We were welcomed into the Marriott Hotel’s Japanese restaurant Torii by supervisor Sameh who showed us to the Teppanyaki table. We sat and were immediately offered the drinks and food menu. There was a definite Japanese influence on the décor but it avoided being gaudy and the Japanese music added to the welcoming ambience.
Sameh explained that Torii is Japanese for ‘gateway’ and provided the restaurants tagline: “the gateway to sushi and self-discovery”.
The drinks menu was extensive and provided for all tastes. We were delighted to learn that this restaurant also offered Japanese drinks including Asahi beer, sake and a new addition: plum wine. The beer was ice-cold, the sake warmed up and the plum wine on ice.
The plum wine complimented the food throughout the meal. A bottle costs EGP 630 including taxes. The sake comes in a huge bottle and cost EGP 40 per glass or EGP 1,300 per bottle. These were great additions to the experience.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking which is done in front of the customers and has evolved into a unique artistic dining experience, involving the chef juggling cooking utensils and employing creative cooking techniques.
On the food menu we had five different Teppanyaki combinations to choose from, which included prawns, chicken, beef, salmon and sea bass. We opted for one with beef and chicken and the other prawns, sea bass and salmon. Depending on the combination, Teppanyaki will cost between EGP 210 and EGP 305.
Miso soup and salad come as a starter with any Teppanyaki meal. The soup was perfectly brewed, the tofu was soft but still intact and the flavour balance was just right. The salad was fresh and came with a slightly spiced dressing that worked well.
Despite sitting at the Teppanyaki table we were not restricted from sampling some sushi. The chef put together a small selection for us to try and it was exquisite. The quality of the ingredients made this a triumph; the fish was fresh, delightfully soft and flavourful, especially with the pickled ginger and wasabi paste.
Chef Hussein walked over with all the necessary ingredients prepared and a holster containing spatulas and knives, ready to start the Teppanyaki show.
The chef introduced himself and then began cooking. Throughout the cooking process and meal, he provided good conversation and entertainment. It transpired that Hussein is one of the top Teppanyaki chefs in Egypt at the moment and he showed us the extent of his skills.
He confidently swung his spatula and flicked his knife around the hotplate as he cooked. Hussein grilled the prawns while the salmon and sea bass sizzled away on the side. The prawns came with a squeeze of lemon and a twist of black pepper; the salmon and sea bass were crisp on the outside and the rest just melted in my mouth. Hussein recommended the fiery ginger dip that had been made fresh that day on site for the seafood. The dip worked well, complimenting the lemon to create a delectable mouthful.
Hussein prepared the chicken and beef by creating a small inferno around the meat, adding more excitement to the cooking process. The beef and chicken were again cooked perfectly and were accompanied by a honey mustard sauce, although the ginger sauce was also a tasty accompaniment.
Hussein then prepared the fried rice and vegetables, for which he invited us to help with. This was another nice touch to an evening that we thoroughly enjoyed.
For dessert we moved away from the Teppanyaki table and were treated to a selection of fresh fruit and creamy vanilla ice cream. There were three types of Japanese tea available for us to try. This was a simple ending to a very satisfying meal; anything more and I would not have been able to finish my plate.
The restaurant is open everyday from 6pm till midnight. During this time there are 4 Teppanyaki sessions, but contact them in advance for availability.
It is also worth mentioning that Torii hosts all-you-can-eat sushi nights on Monday and Friday for EGP 222, including taxes. The menu also offers some interesting noodle- and rice-based Japanese dishes.
The evening as a whole was fantastic; we were fed with high quality food, entertained and felt comfortable in the restaurant. The staff members were all very diligent and attentive, not just to us but to all of the guests, especially Sameh who made the effort to speak to each every guest.
I would recommend both Torii’s Sushi and Teppanyaki for a casual business dinner, a celebration or if you just feel like splashing out on a five-star dining experience.