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


Itsumi: New Sushi Bar in Mohandiseen

reviewed by
Hannah Cooper
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Itsumi: New Sushi Bar in Mohandiseen

Sushi restaurants
seem to be popping up in Cairo on a more frequent basis these days. We have no
idea whether that means it’s an easy task or fresh fish really is that simple
to find in Cairo.

Itsumi has only been
open for a few weeks and is located on the tree-lined Aanab Street in
Mohandessin. Look for the shop’s yellow and grey sign.

Upon entering, we
quickly realised that the motif just might have been inspired by Tarantino’s Kill Bill. From the lighting to the
napkins, the black, yellow and grey design presents an understated cool, while
the hand paintings on the wall provide fodder for a fun debate. The seating is
a comfortable cool, with low tables and cosy seating, along with high-top
booths as well.

On par with a newly
opened restaurant, the service met our expectations and might have superseded
them with their overly attentive manner; being stared at as we eat is always a
little unsettling.

For drink options, an
Irish cream Italian soda (19LE) was refreshingly sweet, and the strawberry lemon
smoothie (23LE) tasted light, nearly whipped. Coffees and sodas are also available.

Appetisers include
your standard soups (20LE to 30LE) and our choice; the ton ton. For 25LE,
four amazingly designed spring rolls come stuffed with minced spices,
vegetables and meat, and drizzled with hot chilli sauce; they were savoury and
piping hot.  

The sushi menu is
wide-ranging from gunkan to maki and special ura. The nigiri seared salmon (10.50LE)
was divine and perfectly made, though the salmon was slightly too cooked to be
called seared.

Overpriced with some
innovative options, the special ura rolls range from 50LE to 70LE for their
eight-piece rolls. For 70LE, the itsumi roll was tasty but not that exciting
with its ingredients of shrimp, cucumber, and crab, topped with caviar and eel.
The rainbow roll with its overabundance of cream cheese was rather standard as
well. The valentine roll (35LE for four) with spicy tuna and chilli sauce was
definitely our favourite.

For dessert, the
fried banana sounded tempting; but who can pass up on Nutella maki? For 25LE, four banana
pieces came wrapped in rice and rice paper, topped with chocolate sauce and ice
cream. Rather bland and falling apart at the touch of a chopstick, it felt like
a creative attempt gone wrong.

Itsumi claims to have
the best sushi in Cairo and that’s a pretty high claim to stake. While we don’t believe it to be the best, Itsumi does make for a cute lunch
spot with friends; as long as you avoid their poor tries at creativity and stick
to the basics.

360 Tip

Catering is available and delivery to the surrounding area is free of charge.

Best Bit

The simple salmon sashimi (30LE for four) was delectable.

Worst Bit

The rolls were disappointing.

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