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

Night & Day

Night & Day: Nearly Flawless Fetar at the Semiramis Intercontinental

reviewed by
Lauren Lutz
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Night & Day: Nearly Flawless Fetar at the Semiramis Intercontinental

From the
moment you sit down till you slowly walk toward the door, groaning and holding
your stomach, Semiramis Intercontinental’s Night & Day is a uniquely
delicious experience. Located on the Garden City hotel’s lobby level, the grill-turned-Ramadan-tent
offers a huge buffet area where you can snatch up your own mezza dishes while
watching a chef prepare a fresh slice of tawouk just for you.

With so
many options it’s difficult to know where to begin your meal. Various cold
oriental mezzas are offered at a bar near the entrance, and after trying a bit
of everything there wasn’t one dish that we didn’t like. Aside from a traditional
hummus and a salty labnah, some more creative combinations of eggplant and
mozzarella balls are offered. Don’t miss the fiteer and cheese platters that
are also on a nearby counter, or the various soups including molokheya with
chicken and a Lebanese soup with meatballs.

Warm rounds
of bread are made right in front of your eyes, and if your hands are full and
you’re already settled in, the waiters will be happy to go grab whatever you
ask for, including small glass pitchers of any Ramadan drink that your heart
desires – though we have to warn against ordering the tamr hindi since it
tastes just a bit too much like dirty orange juice. The amar el din is
excellent and though we didn’t get a chance to sample the liquorice drink, we
enjoyed the company of the man walking around serving it from a traditional
copper jug strapped to his side.

The tent’s advertised international cuisine is
a little difficult to locate since the overwhelming majority of the food is
oriental, but near the back is a small pasta station serving basic noodle
dishes, and the main meat course other than the tawouk and kabab is a mouth-watering
Asian stir-fry with delicate cuts of beef and vegetables seasoned to

Desserts at
Night and Day are in a class of their own and it’s incredibly difficult to
leave room for any, much less all of them. But somehow this reviewer managed to
make it through and sampled not only the heavenly custard treats flavoured with
everything from strawberry to butterscotch; but the perfect oriental sweets as

For a
nearly flawless fetar, albeit one that’s a bit heavy on the wallet (the buffet
set price is 185LE, and soft drinks cost extra), head to the Night & Day tent
at the Semiramis; and make sure to go light on sohour the night before.

360 Tip

Only enter on a completely empty stomach, and take small helpings to help manage your intake, otherwise you'll end up with a ton of uneaten food on your plate.

Best Bit

The Asian stir fry was incredible, we may have gone back for three or four helpings, and still managed to enjoy the flawless custard desserts!

Worst Bit

The tamr hindi was really awful for some reason.

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