Sushiramis: Simple Sushi at the InterContinental Semiramis, Garden City
Intercontinenetal Cairo Semiramis,
Ahmed El Dahan
As the epitome of cosmopolitan dining in Cairo, sushi’s growing popularity is seeing more and more venues serving the Japanese delicacy. Though the likes Mori Sushi and newer restaurants like Goya are all the rage, some of the more established – and increasingly – forgotten sushi restaurants are hidden away in the city’s hotels.
Wordplay aside, the InterContinental Semiramis’ Sushiramis is strangely integrated into Corniche Café in the lobby of the hotel. Though this might hamper anyone looking for an authentic Japanese dining experience, the café is classy and spacious in its own right and boasts of a live pianist.
Approaching the café, we were seated at one of the wooden tables by a friendly waiter. Upon indicating that we were visiting specifically for the sushi, we were hastily brought menus and pens so that we could mark down our order in the boxes provided.
Although less varied than the options offered by their sushi competitors, the menu does boast all the classic nigiri and sashimi selections, including maguro (tuna) (10LE/piece), and sake (salmon) (11LE/piece) along with unagi (eel) (10LE/piece) and tako (octopus) (11LE/piece) among others. Peculiarly, the prices of sashimi and nigiri are identical to one another.
The popular Westernised sushi options are also aplenty, and include California (33LE), Rainbow (33LE) and Spicy Tuna Maki (30LE). Impressively, the menu also includes the hand rolled, cone-shaped temaki rolls available in three varieties; California, Eirah Philly and Balongsito (14LE each).
Sushiramis also offers five combination platters; Salmon Lovers (140LE/16 pieces) SMS Mix (160LE/20 pieces) along with a Sashimi Mix (180LE/200gm) and a more general Sushi Platter (120LE/12pieces).
Since we were the only patrons at the café ordering sushi, it was no surprise that our food came in no time. Served on a large dish with a generous amount of ginger sheets and wasabi, the sushi was attractively presented and appetising. The SMS Mix platter consists of 20 pieces of salmon and tuna sashimi, salmon sushi, shrimp sushi, California maki, Rainbow maki, salmon hoso maki and crab hoso maki. Dipped into the soy sauce, everything tasted fabulous and fresh, particularly the generously sized, mouth-watering Rainbow rolls.
The Balongisto temaki roll was the highlight of the meal; made with grilled eel, avocado, wasabi caviar and teriyaki sauce, it was served as a large portion, wrapped with fresh and tasty seaweed.
Although it may not be the most exciting venue of its type in Cairo, Sushiramis certainly stifles those all too regular and inconvenient sushi cravings.