Drawing on Tuscan cuisine, with some time-honored family dishes from Sardinian-born, Chef Giovanni Seu, ‘Dolce Vita’ Friday brunch at Lucca is an indulgent and memorable celebration of the best of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.
Signature Dishes & Dishes Sampled
Their signatures are the antipasti, pizza, pasta. And the bread is not to be missed. We ensconced ourselves at a comfortable table overlooking the pool as soon as we arrived, appetites primed and ready after having walked past the incredible display of antipasti and decadent desserts. The serving staff was eager to help us select our antipasti, and truth be told, there were very few items that we didn’t have space to sample.
The Vitello Tonnato was finely sliced, faintly pink and accented with the traditional accompaniment of tuna, capers and anchovies. Tender and melt-in-the-mouth, we could have happily gone back for more. But there were too many other tastes to explore, so we pressed on with Octopus salad, Bresaola salad with Parmesan and Ruccola, cold stuffed tomatoes, onion marmalade, stuffed zucchini and grilled marinated peppers with anchovies (both recipes handed down for generations by the family of Sardinian-born chef Giovanni Seu), and an embarrassingly large plate of assorted bread.
That was nearly our downfall; we loved the focaccia, the onion and pepper rolls, the intriguing black bread, made with squid ink, little cheese croissants and freshly baked rolls. We barely had time to catch our breath before a wooden platter of piping hot pizza landed before us, to be quickly joined by arancini balls, fragrant and full of fluffy rice. Both totally authentic, they whisked us back to Italian holidays from earlier times.
We ventured on to try succulent grilled salmon, grilled chicken breast, fillet of beef on skewers, juicy grilled shrimp and perfectly cooked seas bass. Everything looked, smelled and tasted divine, and we were challenged to find space for the flavor-packed Lasagna and Eggplant Parmigiana that filled the last spot on an already crowded table. We took things slowly, savoring every bite, and enjoyed the atmosphere before approaching the dessert display.
Should we hang our heads in shame? But we had to sample everything; it would have been a sin not to. The prettiest macarons, the most mouthwatering tiramisu, the richest chocolate ganache cake, the most sublime truffles. Ah… this is what a perfect brunch should be about.
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverages
The Friday brunch offers such a huge array of dishes that it is the ultimate tasting experience. We would go back in a heartbeat and do it all over again. It offers cold and hot beverages and a fully-fledged bar.
Décor & Ambiance
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel overlooking the patio and pool. On our visit the seating was on the outdoor terrace, with hot food stations set up to make selection easy.
The antipasti, salads and desserts were in the cool air-conditioned interior of the restaurant, artistically displayed and tempting to the eye. The vibe was lively, with music pumping out in the background, although maybe a little too enthusiastically at times for our ears.
Social Distancing & Hygiene Standards
The service staff and management were in smart uniforms and wore matching masks. Very chic, hygienic and it set us at ease.
Tables were well spaced, cutlery was clean and cellophane wrapped, along with serviettes, and hand sanitizers were on each table. We felt completely relaxed, so job well done Lucca!
Clientele mix: Hotel guests, family groups, couples. Both ex-pats and locals.
Price range: Excellent value, with a local beverage package option available as well.
Brunch opening hours: 1 pm to 7 pm.
Address: Royal Maxim Palace Hotel – Kempinski New Cairo.
Tel: 02 224 95300 / 0109 711 1151