Osmanly: Turkish Restaurant Shows Glimpses of Why it’s One of the Best with Fetar Buffet
Kempinski Nile, 12, Ahmed Ragab Street
From the terrific service and friendly staff, to the understated elegance and unforgettable flavours, Cairo 360’s previous visits to Osmanly were near flawless, which is why we didn’t hesitate when we heard that Kempinski Nile Hotel’s Turkish cuisine specialist was offering a Ramadan fetar buffet (300LE per person).
We came thirty minutes before fetar time to take a look at what we were about to feast on immediately regretted what turned out to be an exercise in self-torture – the food looked really good and it was the longest thirty minute wait of our lives.
We started with a lentil soup that had a perfect, slightly thick consistency and was well seasoned. We then moved to the salad bar, which consists of a wide variety of cold mezzah like hummus, the restaurant’s signature carrot-infused labneh, eggplant salads and much more. Although it may not have been particularly Turkish, what we really liked the most was an arugula salad with red peppers and parmesan cheese shavings that we topped it with an impressively sweet and syrupy balsamic reduction.
When it came to the hot food, there were a great variety to choose from like grilled meats and dolma alongside appetiser foods like cheese and cabbage-stuffed spring rolls that tasted great but had a very soggy crust, and one of our favourite items of the day, the sambousak which had a crunchy crust and filled with a generous amount of cheese.
As can be the case with some buffets, some of the other items we’ve tried before like their mouth-watering kofta, wasn’t as good; it needed more seasoning and it was a little dry. Don’t get us wrong, it was still good, but not ‘a la carte menu’ good. Other disappointments included overcooked and bland rice, overcooked grilled sea bass whose excellent cream and dill sauce couldn’t make up for its mushy texture.
On the other hand, we absolutely loved the baked zucchini, which consists of layers of thin and long slices of zucchini, rich, creamy and slightly-runny béchamel sauce, and minced beef with a bold tomato flavour. Another item caught our attention was some kind of tender grilled chicken rolls filled with perfectly cooked fereek, topped with their signature tomato sauce and laying on a bed of creamed sautéed spinach which matched the quality and flavours we’ve come to expect from Osmanly.
We saved the best for last and grabbed some beef shawerma, which was bursting with spices and flavours, and worked perfectly with a drizzle of tomato sauce and tahini.
The desserts station included all kinds of delicious oriental desserts like Zalabya, Kunafa bites and Balah El Sham, but nothing came close to the perfectly executed Om Ali. It had a beautiful golden brown top, soft and mushy interior, a perfect amount of milk, and they were very generous with the nuts. Hands down the best Om Ali we’ve had in a very long time.
All in all, while some items disappointed and didn’t live up to the Osmanly standard others certainly did meet and even surpass those expectations. With items like the shawerma, baked zucchini and of course the Om Ali, this fetar buffet showed glimpsed of why Osmanly is one of the best restaurants in Cairo.