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


Reif Kushiyaki: Japanese Street Food but Make It Fancy

Boba Chicken Gyoza japanese Kushikatsu Reif Sando Shrimp street food Tiramisu Truffle Udon Wagyu
Reif Kushiyaki: Japanese Street Food but Make It Fancy

Japanese street food has been circulating around social media for a while especially Kushikatsu, fried meat and vegetables on skewers, and Ramen, a broth-based dish with noodles and the protein of choice. Luckily for us, Reif Kushiyaki, located in 5A, New Cairo, is here to satisfy our Japanese cravings.

The restaurant consists of two areas: the outdoor area which is quite roomy but too cold to sit in nowadays, and the indoors area which is warm and welcoming. Once you enter the restaurant, you’ll see the counter where you can get a preview of the chefs cooking your dishes. The restaurant had long windows and ceilings, giving it a roomy aura. The overall tone was dimly lit with candles burning on every table. The colours of the interior were warm; a perfect contrast to the cold weather outside.

To start off our night, the waiter gave us a menu that is made up of checkboxes where you check off the menu items you want to order. For starters, we ordered two Kushikatsu items: Crispy Baby Squid (EGP 145), and Truffle Mayo and Crispy Shallots Beef (EGP 285). The beef Kushikatsu was cooked to perfection. They nailed the medium-rare, as well as the buttery texture. The truffle mayo was decadent and musty, and the shallots gave the entire dish a crunchy texture. The baby squid was fresh and smooth although the breading crumbled off the meat and separated. The flavours still complimented each other well, and the onion flavour was cut by the acidity of the Yuzu mayo.

We also couldn’t skip trying their Chicken Gyoza (EGP 180). Being sweet, salty and spicy, the gyoza had everything you wanted combined in one dish. Surprisingly, the filling also had shrimp; an odd combination, but Reif knows what they’re doing. The dough was well cooked. It was neither mushy nor did it fall apart, and it had a bite to it. The dish came with a bit of sauce underneath the gyoza which had an overpowering spicy aftertaste, so this one is for the spicy lovers.

Next, we moved to the star dishes: Wagyu Sando (EGP 710) and Truffle Udon (320). The Wagyu Sando consisted of Wagyu beef cutlets on buttery toast that are slathered with a sweet and tangy sauce. The Wagyu texture was extremely creamy; it didn’t take any effort to chew as it literally melted in our mouths! However, the same can’t be said for the sauce which was more sweet than tangy. The toast was crispy, which complimented the buttery texture of the Wagyu nicely, but it was a little greasy. The Truffle Udon was absolutely delicious. The noodles, however, lacked the thickness of the Udon; they were more spaghetti-like. The sauce was creamy and hearty, and the truffle paste brought the dish up a few notches.

To sip in between the dishes, we ordered Togarashi Jito, a passion fruit puree drink with basil and mint, and we also ordered Ichigo Breeze, a fresh berries lemonade. For EGP 100 each, both drinks were equally refreshing and not so sweet; they went perfectly with the entire hefty meal.

To end our night, we got an experience for a dessert. The Tiramisu Boba (EGP 220) was made up of layers of a thick coffee-flavoured soybean crust, cream and boba. The dish came with a mini show; a plastic film wrapped around the dessert, which the waiter removed and the cream cascaded down onto the layer of coffee crust. The dish was full of surprises and different textures. The tapioca pearls were chewy, the cream was sweet and complimented the bitterness of the coffee crust, and the big finale was pop rocks! There were sprinkled pop rocks on top of the cream which was a fun addition.

The overall experience was pretty good, however, the value for money wasn’t the best, and multiple menu items weren’t available most notably the Branches of Hope dessert whose revenue goes charity.

360 Tip

Even though the serving system is “serve whatever dish is ready”, you can ask the waiters to tweak the order in which you want to get your food. 

Best Bit

Truffle Mayo and Crispy Shallots Beef

Worst Bit

Crispy Baby Squid

Write your review

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.