A restaurant’s setting and mood define its clientele. It’s more than just eating outside one’s home; it’s an overall experience. Yes, food steals the spotlight; however, factors such as music, lighting, and spacing combine to create an ambience worthy of customers’ time. Kamala Restaurant at Conrad Cairo Hotel embraces that concept, focusing on surroundings to provide the best of everything. Ceiling-high windows with a clear view of the Nile, an open kitchen where you can see everything being prepared, and an all-over perfect usage of space.
As we walked into Kamala, we were greeted by a formally-attired host. The restaurant has several sections; private tables suitable for business dinners, a bar, lounges, and more casual tables by the windows and the koi pond. We were seated by the latter, which, despite not having any Koi, satisfactorily set the mood along with the relaxing Asian chill-out lounge music.
The opportunity to deliver a fantastic experience starts with the hosts; as we were browsing through the menu, a staff member approached our table with a smile. He recognised one of us, who had come two months earlier on another occasion, and instantly remembered the mocktail which they ordered that time and said that he would be back with it shortly – this small encounter paved the way for a more enjoyable and personalised experience.
The delicious Ice Tibba arrived straight away (95LE) – tangy yet sweet cranberry juice, lime, hibiscus, honey, and cinnamon syrup. The exotic drink was accompanied by fresh prawn crackers, which we enjoyed as we contemplated Kamala’s exquisite colour scheme. The magenta furniture choices and dim lights went perfectly with the green bamboo ornaments and the beautiful magenta chandeliers. Notably, it is quite impressive to get an open-kitchen restaurant experience, without the overpowering smells – we actually enjoyed waiting for our mains to arrive. The Cashew Chicken (185LE) – was the first to arrive; beautifully cooked pieces of chicken with a sweet and spicy sauce. What really stood out in this dish was the attention to detail. The vegetables were flawlessly cooked, served with an abundance of cashews, and deliciously mild dried black peppercorns.
The Angus Beef Sizzler (460LE) – was the next in line, US Angus prime tenderloin with black bean sauce and vegetables. The dish came sizzling hot, as the menu mentions, and smelling heavenly. The beef had a scrumptious char that one would only expect from a barbeque; it was simply picture-perfect.
The Last main was the Steamed Seabass (375LE) – fish fillet with lime with ginger-soy emulsion sauce. We will skip describing how perfectly cooked the fish was, and move on to the garnishes and sauce. Topping this fillet with delightful flavours like cooked garlic cloves, fresh ginger juliennes, and scallions are signs of top-notch quality dishes – not to mention a pleasingly aromatic broth to complement the steamed rice.
One cannot overlook the fact that Kamala’s menu is creatively diverse; offering staple dishes from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and more. They boast a great assortment of alcohol, especially an extensive selection of liqueurs and whiskeys. Chef Atita, resident chef at Kamala, alongside her team, deliver an excellent array of flavours and dishes, with immense attention to detail and quality control, Kamala sets the bar high. The Asian-fusion aesthetic that it provides is the core of its identity, and shows it in all aspects; from the atmosphere to the menu options.
Kamala is an exquisite culinary experience for those who appreciate unique flavour profiles; for those who enjoy the art of merging sweet, sour, bitter, and fresh flavours all together. As our visit came to an end, we were served Tempura fried ice-cream; toasted coconut bits were blended in the ice-cream proving once again that, attention to detail goes a long way.