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Omar’s Café

Omar’s Café: Generous but Pricey Fetar at the Marriott Cairo

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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Omar’s Café: Generous but Pricey Fetar at the Marriott Cairo

With many
restaurants in Cairo serving fetar this Ramadan, it is difficult to decide where to go to
break your fast. The Marriott Cairo Hotel in Zamalek is always a
safe bet for this reviewer. Unlike other
hotels, the Marriott hasn’t set up a Ramadan tent; instead, they’ve just changed
the decorations in Omar’s Café. The venue’s entrance is covered with kheyameya-patterned
drapes and inside and traditional costumes hang on the walls. Yes, it looks
just as weird as it sounds.

Omar’s Café
has an extensive buffet of Middle Eastern cuisine. There is a juice corner
where you can pick up amar el din, doom or karkadeh. The buffet for starters is
huge. In the meat section, you can indulge in chicken liver and sogo’, and if
you are fanatic about cheese you are going to love this buffet as well. There is also a salad bar as well as a large selection of bread and big
bowls filled with tehina, baba ghanough and of course cheese.

The buffet also serves taboulah, couscous and cold pasta salads. The main course buffet offers
kofta, three kinds of lamb, chicken dishes and cod, in addition to various side
dishes such as potatoes and rice. The centre piece is the huge mansaf with
beef. You can also sample sambousak and kobeba.

sampled as much as possible of course, and for the starters, we highly
recommend the quiche and the dolma. The quiche was made with vegetables and
meat and was a tad bit spicy, as were most starters for that matter. We found
the hummus too dry for our liking, but the baba ghanough was very smooth and
delicious. All salads were noticeably fresh and the olives in particular were
simply to die for.

As for
the main courses, we weren’t crazy about the lamb. However, the kofta was well-prepared,
juicy and nicely spiced. The best items were the fish and the roulade. With the
mansaf, you can choose between regular gravy and butter sauce. We recommend both
of them: the butter to compensate for the dryness of the rice, and the gravy
just to top it off.

The most
interesting part of the buffet is the desserts. It has everything that you
could dream of: konafa with cream, kahk, rice pudding, om ali, basbousa and
balah el sham. There is also fruit salad and the cutest glasses filled with apricot
yoghurt and mahalabeya. There is also a dried fruit section with dates and

The staff
at Omar Café is very friendly and swift; they make sure your table is clear so that
you can fill it up once again with new plates full of food.

Though the food is
good and the dessert buffet is a little piece of paradise, it comes at a
price that is just too high for our liking. Although the set menu price is
197LE per person, taxes and service charged are not included. With a small
bottle of water and a tip, we ended up paying 508LE for two people. We expected
prices to be high as it’s the Marriott, but we would have preferred to pay this
price in a more sophisticated dining venue than Omar’s Café.

360 Tip

Want to light your first cigarette of the day? Don’t do it here but go to the terrace; the entire hotel is smoke-free.

Best Bit

The dessert buffet is absolutely terrific.

Worst Bit

Eat fast because the buffet is only open for one hour. Don’t worry, though; you are allowed to stock up on desserts

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