Osmanly: Take Two
Kempinski Nile, 12, Ahmed Ragab Street
Ahmed El Mezeny
our first review of the Kempinski Nile Hotel’s Turkish restaurant Osmanly was
also one of our most criticised reviews, so we decided to pay the Garden City
hotel a second visit to see if it still lives up to our first review. We entered the restaurant with some pretty high
expectations, especially in trying out their new menu. Honestly speaking, our
expectations were met.
the moment you enter the restaurant, you’ll be greeted with excellent service
as the staff seats you and offers you a royal hand wash at your table with jasmine-scented
Osmanly’s complimentary bread
and dip were top-notch: the pita and shami bread were served fresh and warm
with minced olives, olive oil and some of the best creamy white cheese that we’ve
When taking our order,
service was a bit pushy – although they explained everything on the menu, they
seemed intent to serving us what they had in mind.
Soon after you’ve placed your
order, you’ll be met with a tray of cold appetisers (20LE and 30LE). Similar to how they’re
served in Turkey, you’ll have your pick from all a bunch of cold mezzas: baba ganough,
a spicy tomato sauce, eggplant seasoned with garlic, stuffed vine leaves, and
yoghurt with mint.
The stuffed vine leaves
weren’t the best: though the rice was seasoned and extremely flavourful, the
leaves themselves seemed raw and crunchy, even when soaked in olive oil. On the
other hand, the caramelised eggplant was simply amazing and seasoned with
onions: it would have definitely had us calling for the mezza tray again, had
we not wanted to save room for the main course.
As far as hot starters go,
the grilled halloumi cheese (25LE) should be your top pick. The slices of halloumi
were grilled to perfection, providing a solid crunch and doused with olive oil.
If cheese isn’t your thing, the pan-fried veal liver (40LE) was also just as good.
Seasoned with just salt and pepper, it had the perfectly strong liver taste
with crunchy, pan-fried goodness.
Though Osmanly’s shepherd
salad (40LE) is nothing to rave about, if you manage to get the goat’s cheese, coloured
peppers, onions and tomatoes in one gulp; you’re in for a surprising treat.
For the main course, we opted
to try their new item, the doner. You can order this Turkish shawerma variation
in several different versions. We chose the Iskender style (85LE); where veal shawerma slices
are served on a bed of pita bread soaked in tomato sauce and yoghurt. The pita bread didn’t turn soggy from all the sauces, and
the whole combo was nothing short of bliss. If that doesn’t suit your tastes,
you can get the doner served on plain white rice or even in a sandwich.
Osmanly’s lamb kebab-kofta (110LE) also raises
the standard. The kebab-kofta arrived hot right off the skewer, served with rather
standard wheat pilaf and yoghurt. Cooked to perfection, but maybe a little spicy
for some, these meat pieces are definitely some of the best that you will
sample in Egypt.
Osmanly attempts to put a
contemporary twist on traditional Turkish cuisine. Nothing makes that more
apparent than their new dessert addition: baklava (30LE). This traditional dessert
dish is presented in a fresh way: the green nut-filled filo pastry is drenched
in honey and topped with vanilla ice cream. the combination of hot and cold,
sweet and not-so-sweet is brilliant and makes the perfect finish to a filling
Though a little heavy on the
wallet, Osmanly serves amazing food and probably the most authentic Turkish cuisine
that you can find in Cairo; if you haven’t tried it yet – it’s worth a try.