|Highlights:||Open buffet, a la carte, seafood (Thur.)|
|Price range:||Moderate (LE75 to LE150)|
|Payment method:||Cash, VI, MA, DI, AMEX|
By Nourjihan Fadl
Esplanade, you crave it, they got it.
When my friend and I went to Esplanade, at the Cairo InterContinental Citystars, I didn’t expect more than the average hotel dinner buffet (you know, the usual fancy place with so-so food), but I was surprised to be mistaken.
It was nice to see the salad bar, the main course and the dessert sections being nicely distributed around the restaurant. I started with some soup: Cream of Chicken with Anise Soup, which was perfectly creamy, and Seafood Soup, which I just adored.
I then went for the salad bar, which was vast with options, from fresh Greek Salad to Potato Salad or just plain fresh mushrooms. I personally loved the Pasta Salad because of its sensational seasoning.
Now, the main course meat items were just sublime! It is hard to make good Kofta (grilled ground meat “fingers”, for those who don’t know) but this one was more than delicious; the beef fillet was tender and scrumptious, but the meatballs (Daoud Basha) were definitely the dominator of them all.
As for seafood, the place offered delicious fried fish fillet brought to you with a variety of side items, as rice, pasta and steamed vegetables. The rice was excellent, the pasta tasted like it was home made, and they had unlimited options of toppings for you to choose from. The steamed vegetables (carrots, zucchini and asparagus) were both very fresh and absolutely colorful. Something I really liked was that they had a bread stand with fresh items of all kinds, right out of the oven.
The best part, however, was the dessert. Let me just say that I will probably never have a better dessert again. Not only that they had a big variety of items (western and Oriental sweets), I loved how instead of having big portions of cakes and tarts, they made small bite-size portions, which was both neat and clever. I’m sure that my friend and I will never forget that Chocolate Fudge cake, because we literally dropped the fork and were amazedly silent. If you are a fan of Carrot Cake and you are looking for the best one, then you have to try it at Esplanade, it was divine! There also was Apple Crumble Cake, fruit tarts (very well prepared) and choices of Basboosa, Ba’alawa, and Um Ali (if you don’t like Oriental desserts, you will change your opinion once you try them here).
I think it is safe to say that Esplanade is a must-try for a superb dining experience.