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Topaz: A Mouthwatering Culinary Adventure

Walking into Topaz in Sheikh Zayed, Mariam Raymone knew she was going to betray something: her diet. But she hadn't a care in the world because the calories were worth it.

Egypt is quickly becoming a huge culinary hub, and with an ever-expanding range of menus, it's near impossible to settle on a spot to dine in – especially during Ramadan. Whether you’re looking for fine dining, simple street food, or a spot for eccentric cuisine, Cairo has an endless amount to offer. However, during our restaurant crawl, we stumbled upon one hell of a culinary experience at Topaz.

Walking towards the indoor seating area, the heavenly aroma of food greeted me at the door. The idea of having a healthy low-calorie meal was out the window – I was too tempted. I sat down inside on a wooden chair with orange leather padding and took a moment to soak in the atmosphere. On the walls was a trail of butterfly-like patterns. As I sat down, I instantly noticed the small lamps dangling from the ceiling, which gave the place a warm and cosy ambience. Being an outdoorsy kind of person, I was happy to see the open-air seating area and decided to move outside.Looking through the array of menu items, I couldn’t help but ask the waiter for one of each dish and the mouthwatering pictures didn’t make it any easier to control my urges. Okay, I’m lying; but I wanted to do that. I started off with appetizers and, knowing myself, my stomach would never settle for only one entrée. I ordered the shrimp konafa – konafa-breaded shrimp tossed in a shell of tortilla bread, with a mix of sweet chill sauce and soya sauce. It was the perfect blend of textures, soft on the inside with crispy golden exterior.

My cravings didn’t end there; my inner fat kid took over and I asked for crispy chicken strips served with honey mustard dip, which I paired with seasonal orange juice – and yes, I ate it all. I even ate the freshly cut orange slice on top of the juice glass. Feeling fulfilled and satisfied, I knew that the main course would be twice as delicious. I was determined to finish my culinary journey and took a step towards the salad world. Intrigued by the mushroom salad, I was happy to know I chose wisely. After all, what’s more disappointing than getting excited about food only to realise it doesn’t meet your expectations? With fresh mushrooms mixed in a bed of fresh arugula leaves and iceberg lettuce mixed with a blanket of microplaned Parmesan cheese and Balsamic vinegar with a tomato cherry on top, I was content with what I ate.
Though sometimes I like to live on the wild side, I was too hungry to take a chance on a new dish; their grilled beef fillet topped with grilled pineapple and caramelised onion looked mouthwatering. As tempting as that sounded, my little Mariam instincts told me to go with the safer option: beef fillet with mushroom sauce with a side of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. The first bite silenced me; beautifully cooked, delicately flavoured, and drenched in mushroom sauce, this was better than mom’s cooking (sorry mom). The flavours were not overpowering and were perfectly balanced; I could tell the chef had allowed the steak to remain the star of this dish.

My elaborate plan to devour most of the menu items failed, given the journey I had just been through. I was titillated by their date gratin; however, my fragile little stomach couldn’t handle any more deliciousness – I was disappointed in myself and disappointed in the size of my appetite. I could imagine the fresh dates glazed with a duvet of hot almond paste and topped with rich sabayon cream… maybe next time. Until we meet again, Topaz.

Check out their Facebook page here and Instagram page here

Photos by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.
Photography by Mariam Raymone.


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