Torii at the Cairo Marriott
Cynics may muse that we have a proliferation of sushi restaurants springing up everywhere, but, we ask ourselves, isn’t that because we love them so much? Torii is an example of why Japanese cuisine gets our vote so often. Located right next to the well-known Bakery in the Cairo Marriott hotel in Zamalek, Torii is compact, casual, but undeniably authentic. It didn’t take much urging to get us there for a mid-week dinner.
It’s not just about a great selection of sushi combos; you can indulge in teppanyaki, tempura, and a host of other favorites. Fusion sushi items are also there to cater for anyone who prefers the recent fad for throwing some more western ingredients into the mix. But purists will not be offended, they should be more than happy with the freshly made traditional sushi and sashimi delicacies on offer. Regularly frequented by members of the Japanese community as well as other local residents and hotel guests, Torii ensures that dishes available meet the highest standards in ingredients and preparation.
We were feeling decidedly peckish, so launched straight into the miso soup, vegan- friendly you may note, and full of nutrition. Tastes great as well! This kept us occupied while our starter was being freshly prepared, and what a delight it was. A beautiful platter of quick-seared tuna and quick-seared scallops on a bed of fresh lettuce, served with a ginger, garlic and sweet vinegar sauce. The succulent scallops and tuna were wonderfully fresh, and the dressing gave just the right kick.
Next on order was a platter of mixed tempura; squid, prawns and a variety of vegetables. The batter was light and crispy, and the accompanying tempura dip was, well, interesting. A side dish of deep-fried prawns wrapped in konafa, with a spicy orange, black caviar and soy sauce hit the spot perfectly.
Not wanting to miss out on our sushi, we shared a huge plate of our favorites, mixing it up a bit with Euro- Japanese fusion and traditional items. The California Roll with its avocado, crabstick, prawn tempura, cucumber and red caviar was beautifully presented, and the prawn Ebi Nigiri sushi was definitely substantial, at least three bites worth. Our choice from the Euro-Japanese fusion section was the New Alaska Roll, a diet-blitzing combination of cream cheese, avocado and smoked salmon topped with a crabstick and prawn salad.
Room for dessert? You bet! It was just a simple scoop of ice cream for us, but it rounded off an excellent meal. Any time you happen to be in Zamalek after 6 pm with a sushi craving, why not pop in to Torii and give your taste buds a treat.