Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Grill, Semiramis

One of my friends asked me to recommend a good continental place to eat - "The Grill" pat came the reply. It indeed is a pleasure to dine at The Grill with a caveat - you have to be a non-vegetarian!

Since she reminded me of The Grill, just thought I would write about it. The Grill is the French restaurant at The Semiramis Intercontinental. Located on the 3rd floor, you can't but help being drawn towards the loud music coming from the night club as you walk towards the restaurant.

The decor is very elegant and classy with a whole wall covered with an art deco wine rack as you walk into the eatry. We went past the main area, past the pianist, into a more private alcove overlooking the Nile. Faith, the view was lovely! The restaurant also has private glass cubicles that are segregated from the rest of the eatery with dark glass affording privacy.

We started off with a complimentary amuses-bouche, which consisted of salmon slices, piped with avacado mousse. It was wasted on my hubby, who is not fond of fish, and definately wasted on a poor vegetarian like me! My mom-in-law is the only one who loves fish, and, she swore that the combination was delicious! The maitre de very quickly realised that I was a vegetarian, and very thoughtfully got me small toasts piped with some delicious cheese. I thought that was very nice and considerate...

Then came the menus. It took me just a moment to scan through them to confirm that there was nothing for me to eat except mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. So much so for my fine dining experience!

I swear, for a moment I felt like throttling my hubby especially since I had wanted to eat at Bird Cage, and he had insisted on The Grill! "Well, what would you expect at a grill, other than grilled vegetables for vegetarians?" Pertinent comment that, not one that I could argue with!

Then arrived my saviour and my downfall - tons and tons of carbs! The bread basket at The Grill is fantastic, with fresh, soft, flour and whole wheat breads, some stuffed with cheese, other with olives, and some just brushed with olive oil and sesame seeds, served with soft butter! They were delicious!! If you cant beat 'em, join 'em! Dunk the carbs, I was going to enjoy my bread! What had Mary Antionnette said "If they dont have bread, give em cake!" So be it!

We ordered fresh juices, and, some soft drinks, and the mango juice was deliciously fresh. Actually now that I think of it, I have yet to come across an eatery in Cairo that does not serve delicious fresh mango juice.

For starters, I ordered a tomato soup, while others ordered a goose pate, and salmon mousse. The latter is a part of a set menu which is offered by the restaurant and costs approx LE 230-250.

I must admit, the tomato soup was delicious, albiet really thick. Hubby swore that the pate was one of the best that he had eaten in a while.

For the main meal, yours truly ordered, what else but grilled vegetables (LE 15)?

The restaurant offers a fantastic choice of meats - beef, veal, rib eye, US, Angus etc. I understand that The Grill is famed for its meat - that explains hubby's insistence on coming here. The grilled meats come with a choice of sauce, mashed potatoes and grilled vegetable or an au gratin.

My son ordered grilled veal with mashed potatoes and hollandaise sauce while my husband ordered a beef stake with mashed potatoes and a pepper sauce. Mom-in-law got grilled sea bass with rice and a lemon butter sauce as part of her set menu.

Surrisingly enough, the helping of grilled vegetables was very large, very delicious, consisting of very sweet peppers, zuchini, pumpkin, carrots etc. The mashed potatoes came wth a twist - they had a guest chef on for that week and the mashed potatoes were served with truffle. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

My son loved his veal, though he thought my husband's veal was far more tender. Halfway through the meal, they decided to swap their dishes but my husband pronounced both to be equally good and the quality of meat excellent. Mom-in-law agreed saying her sea bass was excellent as well.

The service is quiet, attentive and efficient. We did order desserts, and, while my hubby and mom-in-law liked theirs, I must admit I was not too enamoured of them. I am rather masry in my sweet taste preferences, and I like my sweets to be a little fuller and richer.

I think the bill came to around LE1700 without any alcohol being consumed. The price includes the ambience, the service, the Nile View and of course, delicious food. Even my grilled veegtables were grilled to perfection!

A lovely evening with great food and great atmosphere, I am sure we will be back again, though my husband still owes me another fancy meal for the grilled vegetables that I had, lol!


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Jazzie said...

1700 for dinner for 4? geez louise, safe to say I'm never going to try it, although it sounds great! :)

Manisha said...