InterContenintal CityStars’ Shogun is a personal favorite; whether it’s the fresh sushi or Teppanyaki chef chopping food right in front of me, there are numerous reasons that keep this Japanese restaurant at the top of my Cairo favorites.
Last week, I was delighted to discover new items on the menu; some I might have missed before and others that were added. A variety of ramen soups were the first to greet us on the long and extensive menu, and it took a great deal of self discipline to turn the page; the chef was already cooking the dinner of the couple sitting across the table from us and the mouth watering aroma reminded us to focus on the restaurant’s main attraction: Teppanyaki.
The restaurant is divided into table seating area and numerous iron griddles surrounded by high seats. On a Sunday night, those who preferred to see their dinner cooked live were seated on the same Teppanyaki table. The spacious setting allowed for privacy – there were a dozen seats surrounding ours – and also kept all patrons entertained throughout their dinner with the ongoing, live cooking show.
The chef juggled the wooden pepper grinder – no knives on that night, but every chef has his own style. And when we answered “yes when the chef asked if he could add eggs to our rice, we were rewarded with an acrobatic juggle of that fragile item.
We ordered tuna and salmon sushi as appetizers (LE 40 for an order of two pieces). The sushi was fresh and the four pieces we ordered were enough to whet our appetite for the meal ahead. But we also ordered ebi tempura (LE 130), a dish of about four fried jumbo shrimps and a selection of fried vegetables.
We decided to share Ogusho Teppanyaki with an extra side of noodles. We were worried that this might not be enough, but the generous portions we had on our plates didn’t give us the chance to order anything more as initially planned.
The Ougosho Teppanyaki, which we were trying for the first time, is a mix of Norwegian fresh salmon, slipper lobster, sea scallop and Australian beef tenderloin (LE 380). Like all Teppanyaki dishes on the menu, which offer beef, chicken and seafood, ours was accompanied with veggie fried rice, pan fried vegetables, miso soup, fresh salad and seasonal fruit for dessert.
To compensate for not ordering the ramen soup, I devoured the warm vegetarian miso soup; the portion is only enough for one person and luckily my partner wasn’t interested. The salad with its zesty dressing, however, can be shared. The same goes for the generous portions of vegetables and rice.
The salmon, lobster and sea scallop were pan fried with garlic (the chef asked before adding it), soy sauce and a bit of ginger, as our chef explained. The succulent slices of salmon, along with the scrumptious pieces of lobster and sea scallops were the highlight of the evening. The tender beef was just another culinary reward on our plates.
My partner ordered the Yaki Udon, beef and vegetable Japanese noodles (LE 75), which like the rice and the vegetables, was cooked with our Ougosho. The smooth noodles were as delicious as they looked, but required we replace our chopsticks with forks.
We later munched on the slices of fruit, pear, apple, strawberry, and prune, as we discussed ordering Shogun’s famous green tea ice cream (LE 40). However, the meal we had was too filling to allow for another order of dessert, and unfortunately we had to pass on the suggestion, forgoing the refreshing taste of this quirky ice cream that stops short of the overpowering tanginess of its mint counterpart.
The green tea that we drank with the meal didn’t compensate in taste for not ordering the ice cream; it was made of one of the brands available in the market, instead of having dried leaves brewed as expected in such reputable Japanese restaurants.
But we weren’t disappointed; the meal was both a culinary and visual delight. When we weren’t eating or watching the chef in awe, the Japanese-themed decor provided another delightful distraction. The engraved wooden interiors and the sizable aquarium at the center, adorned with a mini structure of a typical Japanese curved roof, further enhanced our Japanese experience that evening.