I was looking forward to going to the Four Seasons, impatiently waiting for its signature royal treatment.
The pampering started the minute I got there, with the valet taking my car right at the door, then a person opening the door for me and another walking me to my dinner destination: the Moroccan Nights by the pool. A waiter took me from there and walked me to my table and pulled my chair out for me; but that was where it all stopped.
“What makes the Four Seasons stand out is not the facilities it has but the service you get there, a friend of mine once told me when we were comparing hotels.
Unfortunately, these expectations were what ruined my night. Instead of the usual royal treatment people expect at the Four Seasons, we had to wait for over an hour for the food to arrive and some 40 minutes for the check.
But don’t get me wrong, it was still the Four Seasons. The setting was perfect: Palm trees dotted the pool area, adding to the amazing view and a cool breeze you don’t usually get at any other place in Cairo at this time of the year.
Moroccan Nights offers a new menu for the Pool Grill at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza, with new decoration and Moroccan-themed uniforms for the waiters.
Down to business: the food. If I had to describe it in one word, I’d say “exceptional . The menu features six sections: Al-Fantasia, Tagines, Couscous, Al-Fassia, Favorites and Sweets. Al-Fantasia is basically the appetizers. Be adventurous and order the Harira, the Moroccan traditional soup, but be careful because it’s a bit spicy. And also give the assortment of Mixed Moroccan Salads a try. For the main courses, look through the Tagines. The Chicken Muhammar, grilled chicken with olives and lemon, is highly recommended. And you have two options for the side dish: rice or couscous, the Moroccan replacement for rice. I say go for the couscous; if you are going out for a Moroccan night then it might as well be Moroccan all the way. There is a whole variety of couscous; there is the vegetable couscous with lamb, the chicken couscous ‘Tfaia’ with caramelized onions and raisins, and the plain couscous.
The Al-Fassia section features special Moroccan dishes such as Pigeon Pastille and Crispy Pastille with cinnamon milk and almonds. Although the seafood spaghetti with tomato sauce is a bit traditional, it’s also recommended.
If you really want to play it safe, you could start out with the Lebanese Mezzah and order one of the entrees from the Favorites menu, which features Mixed Grill and Shish Kabab. With no Moroccan dishes, the dessert menu offers nothing new. There is a variety of ice creams, which are simply heavenly, especially if the choice is homemade ice cream and sorbet. The chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream is also delicious.
Maybe it was the horrific traffic I faced on my way there that made me impatient, but I think next time I go for dinner at the Four Seasons, I’ll go for Spice, Aqua or Zitouni. I’ll leave Moroccan Nights for a glass of juice or a light dessert, unless I plan to get stuck there all night waiting.
Moroccan Nights at the Four Seasons Hotel, 1089 Corniche El Nil, Garden City, Cairo. Tel. 02 2791 7000.