Spectacular view and great food make for an evening to remember
CAIRO: With Ramadan in its final week, I decided to check out the Grand Hyatt’s Ramadan tent after hearing rave reviews from many picky, hard-to-impress people. Si Omar was not a disappointment.
The venue itself was out of this world. The seating takes advantage of the spectacular Nile view, and the tables were arranged in the semi-circle to ensure that most of the guests could look out at the tiny, shiny lights of Giza and Zamalek. It s no wonder this venue is a popular spot for outdoor summer weddings.
The decorated worked hard not to be upstaged by the view. Organizers PromoVision and Dina Iskandar collaborated to achieve a general feel of elegance and comfort. The couches take their colors from jewels: purple amethyst, yellow quartz and a fuchsia jade. The light fixtures are dim, covered with brown material and decorated with little fake gold coins and various dangly things I’ve seen before at Khan El-Khalily.
A stage is set up in front of the couches for a takht band (traditional Oriental band). The music was loud enough to entertain, but not so loud as to interrupt.
We kicked off with shisha (LE 14), which was not outstanding but acceptable. Many flavors were available but something wasn’t right with the coal, the smoke was a little suffocating.
The traditional Arab cuisine, though, made amends for the barely adequate shisha. All your typical mezzes (the selection of appetizers cost LE 50) were set on the table; the usual selection of tahina, baba ghanoug and so on, but with one new addition: muhamara. This bewitching combination of walnuts and red peppers ends up tasting similar to a sun dried tomato paste, and it s really tasty.
For a main course, I had a meat shawirma. This isn’t served as a ready made sandwich but rather a platter of sliced meat covered with special flat bread. Applying the DIY concept, I added the mezzes to my shawirma wrap. Yummy.
There menu offers a variety of classic dishes, with something to appease small to large appetites. You can opt for a mixed grill dish (LE 95) if you prefer a hearty meal for sohour, or foul and white cheese if you would rather something on the lighter side. Personally, I had no place for dessert – actually, the guilt of a huge meal before bedtime started to kick in – but the menu does offer the typical variety of scrumptious Egyptian treats like Om Ali or mahalabya with nuts (each LE 25).
The venue was very lively as every table was occupied, but the large spaces between the tables keep you from feeling cramped, no matter how full it gets.
For a pleasant night out with a bunch of friends, I highly recommend this place.
Si Omar at the Grand Hyatt HotelCorniche El- Nil, Garden CityFor reservations call: (02) 365-1234