|Highlights:||Chicken panang curry (6PM - midnight)|
|Category:||Far Eastern & Asian|
|Opening hours:||Noon - 6PM (Lunch) / 6PM - midnight (dinner)|
|Price range:||High-end (Over LE250)|
|Payment method:||Cash, VI, MA, DI, AMEX|
By Eugenia Ugrinovich
The first thought that crossed my mind when I entered the luxurious Lai Thai was that mouthwatering food was surely guaranteed. I came to that simple conclusion not because I knew the high food standards of Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence (this is given, of course), but because my senses were tickled by the intricate smell of the various dishes that saturated the tables of other diners.
And, as it usually happens, I was not mistaken (women rarely do, as you know): the food was that delicious, multisided, authentic and rich in color and flavor that it made me want to clap after savoring each and every dish. Luckily for my boyfriend, however, I managed to hold myself from overreacting, and instead of the stormy ovation offered a nice smile to that petite Thai waitress, who came to inquire about the service and the food (one more point to Lai Thai). Of course, the chef deserved much more than this, as the dishes he created managed to move even my boyfriend, who is normally picky about food and can find more flaws than virtues even if we dine in the most expensive and/or highly reputable place. But this time he was quiet. We ate their fabulous Gang Jued Tao Hoo Gai Sub (tofu soup with chicken dumplings and glass noodles) and the spicy and sour prawn soup, Tom Yum Kung, and when this was done, we ordered a selection of Thailand’s most renowned appetizers, Arhan Wang Ruam Ros. Brought to us with four types of sauces (honey, spicy, peanut butter and sweet & sour), the portion was as big as to feed both of us. Next came the main dishes. Knowing that the food was SPICY, I decided not to play games with my luck, stomach, nerves and skin and ordered the mild Goong Piew Wan (crispy shrimp with Thai style sweet & sour sauce), whereas my BF opted for the extra spicy Nua Phad Horapa (stir fried beef with basil). Just as their predecessors, these dishes did not disappoint either, ticking all the right boxes in terms of taste, color and presentation. Rice variety was also present (Thai restaurant without rice – nonsense!), and just in case you like new and brave combinations, try out their Khow Orb Supp Arod (pineapple fried rice with shrimp, chicken and yellow curry powder) or the extravagant Phad Thai Sen Jun (Thai rice noodles with prawns, peanuts and French bean sprouts).
For dessert (which is by the way a different menu) we went for Pandanus Pockets (coconut tapioca pearls and full cream ice cream) and the yummy Mango Dumplings (you have to try it!). Since their desserts as sweet as their food is spicy, it is recommended to order tea, which – thanks god – is in abundance here. Jade Spring, Chamomile Citron, Ginger Twist – all these and more are at your disposal.
The place itself was very elegant, not too chic, but stylish, managing to balance between Thai and Western influences. The service was irreproachable, but what else can you expect from Four Seasons?
1. Guests are able to create their own curries, choosing from beef, seafood or chicken prepared in either red, green or yellow curries.
2. Vegetarian items are on offer.
Plus: The use of veggies that not only decorate the plate, giving it more color and taste but also help you to stay healthy.
Minus: difficult Thai names that will take you quite a while to pronounce.
Music: Contemporary Thai.
Must Try: Mango Dumplings, Gang Jued Tao Hoo Gai Sub and Goong Piew Wan.