Chinoix: Sophisticated Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Hotel, New Cairo
Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel, Ring Road, Mirage City
With the exception of a few Cairo restaurants, a decent Chinese meal is often difficult to find in the capital. From the luxurious JW Mariott name, the newly branded Rennaissance Hotel in New Cairo is home to Chinoix; an up-market, Asian eatery serving up authentic Chinese cuisine. Both the hotel and restaurant are meticulously designed with a sparkling, contemporary finish.
Bright red double doors with golden handles impose upon the open plan lobby, leading the way into the Asian-themed diner. Rich dark wood furniture, ornate screens and contrasting grey and red seating puts a modern twist on the traditional ambience. The Far Eastern concept continues with decorative art pieces, ethnic background music and silk uniforms for the staff. Whilst one half of the restaurant feels overcast with such deep colours, the other half appears light and airy, with floor-to-ceiling views of the hotel’s swimming pool.
Bound in red leather, the menus boast a variety of popular Chinese dishes; dim sum and other appetisers (30LE-120LE), soups (55LE-95LE), seafood mains (135LE-230LE), poultry (140LE-280LE), red meat (90LE-210LE) and vegetables (40LE-50LE) alongside a selection of rice or noodles (25LE-40LE).
As well as the usual hotel selection of alcoholic beverages, Chinoix offers their own selection of local and imported drinks, across beers (20LE-75LE) and wines (60LE-75LE), as well as soft drinks (20LE-25LE), juices (25LE-28LE) and home-made lemonade (25LE) and ice tea (25LE). The home-made lemonade was delicious with a bitter twang, however without any fizziness, it was essentially just freshly squeezed lemon juice. Unfortunately the homemade ice tea was unavailable, and replaced by a canned version.
To begin with, a platter of three different deep fried, amuse bouches were delivered to our table. All three were wonderfully tasty but a little on the cool side; our two favourites being the crispy prawn and the battered pieces of sweet pepper. Before long, our starters appeared and were equally as splendid, with the prawn spring rolls (65LE) perfectly packed and fried to a deep golden brown. The steamed vegetable dumplings (32LE) were soft packages of a slightly floral vegetable mix, and although they appeared brilliantly authentic, they transpired to be a little on the small side for their price.
Initially, for our mains, we wanted half a roasted duck and pancakes (160LE) but were informed it would take an hour and a half to cook from scratch.
Fortunately, the dishes we were able to order continued to impress with generous portions and exquisite flavours. The wok fried lamb chops (210LE) were faultlessly tender, with a heavy, full-bodied pepper sauce. The crispy chicken with lemon sauce (140LE) was, again, delectable with a unique, sweet aftertaste along with a thick, zesty lemon sauce. We’d also highly recommend the sweet and sour prawns with fresh pineapple (165LE); large, succulent prawns were cooked alongside an array-of vegetables and fresh pineapple as promised, rolled in a scrumptiously sticky sweet and sour sauce. The fluffy steamed rice (25LE) thoroughly complimented all of our dishes, as did the moist boiled noodles (40LE) which comes with hefty pieces of juicy beef.
For dessert, we went for the candied banana toffee (50LE) but were disappointed to see just two small pieces of banana coated in a crispy shell which surprisingly lacked sweetness.
Despite being an expensive meal, Chinoix offers some of the best Chinese food we’ve had the pleasure of tasting in the city. The restaurant itself provides a relaxing setting, perfect for eating out on special occasions.