Once a former palace, the Marriott in Zamalek tries to live up to its royal pedigree. And the complex culinary adventure offered by Torii’s Stamina menu is nothing short of fit for a king. But the experience begins long before the food is brought to the table.
As my friend and I enter the dimly lit room a friendly maitre’d greets and escorts us to our table. After settling in we are presented with warm moist towelettes that smell of sweet perfume to remove the day’s stress. Feeling relaxed and comfortable, a knowledgeable waiter presents the menu and offers advice about the various dishes.
His attentiveness is a welcome change to the typical fight at the majority of Cairene establishments for their attention.
Torii offers a seamless fusion of east meets west to all of the five senses. The oriental melodies played by western instruments float around the restaurant setting the mood.
And while at some restaurants it may be hard to see the food, here the lighting only illuminates the items on the table, which doesn’t compromise the tranquil atmosphere.
But the best is saved for the food and its tenderness, gorgeous presentation, savory aroma and mouth-watering flavors.
As this is our first time at the restaurant, we let the waiter guide our dinning experience. First we have Ceviche Japoni and Seared Tune Tartare for appetizers. The Ceviche Japoni is a delectable salmon, garnished with asparagus. The tuna has a soy-wasabi cream sauce drizzled over it and is topped with black caviar.
Both appetizers offer a plethora of flavors. The salmon’s tender pinkish flesh is grilled to perfection with subtle hints of orange and ginger. In addition, the distinctive taste of wasabi is perfectly combined with the black caviar.
After these appetizers raise our appetites they are bedded back down with the next course of Koushi Yaki and Kare Ebi.
The Koushi Yaki is a savory pan-grilled New Zealand veal cop with crispy garlic and a sweet soy sauce. This dish offers an adventure of flavor as each aspect of the meal, from the veal chop to the crispy garlic, excites with every bite. In addition, the succulent meat separates from the bone with ease and dissolves in the mouth.
The Kare Ebi is jumbo prawns with Japanese golden curry sauce flavored with beef bacon and vegetables. Usually when one orders shrimp they must prepare for combat in order to separate the head and outer casing from the pinkish meat.
The presentation of the food makes it appear as if I should prepare but as I pull one piece by the tale, the rest of it remains. The chef meticulously separates the pieces, which is delightfully refreshing. The energy saved was put to better use enjoying each portion.
Upon picking the plates clean we finish our evening’s affair with fried ice cream. The entire meal leaves one feeling comfortably full yet not bloated.
And while the prices might make going to this a place reserved for special occasions, the unique dinning experience of delectable dishes make Torii’s Stamina menu truly royal.