventually appeared together, with the shrimp fingers arriving without any cocktail sauce. After reminding the staff, the sauce soon materialised, but was instead a creamy, delectable tartar dip; a switch we didn’t mind too much.
The shrimp fingers looked a little like kofta but were much softer, spongy and on the tasty side of interesting. The risotto was the best of the dishes with al dante, sticky rice, rolled in a flavourful tomato sauce with a subtle, shrimp aftertaste. Unfortunately though, we only found four small shrimp in the entire serving.
The Cotoletta bolognese fillet turned out to be several pieces of deep-fried battered fish, topped with a tiny amount of melted mozzarella and far too many sesame seeds. Despite the fish itself having a melt in the mouth texture, the batter was soggy and the whole thing tasted of little else other than oil. It was served with a side of chewy calamari and undercooked mushrooms in a tasteless white sauce.
Other than being so close to the Great Pyramids that you can almost touch them, our visit didn’t yield value for money in terms of either the service or food. They’ve got their juices and risottos just about right though.