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


Spice: Haute Chinese Cuisine in Cairo

reviewed by
Melissa Howell
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Spice:  Haute Chinese Cuisine in Cairo

Known for their dim
sum and Peking duck, this Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza is
one of Cairo’s premiere Asian cuisine restaurants. With top-quality ingredients
and deftly prepared plates, Spice is a far cry from the greasy comfort food that
many of us associate with Chinese cuisine.

The food at Spice is
exquisite and refined. It is not necessarily that innovative, but your
adventurous side can still be satisfied with dishes like steamed dim sum with
squid. And while the name might deter those who don’t like a lot of heat, Spice
is more about blending well-rounded flavours than burning your taste buds.

Soups and appetisers are
available, but after the chef’s complimentary amuse-bouche of small fried tofu cubes in sweet chilli sauce, we recommend starting the meal with dim sum, either steamed or fried. The fried
dim sum stuffed with chicken, shrimp and crab (42LE) is delightful: the filling
is blended together so that each bite has the flavours of all three savoury
meats. The bean curd and crab dumplings (52LE) are garnished with a delicate
roe and the tofu is dense, making this a substantial first course.

Entrées are as simple
as seafood and vegetable stir-fries and as grand as abalone specials and whole
Peking duck. The imported beef with vegetables (136LE) is served in the house
xo sauce, which is based in homemade seafood stock. The xo sauce has a slight
kick; but it is also delicate and brightens the thin slices of beef.   The fried rice noodles with shredded Peking duck
(88LE) work well as a shared side or a main course. Almost equal parts of
tender, juicy roasted duck and thin transparent noodles, the dish is enhanced by julienned onions and peppers. A mix of sweet and savoury, these noodles
are highly recommended.  

After the
complimentary fruit plate of strawberries, pineapple and melon as well as plums, the
mango pudding (30LE) is a delicious dessert. A simple white terrine is filled
with silken custard, and served with a side of cold milk to pour over the
subtly flavoured pudding. The fact that we were no longer hungry couldn’t keep
us from finishing the entire serving.

From the first bite to
the last, the Four Seasons Nile Plaza lives up to its fine reputation with

360 Tip

Parking inside the Four Seasons can be seriously expensive, so opt for parking on a nearby street or take a taxi.

Best Bit

While all of the food is delicious, the mango pudding is a revelation.

Worst Bit

Tofu shows up throughout the menu, but it’s often mixed with meat, which leaves a rather small and lacklustre vegetarian menu.

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