On the Riverside
We checked out the gorgeous new Riverside Cairo and feasted on the international menu and robust selection of cocktails at the swish restobar.
Quietly creeping up on Zamalek, Riverside Cairo has managed to secure one of the most sought-after locations on the island, hugging the Nile on the serene Montazah Street. Opening up with minimal marketing, the boutique hotel has quickly become the go-to place for dinner and drinks, as their sprawling restobar (that’s restaurant AND bar, in case you didn’t know) serves up gourmet dishes morning, noon and night, and expertly blended cocktails. The boutique hotel has a strong focus on dining and drinks, but is also great for business lunches, quick coffees and everything in between.
Passing through the bustling lounge and bar area, we headed straight up to the dining room upstairs to get a taste of the eclectic international menu on offer from Chef ‘Maradona’s’ (seriously, the resemblance he has to the infamous footballing legend is scary) menu. Coming from years of experience in Italy and Egypt, this man knows a thing or two about cooking, but we thought we’d test his skills anyway by ordering a whole assortment of both appetiser and main dishes.
To start, we ordered a bottle of Gianaclis’ finest Egyptian wine and began to peruse the stylish menu as basket of fresh bread, baked just upstairs in Riverside’s on-site bakery, descended on our table. We went for traditional sogo2 from the oriental appetisers section, a mix of vegetable and prawn spring rolls, the massive Riverside Salad and a selection of sushi. The sausages were well spiced and a nice start to the meal, while the sweet and sour sauce served with the spring rolls was so well-balanced, we pretty much dipped everything in it. Though we’re usually skeptical of restaurants that serve sushi alongside a regular menu, but Riverside certainly delivered. Focusing on classic Nigiri and Maki rolls, their no frills approach means the fish is the star of every bite. And we really mean bite – unlike many a Cairo sushi joint, Riverside goes traditional Japanese, ensuring that each piece fits into one bite, rather than having all sort of filling flying out as you try stuff it in your mouth.
The signature Riverside Salad remained on our table as the main courses came in and we literally couldn’t get enough of it. Made up of mixed greens, heart of palm, artichoke and cherry tomatoes, it’s a textural explosion of flavour when mixed up with their tangy, secret dressing. It was the perfect accompaniment to the range of dishes we ordered including a sticky sweet chicken teriyaki plate, tender Australian beef steak with all the trimmings and their signature Penne Al Vodka pasta. The latter was a brilliant surprise for all the sense, delictately balancing the sweetness of tomato with aromatic spices and the bite of vodka.
Needless to say, we had no room for dessert but a chat with the knowledgeable bar staff had the perfect night caps at our table in no time.
Find out more about Riverside Cairo on their Facebook page here.