The Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo is one of the finest places for a Fancypants adventure. The amazing architecture and jaw dropping design of the place made me nervous and sweaty just looking at it on a map. The staff were never anything but the epitome of courteous. Even when I came in, sweaty, late, and breathing just hard enough for it to be awkward, when I asked “where’s the Indian food?” the concierge just genuinely smiled and walked me over to their illustrious brasserie, Branzino. On the way she explained that Branzino wasn’t an Indian restaurant (I had been thinking that was an odd name for an Indian place); that the restaurant usually served a mix of international dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and had recently begun dedicating particular days to a certain culture's cuisine. Italian, Lebanese, Egyptian and more have all had their evenings but now it was time to show everyone’s favourite subcontinent some love.
Indian food is quite possibly my favourite food that isn’t pizza. The huge variety of chutneys and sauces satiate my American propensity towards dipping things. Indian food is also really big on deep fried pockets, also a big hit with Americans. Since I’m kind of a lazy vegetarian it helps that these pockets and a lot of the dishes in general aren’t really that meaty. The few times it does show up it’s usually chicken, or seafood (does that count?). It’s spicy, full of flavour and makes me feel alive. In short, Indian food rules. So to have the opportunity to attend a buffet and eat so freaking much of it that my food baby almost went into a food coma, and to have it be of the utmost culinary quality is a rare, mint-chutney-flavoured treat here in Cairo.
Branzino is a very chic spot that offers a wide open space from which one can eyeball the buffet while working down the huge pile on your overloaded plate so that you can make sure no one gets the last of the mango lassi before you do. And what a buffet it was! Each station was piled high with the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. There I said it! I started out chowing down on pakoras, samosas, and some kind of little patties that my basic Googling ability tells me are called 'aloo tikki' apparently. Then I came to the quiet realisation that yes indeed this was better than the little Indian place called Minar that I used to go to all the time back home in upstate New York. Up until that point, in all my Fancypants clad travels, Minar was the best Indian food joint I’d ever been to. That’s high praise for Dusit Thani’s Branzino, trust me.
After about 185 more trips back to buffet to load up on tandoori chicken and some seriously kickass soups, the great staff hadn’t even threatened to kick us out yet. So we finally ventured over to the desserts table, full of fresh fruits and delicious little donut type guys as well macaroons and the tiniest slices of cake I’ve ever seen. Everything was spot on great and I’m going to be waiting with bated breath for the next time the Branzino at Dusit Thani has an Indian night. Or pretty much anything, ever.