Mix: Middling International Cuisine at Radisson Blu Hotel in Heliopolis
Amidst the bloom of restaurants in Cairo, many – if not all – new culinary additions to the city talk the talk, but invariably fail to maintain standards. In Heliopolis, Radisson Blu’s main restaurant, Mix, certainly looks the part and boldly claims to serve up delicious Lebanese and international dishes – a statement we found to be a little generous.
Just off the main reception area, Mix is spotless and opens out into a large, contemporary dining area with high ceilings boasting bright red lampshades. Rather than feasting from the generous dinner buffet (168LE), we opted to order from Mix’s à la carte menu. The pages were filled with soups, salads, appetisers, sandwiches, pastas and grills, but despite advertising Lebanese cuisine, the mixed mezza (50LE) and shawerma sandwich (45LE) were the closest things got to authentic Oriental cuisine.
The drinks menu was typical of a hotel restaurant; endless lists of local and imported wines and spirits, cocktails, fruit concoctions and plenty of hot and soft drink options. We ordered one fresh lemon juice (14LE) and a fresh orange juice (20LE); both were bitter-sweet and served nicely chilled.
To start, we chose the smoked salmon platter (60LE) to share before moving on to marinated grilled chicken breast (55LE) and a dish named ‘Best of Beef’ (85LE). All the dishes arrived at one time, along with an assortment of stale bread buns, savoury pastries and packet butter.
The smoked salmon was a disappointing pile of browning smoked salmon, placed on top of a potent taboula salad. The brown toast and onion rings that accompanied it were few, and, despite it being tasty, the horseradish mousse tasted more like crème fraîche. The grilled chicken breast fared much better and was both generous and juicy, with incredibly rich rosemary gravy, soft vegetables and well-cooked fries.
The ‘Best of Beef’ was an average sized slab of meat which was slightly rarer than the medium we’d requested and although the meat was good quality, no sauce came with the meal, so it was left a little dry. Unfortunately, the side salad wasn’t the freshest but was doused with a subtle, delectable vinaigrette.
For dessert we picked the crème brûlée (30LE), which was deliciously creamy and sugary on top, but only vaguely warm in the middle.
Unfortunately we weren’t overly impressed with the service either; not only did the waiter return after he forgot our order at the beginning, but we also think it’s important to mind our Ps and Qs, and think hotel staff should too.
The food at Mix is far from delicious, although judging by the items that were enjoyable, there is undoubtedly potential for the restaurant. The compromise is in the prices and they aren’t as expensive as some other hotels, though they should be careful that this isn’t reflected in the food quality.