Sunday, April 19, 2015

Al Bustan Grill Restaurant - Cairo

While staying at the Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, which is part of the mega-Citystars mall, one of our group had a birthday we needed to celebrate. Al Bustan Grill Restaurant in the Citystars mall was rated no. 10 out of 3,930 restaurants in Cairo on Trip Advisor so we decided to go there. It was a week day and we got there early, around 5:30 p.m., so we did not worry about reservations. 

When we arrived I notified our host that one of our party had a birthday and asked if they had a cake they could provide. He asked me to follow him and we went up an elevator to a bakery in our hotel and I was asked to pick one of the cakes on display. I picked a chocolate cake which they brought down separately and presented later at the end of our dinner.

They brought out a huge three lobed roll cradled in a round wood bowl, along with a circular brass container leveled off with herbed butter. I had not been eating carbs and decided to splurge, so the roll and butter were extra delicious. 

I got several appetizers. One I recognized as veal tongue on a crostini, but I did not realize it was part of a salad. We had been warned to avoid uncooked vegetables in Egypt and I still remember the sad tales of a friend who was cooped up in a Cairo hotel for four days with food poisoning. So I avoided even nibbling the salad, avoided the crostini, and cherry-picked the veal tongue pieces. The tongue was nicely cooked and had a nice flavor, but it did feel like a big waste as most of the dish went un-touched. 
Veal tongue on crostini
Next I got a seafood soup that was packed full of shrimp and snow crab legs. I didn't even try eating the snow crab, too tough to get the meat out of the shells. But the soup was some of the best sea food soup I've ever eaten. The broth was thick and packed with flavor. If I'd had nothing other than the soup I'd have been happy. It was a little bit of a risky choice in a meat grill, but turned out well. 
Judy and I both ordered lamb chops. Lamb may be the most popular meat in the Middle East which works out great as it is one of my favorite foods. Our chops were cooked perfectly medium rare and were juicy, flavorful and tender. 
Lamb chops
We waited quite a while before hearing a canned "Happy Birthday" projected over the speaker system in the restaurant. They brought out the chocolate cake with a single sparkler type candle in the center of it. We joined in a rendtion of "Happy Birthday" when the cake arrived. The cake turned out to be one of our best desserts of the trip. 
Weird coloring because the picture was taken without a flash.
It was a very nice birthday celebration and kind of a nice chance for us to unwind for a number of hours after a hectic series of unrelenting vacation days. 


  1. Those were some of the best lamb chops I've ever had--super yummy--and the cake definitely met my standards for a birthday celebration. Fun evening.

  2. Fun evening with great people and delicious food. I only regretted I had so little room left for cake.