Lai Thai: Chic Thai at the Four Seasons First Residence Cairo
Noon - 4PM / 6PM - Midnight -
Ahmed Abdel Razeq
Located on the third floor of the Four
Seasons First Residence in Giza, Lai Thai is tucked into a corner of the hotel
with a grand Nile view, and elegant Thai accents to its interior design. Gold
leaf, lots of wood, silk wall hangings and large Buddha statues decorate the
quiet and sedated dining space, as beaming and soft-spoken Thai hostesses will
explain the restaurant’s menu in their heavy Thai accents.
It’s hard to forget that this is a hotel
restaurant, especially since the space is connected to the Italian restaurant
on the other side; but if you take a window-side table, it’s easy
to forget everything and sink into the Thai atmosphere.
Soups range from 50LE to 75LE for the tom
kha gai (spicy and sour chicken soup with coconut milk), or tom yum kung (spicy
and sour prawn soup) or thai po tak (seafood soup with ginger and thai basil).
Appetisers and salads include homemade-style vegetable spring rolls (40LE), chicken
and beef satay with peanut sauce (55LE) and shrimp and crab Thai cake (85LE). A
tasting menu of the five most popular appetisers is available, and serves two
Main courses include stir-fried chicken
with cashew nuts and dried chilli (85LE), crispy shrimp with thai-style sweet
and sour sauce (95LE) and steamed seabass with soya broth served with Thai
dressing (95LE). You can order pad thai or your choice of Thai curries: beef,
chicken or shrimp with your choice of red, yellow or green curry.
This reviewer opted for the always
dependable tom kha gai soup, which, in our opinion, is one of the best soups to
have in the winter, as the spices awaken your taste buds and the coconut milk
soothes and warms your belly. As is customary with Four Seasons dining, this
soup didn’t disappoint, although it was quite spicy.
Craving a healthy and filling vegetarian
meal, this reviewer opted for the deep-fried soft tofu and vegetable gravy
sauce (50LE), while our dining companion opted for the Thai chicken green curry
(70LE) with a side of steamed white rice.
Almost instantly, this reviewer suffered
from food envy, as our companion’s chicken curry was delicious, creamy and spicy; a perfect winter meal. In contrast, our soft tofu was disappointing; it was
neither filling nor was the tofu flavourful. So many dining venues struggle to
make tofu interesting, and despite the Four Seasons’ impeccable reputation, we
were definitely unimpressed with our order.
Fortunately, the dessert compensated for
our main course disappointment: from the
selection that included caramelised sweet potatoes with vanilla bean ice cream and traditional sticky
rice with coconut milk and lychee, we opted for the poached pumpkin in vanilla
bean syrup (35LE). The dessert was tiny but bursting with interesting flavours,
especially with the scoop of subtle lemongrass ice cream on the side. This
dessert is highly recommended and we’d definitely come back for more.
Lai Thai is not exactly the most affordable
Thai restaurant in Cairo with mains starting at around 70LE and a bottle of
local water for 25LE; but then again, Four Seasons is not about affordable as
much as it is about luxury. The menu is vegetarian-friendly, though you should
ask for the dishes to be extra mild if you can’t handle the Thai heat.