Cairo's culinary scene is flooded with 'authentic' Chinese restaurants. But with word of mouth spreading like wildfire about new eatery Chinoix in the Renaissance hotel, we decided to head over and discover if the spot warranted all the praise it was receiving. We weren't disappointed...
Nestled away in New Cairo’s breathtaking Renaissance hotel is a deliciously Chinese inspired culinary destination named Chinoix. Since its opening, word of mouth has been spreading quickly, heralding its authenticity and its mouthwatering taste. Seeking the truth and a sensory-pleasing meal, we decided to head over and find out if the high praises are warranted or if this is just another in a long list of Chinese restaurants in the city as ‘authentic’ as Peking.
Stepping into Chinoix felt a lot like leaving Egypt altogether, as the warm decor, complete with authentic Chinese vases, created the perfect atmosphere to enjoy another nation’s beloved cuisine. Greeted at the door we were sat down by Chinoix’s professional serving staff that were well versed on the menu, and didn’t hesitate to suggest some of Chinoix's tastiest and signature dishes. Looking at the menu we were encouraged by the variety of authentic Chinese dishes offered, and were happy to see that the menu wasn’t confused with other internationally popular dishes that have no business on a Chinese restaurant’s menu. Failing to focus on one style of cuisine and perfecting its execution is a problem that plagues many Egyptian restaurants that believe they must offer everything, but fail to execute anything properly.
Upon investigating the menu and taking into consideration the waiter’s suggestion we decided to begin the meal with their Lobster and Spinach Soup, spring rolls, and Dim Sum. Exemplifying the importance of plating, Chinoix put a lot into the composition of their dishes. The Lobster and Spinach Soup had incredible texture, delivered on taste, and arrived at the table creatively presented as a green and white yin-yang symbol. The spring rolls were fried to a delicious crispiness, but failed to overshadow the visually stunning preparation of the dim sum basket. With an order of twelve costing a 120 LE, the mix of differently filled Dim Sum offered were competitively priced and presented in the proper bamboo basket with each dim sum looking identical and tasting even better than they looked.
As soon as we devoured the appetizers, the serving staff was quick to clear our now empty plates, and reset the table for the main course. Ordering the full Beijing Duck was more than just another dish; it was show, as two Chinese chefs wheeled out the duck and began expertly breaking it down table-side. Constructing deliciously memorable wraps paired with complimenting vegetables, the Beijing Duck was sublimely roasted, drained of its fat while remaining tender, and was easily the star of the night. Despite the fact that the duck was enough to leave us feel all full, we decided to try a few other entrees including the sweet and sour prawn with pineapples and the sautéed diced chicken with cashew nut Gong Bao. Both plates pleased the senses and came with your choice of authentic noodles or fried rice. With very few faults to point out, all the entrees impressed and were seasoned carefully, leaving the choice of your favourite dish totally dependent on what your favourite protein is.
Ready to gleefully burst, we honestly felt too full for dessert - that is of course until we saw Chinoix’s sweet offerings. Once again the menu made it difficult to try just one item, resulting in us ordering three. We have never heard of a Green Tea Tiramisu, but weren’t disappointed as it delivered plenty of flavour and a silky smooth texture giving a unique twist to a classic dish. The Deep Fried Ice Cream served with seasonal fruit was equally delicious and was coated with a crispy coconut batter that perfectly complimented the vanilla bean goodness within. However, despite how good both desserts were, they paled in comparison to the visually gratifying Candied Banana Toffee served with ice cream. This dessert caused quite a problem at the table as everyone wanted the dish as their own. The mixture of textures on the plate was perfectly balanced and its taste was addictively sweet. It was the perfect way to cap a wonderfully authentic experience.
Chinoix easily surpassed our expectations on all fronts. From the atmosphere, to the service, to most importantly, the taste, Chinoix delivered full marks and when compared to other hotel restaurants was competitively priced. With two professional Chinese chefs skillfully creating authentic dishes, Chinoix has managed to overcome Egyptian restaurants' biggest problem: consistency. Even when one chef is away, Chinoix ensures that there is always a Chinese chef overseeing the execution of each dish.
If you are lover of actual Chinese food or looking for a romantic dining experience then we strongly recommend paying Chinoix a visit, as it is poised to become New Cairo best kept Chinese secret.
You can check out The Renaissance Hotel's Facebook page here.