Aqua e Luce takes diners on a culinary trip around the world
By Ahmed Mansour
If you’re in the mood for a little bit of everything, look no further than Aqua e Luce at the Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers Cairo, which offers Thai, Italian, French and Mexican dishes cooked to perfection every Monday and Thursday nights. The special includes a live jazz band and live cooking open buffet of exquisite dishes to tantalize your taste buds — along with decadent service that will make you want to come back again and again.
A smiling waiter greets you at the entrance and helps get you seated. The restaurant is the main dining venue at the hotel, situated in the modern yet classy lobby with a little fountain stream trickling by that making you feel like you’re dining somewhere in Paris.
The first stop is the salad bar, where you’ll find about 15 different mouthwatering options such as eggplant, fattoush, mohamara, anchovy with zucchini, tahini, beet, beef, chicken, tuna and fish salads that, together, are an explosion of taste and color on your plate.
The main course features only one dish per cuisine, but Aqua e Luce has made sure that each selection is signature and that it is changed every day for variety. The restaurant also prides itself that each cuisine is cooked by a chef of its own nationality to assure the best quality. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Clinton James Cooper who has just taken over after three years in Mumbai and a stint at “The Fat Duck,” Heston Blumenthal’s famous Michelin-starred restaurant in the Berkshire village of Bray.
At the Italian station a selection of pasta is on offer with your choice of sauces including white, red, and Bolognese, as well as condiments. You can also add chicken or beef to taste. Everything is cooked on the spot, but the food is well worth the wait. The Thai dish, Gai Pad Med Mamuang featuring stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The combination of vinegar, Thai ketchup and light soy sauce makes the chicken tender and adds a bit of exotic flavoring. And don’t miss the marvelous veal flambé served at the French cuisine corner. You can have it prepared with or without wine; with the help of mushrooms and pepper, the non-wine version is tender and extremely juicy.
Wine lovers can, for an extra charge, stop in at the private dining room for a cheese and local wine special. On offer are buffalo mozzarella, Parmesan, shankalish, yellow and white cheddar, Emmental, marinated feta, Danish blue, brie or Camembert, goat cheese and white cheese. You can also have unlimited red or white wine (Cape Bay, BeauSoleil or Jardin Du Nil) bottled in 2012.
If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll surely fall in love with the restaurant’s wide selection of international desserts presented in an amazing display corner and adorned with fruit decorations.
The good food is complemented by the jazz band’s unique selection of classics including Frank Sinatra’s famous tune “Cheek to Cheek,” as well as bass and keyboard solos. The drummer added a touch of levity when he had a sudden urge to stand up in the middle of the song to fix his chair, and then jump back into the song as if nothing had happened. et
Live Jazz, Live Cooking Special
Available Monday and Thursday nights (reservations required)
Open buffet includes unlimited salad, unlimited choice of hot sides, four live cooking stations, unlimited dessert and cheese (LE 250++ per person, excluding drinks).
Cheese and Wine Special
Open buffet at Aqua e Luce private dining area includes dessert, cheese and unlimited wine (LE 200++, excluding non-wine beverages). 50% discount for ladies on Mondays.
On Monday nights, ladies get a 50% discount on the Live Jazz, Live Cooking and Cheese and Wine specials..