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InterContinental CityStars Bellini's Modern Indian Offerings

The latest chef to impart his international knowledge on Egypt's eaters is none other than Vikas Khanna. We had a chance to taste his special and limited edition menu at the InterContinental CityStars...

Continuing my culinary crawl around InterContinental Hotel Group's restaurants, it was high time I tried the InterContinental CityStar's Bellini’s new set menu by world-leading Indian chef and humanitarian Vikas Khanna. Of course the first idea that comes to mind when you say Indian is spicy, hot and upset stomachs, but that wasn’t the case. The food was Indian to the core but not how you know it.

The waiter came and asked us about our selection and good thing we came in pairs that day as we were able to try everything. The atmosphere was charming, and we were quickly seated under warm, diffused yellow light. For appetizers, it was either the Piri Piri Shrimp or the Chicken Tikka Mirza Hasnu (quite a long name but we're sure it means something special in Hindi). The chicken had the perfect amount of seasoning to it and came with pomegranate dressing which was quite impeccable actually – who would’ve thought? The shrimp turned out to be jumbo sized (yum!) and it had the perfect balance between the tastes of the ocean and the spice of the East. Bellini obviously went above and beyond to correct the idea of what modern Indian cuisine for its customers.

Moving on to the main courses, it was either the Seven-Spice Lamb Shank or the Creamy Coconut Sea Bass Moilee. The lamb shank was very well cooked, lightly-seasoned that ensures the taste lasts until the end, popping with flavour and a touch of heat. The sea bass had the perfect weight to it. The coconut cream wasn’t too watery nor too creamy but very fragrant, which was quite a nice touch actually. It’s like having Indian food without knowing it's Indian food.

For dessert, we had the Cardamom Kulfi and the Masala Chai Brûlée. The Kulfi is a popular frozen dairy dessert from India and it came with glass biscuit and mango/passion fruit puree. Having tasted that for the first time, it was like a baby tasting lemon - “what’s happening? I hate this!” - then you soon realise the bitterness has a sweet sting to it and now you can’t stop. The Chai Brûlée was quite the dessert actually; it appears like an authentic French Brûlée but with the aromatics of India giving it a unique flavour. We were very impressed by the variety, taste and portion sizes of the food the restaurant offered.

Overall, we highly recommend Bellini for an authentic Indian dining experience that has a cosmopolitan touch to it.

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