As Ramadan continues it can become hard to decide what to have for iftar; no matter how nice the meals, homemade food can be constricting. The Night and Day restaurant at the InterContinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel offers a tasty buffet iftar everyday during the holy month.
As we entered the restaurant we were greeted by the friendly staff, and were impressed by a traditional juice seller who passed all of the tables, pouring oriental drinks for customers after the call to prayer.
The buffet provides a wide spectrum of options, so much so that we had to ask the manager to explain where everything was, and then started our meal.
I started by sampling a smooth and buttery mushroom soup, that had nice bits of chopped mushroom in the broth.
The salad bar has a wide array of selections, including hummus, tahina and local cheese with tomatoes (especially delicious), along with baladi salad, tabbouleh, a simple lettuce salad and shrimp salad. We thought the tabbouleh was scrumptious and well balanced in flavour.
The bar also has a traditional cucumber and yogurt dip, which is a staple for iftar during the holy month. In case you do not like any of those options, there is an assortment of chopped vegetables and dressings so that you can assemble your own salad.
The buffet has a full selection of meat and protein dishes; their grilled section included kofta, steak and fish. There was also torli (assorted vegetable stew) with lamb and chicken teppanyaki, which was the day’s special dish. The torli was very nice; the vegetables were perfectly cooked, and still retained their shape and had a bite to them. The grilled fish, however, was over-salted, with a poor texture.
We sampled roasted potatoes, sambousak with cheese and meat, and roasted peppers as side dishes, and all three were very appetising. The roasted peppers, made with olive oil, proved to be a good vegetarian option. The freshly baked sambousak was also cooked to perfection with not too much filling, and the dough was soft and flaky.
The pasta section had two options: white or red sauce pasta, with a choice of toppings. I chose white sauce pasta with cheese, which had a nice creamy flavour, but lacked a touch of salt and pepper.
The restaurant provides a full menu of western as well as oriental desserts. We were much more impressed with the latter, especially the zalabya and pistachio cubes with rose water.
Overall, the offerings of its buffet make Night and Day a good option for those with varied tastes and large appetites.