Osmanly, Kempinski Hotel, Garden City
September 2015, by Bec
Located on the first floor of the Kempinski Hotel in Garden City is Osmanly restaurant, which serves up extraordinary Turkish fare. It’s one of Cairo’s fine dining eateries and provides an unforgettable experience due to the combination of an overly-decorated setting, attentive service and mouth-watering food.
The space is oddly closed-in and quiet with limited views, and the beige-orange coloured walls and carpeted floors make it seem a bit old-fashioned. Everything is adorned in shiny brass or gold-coloured ornaments, which is supposed to make you feel as though you’re dining like a Sultan. Nevertheless, the restaurant provides a tucked away romantic space for couples. It’s a small, quiet restaurant and rarely has more than two other tables in use.
The pre-meal warm up at Osmaly is nicely done. First, while you are scanning the menu, the waiters bring over a large dish and brass pitcher to the table and pour warm jasmine water over your hands in preparation for the meal. Then they serve complementary condiments and dips with hot, freshly made Turkish bread, which are delicious.
The menu pays homage to the past Ottoman Empire, serving classically Turkish dishes that are rich and varied, as well as some contemporary dishes. The cold mezze platter (80LE) is a good way to start, with a selection of vegetables, seafood and cold meats. The hot mezze, however, include some of our favourites, such as the clove-flavoured haloumi cheese (30LE), pan-fried vegetable dumplings with garlic yoghurt sauce (40LE), pan-fried beef and rice kofta with a smoked tomato sauce (40LE), and vine leaves stuffed with cabbage, minced beef and rice (45LE).
The Turkish pides are served piping hot from the wood-fired pizza oven with a side of spicy tomato sauce. All four combinations won’t let you down: feta or spinach with mozzarella (40LE); minced beef or spicy minced lamb with field greens (45LE).
Make sure you still have room for Osmanly’s main courses, which include vegetarian, seafood, chicken, beef and lamb dishes. A highlight for the meat eaters is the restaurant’s signature dish, the braised beef tenderloin with chargrilled eggplant cream and beef brown jus (160LE). The baked vegetable ratatouille (90LE) is hearty and cheesy. The grilled sea bass in vine leaves, white rice and a smoked tomato and lemon butter sauce (150LE) is delicious, light and an interesting take on Turkish dolma (vine leaves). The beef, chicken and lamb kebab and kofta selections are another hit for meat eaters (130-160LE) which come with rice and/or vegetables and a spicy sauce.
The only disappointing dish is the saffron flavoured oven baked grouper fish (150LE) which was over cooked and oddly-flavoured with the mix of mushrooms and other vegetables.
To top off a great meal, enjoy a large portion of Osmanly’s baklava (40LE) or the ricotta crepe with berries and ice cream (40LE).
The service would be impeccable if the friendly waiters didn’t check up on your table quite so often, but this is refreshing in Egypt and a lot of care and attention goes into providing a good service at this restaurant.
Address: Kempinski Nile Hotel, Cornish El-Nile 12 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden City
Phone: +20 2 2798 0000
Opening hours: lunch (everyday 4pm-6pm), dinner (everyday 6pm–midnight)
Meal prices: 30 LE – 160 LE
Drink prices: 40 LE - 200 LE
Google maps pin: Kempinski Hotel, Garden City