Karma: Fine-Dining Meets ‘Casual’ at Citystars Restaurant
Citystars, First Floor (by VIP Cinema)
On those particular days when you find yourself wanting to indulge in the joys of fine-dining, but can’t handle the formalness of it all, visiting Karma will serve you well. Located on the ground floor of Citystars, by the entrance of the VIP cinema, Karma’s appearance isn’t exactly groundbreaking or even particularly unique; but the comfortable couches and chairs, the capitone upholstering on the walls and generally, clean, warm aesthetic comes to form a familiar and comfortable atmosphere nonetheless.
We were handed the menus by cheerful staff and given the time to choose from the wide selection of categories; outside the appetisers, salads and sandwiches, Karma's menu takes on an international cuisine approach, offering Italian and Asian menu dishes.
We went for the Teriyaki Beef (58LE) appetiser which turned out to be a balanced mixture of small, well-done grilled beef strips covered in sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce.
We didn't have to wait long before our mains of Sweet and Sour Chicken (67LE) and Skillet Chicken (82LE) arrived. The sweet and sour chicken came in a large pan of fried chicken mixed with carrots, coloured peppers and pineapples, all drizzled in sweet and sour sauce and a separate plate of fried rice mixed with vegetables – peas, carrots and sweet corn. The chicken was deep fried with a balanced batter and an authentic sweet and sour sauce that didn’t cause the chicken to become soggy. As for the side of rice, it was the perfect addition to the various tastes offered with this dish and served the desired balance of flavours.
The skillet chicken serves two people, with four pieces of chicken served, each two stacked above each other with mozzarella cheese topping stuffed with beef bacon and coloured pepper with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables as sides. What's enjoyable about this dish is the balance between the grill and juiciness of the chicken, with the toppings complimenting the flavour and not dominating the dish, but subtly adding more depth.
When it came time for dessert, an order of warm chocolate fondant (45LE) landed on our table, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side covered in lines of caramel sauce. The cherry on top of our day was the moment when we cracked open the spongy exterior of the fondant to find a flow of melted chocolate dripping and making way through the white plate – a perfectly executed dessert that is often wronged in Cairo.
There’s little to complain about with Karma at the time of our visit; though leaning towards the expensive side, portions are generous and it’s better value-for-money than most restaurants in the same bracket. What Karma does really well, however, is fuse casual dining and fine-dining in a nice middle ground.