Mention Asian food and a stunning Nile view and you have our immediate attention. And when it has been rolled together into one stunning package by Four Seasons, you know you are in for a treat.
Chicken Sambal, Malay Chicken Curry, Beef Rendang, Green Curry Shrimp, impressively created by Chef de Cuisine Mohamed Nazlan.
It is a rare occasion when we take our time to settle down to the serious business of food. But, Nairu is such a feast for the senses on every level, we were a tad distracted. The colors, the lighting, the wall-length mural, the décor, and ah… the Nile. We leisurely sipped our refreshing welcome drink of pineapple and Blue Curacao, then quickly snapped to attention when a platter of amuse-bouche miraculously landed in front of us. Spoons with Japanese bread, yoghurt, coriander and peanuts, accompanied by a spicy pickled cucumber. That kicked the taste buds into action!
Feeling adventurous, we shared a bamboo steamer of the lightest, fluffiest Beef Bao Buns imaginable. The pulled-beef filling was tender to a ‘t’ and packed with flavor. Indonesia was next, with succulent and crunchy Spicy Peanut Balinese Chicken, served on skewers. Our table quickly filled up with more dishes, along with trays of ponzu and goma sauces and sambal dips; a mélange of flavors in eye-popping bright tableware. Hits of unbelievable heat, salty, tangy, sweet and mysterious, all worthy of exploring.
We loved the Jumbo Prawn Miso Butter, who wouldn’t? And the sticky, soy sweetness of the wok-fried Mongolian Style Beef was addictive with its side of fluffy, steamed jasmine rice. Needing something to counterbalance the rich spices, we decided to share a crisp, fresh Spicy Asian Slaw, composed of finely sliced pears and cabbage in a sriracha dressing. Divine!
And could we miss out on trying the sushi? We opted for California Maki with crab, avocado, caviar, cream cheese and cucumber, and Volcano Maki, with salmon and avocado topped with crab, salmon roe and sesame seeds and a spicy sauce. The condiments of soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger came in generous quantities as well, something we appreciated.
With barely space to explore further, we still couldn’t resist sharing a Shrimp Biriyani. It proved to be pleasantly mild, with aromatic flavors delicately balanced and its large juicy shrimp buried under a blanket of rice. Presentation of every dish we tried was flawless, and our biriyani even had two dainty poppadum to add an element of crunch.
Dessert was really far from our mind as we sat back to enjoy the mesmerizing view of boats of all shapes and sizes making their way up and down the Nile. It didn’t take much persuasion though, and we ended up sharing a delightfully gooey, chocolatey Red Berry Lava Cake with Green Tea Ice Cream. Oozing all sorts of yumminess, it was a great sign-off for a meal to remember.
Other Menu Options that Appealed
Nairu’s menu has so much to offer it would take numerous visits to do justice to its many tempting items. But Peking Duck and whole wok-fried Tamarind Sea Bass would be on our list, for sure. And more Bao Buns please!
At the time of our visit there were only soft options, but the full bar was due to be available within days.
Décor and Ambience
With professional, seamless service that flows unobtrusively, you feel relaxed and pampered from start to end. Seating is well laid out, with just the right level of privacy that still allows diners to enjoy the vibrant décor and well curated background music. Being right on the Nile is a bonus, of course.
Clientele Mix: Sophisticated, savvy 25+. This is sure to become a favorite spot for those in the know.
Price Range: Moderate to rather high end, but totally worth it.
Watch this Space: Nairu Lounge, on a lower level, which can be accessed via the restaurant, is due to open shortly. We can’t wait.
Worth Noting: You can board First Nile Boat from beside Four Seasons First Residence, or from the Nile via water Uber or water taxi.
Opening hours: Lunch 1 pm to 4 pm – Dinner 7 pm to 11 pm.
Address: El Nil St., Behind Four Seasons First Residence in Giza.
Tel: 02 35671890
Facebook: NairuRestaurantAndLounge/ FirstNileBoat