Japanese cuisine is one of the most diverse worldwide. But despite that, Egyptians are mainly only familiar with Sushi, thus missing out on all the delicacies Japan has to offer. That’s why when a friend recommended Lia, the newest Japanese fine dining restaurant in Heliopolis, we were more than excited to go try it out.
As soon as we arrived at the restaurant, we knew this was going to be a night to remember. The lighting was low and ambient, the music was relaxing, and the friendly staff made sure that we were comfortable.
We started by ordering our appetisers. We were a bit disappointed because we wanted to try the Shrimp Gyoza, but it wasn’t available that evening. So instead, we decided to go with Fried Shrimp Tempura (240 LE) and Salmon Tartar (180 LE). The plates looked fascinating, and to be honest, the taste was even more so. The Shrimps were mouth-watering, crispy and perfectly spiced, and the spicy mayo was an excellent addition. The Salmon Tartar, usually a complex dish with multiple flavours, was surprisingly light and simple. It contained all the expected ingredients like avocado and, of course, raw salmon, but it also had ponzu mayo which was a nice twist to turn this authentic French plate into a Japanese one.
We then moved on to the main course. We’d heard good feedback on the Crusted Rack of Lamb, but sadly they didn’t serve it that day. So instead, we ordered Seared Beef Tenderloin (425 LE) and Grilled Salmon (400 LE). In short, these were, hands down, the best two dishes we’ve ever tasted. The steak was an excellently-cooked medium-rare, and you could tell how juicy and tender it was by just touching it. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth perfect. The salmon was so good it left us unable to speak for a couple of seconds after the first bite. The fish was sweet, the seasoning perfect, and the skin was crispy. To say that we fell in love with it would be an underestimation.
By that time, we were already full. However, we still wanted to try dessert as they had some exciting options like Macha Crème Brule and Fried Ice Cream, but sadly, for the third time, we couldn’t get either of them because they weren’t available. We settled for Black Sesame Cheese Cake (120 LE) which tasted good, but not fantastic like everything else we’d had that evening.
At the end of our visit, we were left with an experience that we’ll definitely remember for a while. The high-quality food, brilliant atmosphere, and the value you get for your money make this place perfect for that date you’ve been holding off for a while.