We headed to the devastatingly chic Garden City restaurant and lounge for the first of their special 'food fusion' nights and were treated to an endless array of fresh sushi, great wine and unparalleled views from the 18th floor...
The promise of a culinary experiment that included á la carte sushi, stunning city views and soft piano music while being served excellent wine had us venture out to Cairo Capital Club on Thursday. The Sushi Night, the first of a series of dining experience happening at the Garden city venue every other week, featured a three course meal and a choice of half a bottle of wine or beer to allow a Japanese food explosion in the most incredible setting in this city. The chef selected for one night only was given the chance to take the art of sushi to spheres he had never taken them before. No other setting seemed more fitting than the roof of Garden City with the city at our feet. With anticipation of an elegant and tasty night, we found ourselves on the 18th floor of the Cairo Capital Club with growling stomachs, joined by the sushi lovers of Cairo.
The idea for the bi-weekly dining events was to give up-and-coming local kitchen talents the chance to get creative on a plate without the restrictions that come with working in a usual restaurant setting. Eager to fuse excellent quality food with creativity, the idea for the food fusion nights had been born. At Cairo Capital Club's Sushi Night, renowned chef Hany Darwish had the opportunity to create his vision for the Japanese themed platters and impressed us with a variety of never-before seen sushi creations and lavish plates filled with way more rice, seafood and teriyaki we could ever hope to finish. Every person who has ever the sent uttered the sentence "Sushi doesn't fill me up!" was forever silenced at Cairo Capital Club this weekend.
To start the taste explosion off, Darwish served Chicken Teriyaki skewer, Beef Teriyaki and vegetable spring rolls. The Teriyaki sauce impressed with a perfect blend of sweet and hearty and the beef was melting in our mouths, while the spring rolls impressed with a lack of grease but abundance of fresh ingredients. Taking a bite of tender meat while facing the skyline of Cairo, enjoying a view over all of Zamalek and having the calm and peaceful streets of Garden City below us, breathing out stress and breathing in rest became an easy feat. Accompanied with a light and fruity dry white that we chose for our table, our taste buds hailed the artist Hany Darwish before the main platter was even served.
When the main dish eventually did arrive, our bellies were shrieking in fear of the sheer quantity of not one but two platters per person, littered with sushi in all colours, shapes and flavors. One platter served a selection of five giant nigiri sushi rolls including salmon, grilled salmon, tuna and Sumo shrimp,impressing even the most adept sushi connoisseurs. Surprisingly, a second platter followed right away, exhibiting 12 more colourful sushi rolls, making use of walnuts, fruits and the usual greens. Immediately, we thought we had misread the invitation and it had actually said "All you can eat sushi" as these portions were unable to be conquered. Yousry Zaghow, Cairo Capital Club's manager, told us later that he prefers to serve too much over too little as he did not want to risk any of his guests to go home with space for a single sushi roll in their stomachs. We certainly suffered that fate...
Fortunately, dessert is exempt from the stomach rules. Ice cream fills every little gap there might be left, and their fruity strawberry sensation presented to us certainly satisfied our sweet tooth. Despite popular belief, frying ice cream is actually possible as we came to learn as our desserts were served. Coated in a fried bread crust, the warm and crunchy surface cracked to make way for cold, refreshing strawberry ice cream which came flowing out to mix with a light strawberry balsamic sauce. The sweet finish with just the right amount of sour and fresh fruit bits was a welcomed contrast to the previous delicacies.
The sushi experiment had very well succeeded. Astonished about the fact that a small rice roll could become such an extraordinary dining experiment, we enjoyed the piano player giving us lounging versions of contemporary pop songs while finishing off our bottle of Chardonnay. Giving Hany Darwish the chance to impress us with his culinary talent had worked out well for Cairo Capital Club, and we immediately asked which genre would be discovered in the next food fusion event that will take place at the same venue. Next time, it might not be the talent of Hany Darwish we're experiencing or the unique tastes of Japan but the breathtaking panorama, perfectly-matching selection of drinks and outstanding service will be waiting for us at Cairo Capital Club every time.