Being a resident of Heliopolis, I’m pleased to find that we finally have an outlet to satisfy cravings for Chinese food. The Fairmont Heliopolis’ Noble House, like its younger sister restaurants Lan Tania and Haiku, serves a delicious meal.
The restaurant was quiet during lunchtime, and I am told it is busiest at night during dinner. The cuisine featured is mainly Cantonese, and the restaurant also serves teppanyaki should one want some lively action during their meal.
Noble House strives to create a romantic experience. A welcome green tea was poured by the restaurant’s official tea master, recently flown in specially from China to serve guests their first cup amidst much flurry of jumps and twirls. Tea is served from a pot with a long nozzle and the tea master, so skilled, poured each cup of tea without having a single drop hit the carpet.
The menu was surprisingly limited in choice, but nevertheless, what little selection available to choose from was satisfactory. The only disappointment was the appetizers.
Having selected seafood siew mai (stuffed seafood dumplings), chef prawns special, deep-fried chicken wonton and vegetable spring rolls, none were to my liking. The seafood dumpling was nondescript; the deep-fried prawn balls with lemon grass were crusted thickly in bread crumbs that masked any taste of prawn, and the vegetable spring rolls were nothing to write home about.
The menu has a choice of soups, and a family member dining with me spoke favorably of the sweet corn soup of minced chicken she sampled. I had the chicken broth soup of minced chicken, water chestnuts, egg white and bamboo shoots. It was quite thick and almost gelatinous in texture, but I found it to be quite tasty. The sweetness of water chestnuts served in a savory soup was a new experience. I would perhaps ask the chef to limit the amount of egg whites used.
I would suggest if dining with a group to select several dishes for sharing. Dining as a party of four, we selected five main dishes and a bowl of rice each.
From the seafood selection we chose chili tomato prawns. Spicy and not for mildly tempered palates, it was standard Chinese fare and comfortingly good.
We also selected the mustard lamb, hoi sin duck, kung po chicken and black bean beef.
The pan-fried lamb tenderloin came with vegetables in a basic mustard soya sauce. The tender lamb must have been of an imported variety because it tasted free of any unpleasant fats so typical of lamb found in Egypt. Though not much of a fan of lamb, I have to admit it was a great choice.
The hoi sin duck was wok-fried with mixed vegetables and hoi sin sauce. The duck was fresh and served as tender slivers. The sauce and vegetables were a perfect compliment to my basic steamed rice. The black bean beef, which turned out to be angus beef with black bean soya sauce and vegetables was also good but arrived to the table just under warm, a tad disappointing.
Though not having personally sampled them, there are five options for vegetable dishes, four of which are vegetarian appropriate. There is also a duck noodle soup of stewed duck on rice noodles that could have probably served as a full meal for one person.
The dessert menu, should you have room, had an interesting selection of a layered green tea custard and ice cream dessert with almonds and slivers of apple. A mango and coconut cake was another appealing choice on the menu.
Prices are as expensive as all Fairmont Heliopolis restaurants are, and although not as brilliant as the hotel’s other restaurants Haiku, and Lan Tania, Noble House was an enjoyable experience.
Hours: 12 pm-1am.
Telephone: +20 22 267 7730