Saraya Gallery At Cairo Marriott Hotel
Concept: After the recent appointment of Executive Chef Philippe Bossert, Saraya Gallery’s new menu has transformed into the perfect mix Middle East meets West set against the luxurious backdrop of the historic Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino.
Mantra: Never say Never
Ambiance: Relaxed opulence with knowledgeable wait staff, well-sourced produce and an intelligently-constructed menu.
Type of cuisine: Egyptian cuisine with a French twist
Signature dishes: The traditional French salad, L’Authentique Nicoise, a Pannequet (roll) of smoked Norwegian salmon with crispy vegetables and Gribiche sauce as well as Chef Bossert’s take on the classic Egyptian dish, Molokheya.
Dishes sampled: We started with a Nicoise salad, tuna, boiled eggs and potatoes, greens and string beans cooked to perfection, drizzled with a zesty, Dijon vinaigrette.
Chef Bossert’s molokheya was a must – soft sea scallops, crispy prawns and anopen ravioli in a molokheya base topped with cream reduction. Like every Egyptian, any molokheya dish is incomparable to that of their mother’s; however the executive chef succeeded at winning our hearts. The rich, earthy leaves add dimension to the light seafood and the open ravioli provides a modern alternative to traditional rice or bread.
From “The Farm” section of the menu we settled on the US Prime Beef Tournedos, a tender well-seasoned steak cooked medium. Not only were we impressed with how accurately the tournedos was prepared (browned outer shell with a pink, soft centre), the simple sides of button mushrooms and truffle oil mash complimented the dish beautifully.
We ended the meal on a high note with La Sphere Eugenie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a hollow ball of dark chocolate drenched in warm chocolate sauce until the outer chocolate shell collapses.
Other menu options that appealed: From the mains we eyed up Le Carre D’Agneau, pesto-crusted rack of lamb with Provencal Rattatouile and Le Homard Prince Vladimir, gratinated lobster with sautéed garlic spinach. As for dessert, the cardamom, praline and banana crème brulée trilogy and pineapple cannelloni with cinnamon ice cream stood out.
Beverages: Full bar, hot beverages, soft drinks and fresh juices.
Décor: From floor to ceiling, every detail has been methodically thought out. Plush carpeting, heavy drapes and ornate, high ceilings all add to the venue’s grandeur.
Take away/ Home delivery: Not available.
Clientele: We visited the restaurant during lunch hours and found a mix of hotel guests and business people.
Top tip: Be sure to grab one of the oversize, leather seats by the window to take in the hotel’s beautiful garden.
Opening hours: 12pm to 12am
Address: Ground floor, Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, 16 El Gezira Street, Zamalek
Tel: 02 2728 3000
Facebook page: Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino