If one’s two dinner companions immediately put aside the square sushi menu of Sushi Bay and reach out instinctively to the round menu of Café Supreme to contemplate the pasta and pizza sections, one should not be too prompted to quell a sushi craving.
It is precisely why Sushi Bay/Café Supreme was the destination. The dual identity of the place goes beyond the limited selection of smoked salmon and shrimp salad that other Sushi bars tend to offer as an alternative for the non-Sushists.
With separate menus, separate waiters and joined table, it is possible for a crowd of three to even share a few bites – yes, the Sushi Bay menu could entice the most anti-“row fish” people.
The “Shrimp cake” is cooked – not raw. A “Japanese style spring roll stuffed with firmly sliced vegetables, bamboo shoot and glass noodles” that is served with chili sauce, as the menu promises.
And the “Chicken Kara Age” is basically about chicken strips that are served with Karean sauce.
Each item is served in four pieces and are cleverly put to the table right after the bottle of mineral water, Lemon-Mint and Diet-Coke as ‘starters for all’.
“They are actually good – the chicken strips are like those served at say Chili’s and the shrimp cakes are actually warm and well cooked,” said the well-traveled lady who had confined her dinner to the predictable pasta with grilled chicken strips and white sauce from the Café Supreme menu.
“Um; they are eatable,” said the gentleman who is never a big eater and certainly not at all a keen culinary explorer.
The willingness to try firmly disappeared on the gentleman’s side as the sushi order was placed to the table; he would not even try one of the six-piece order of vegetarian roll that is made of the otherwise generally eatable cucumber, sundried tomato, and avocado.
“Their seafood pizza is actually one of the best; the crust is good, neither too thin nor too thick, and the topping is not at all bad,” he replied to the invitation of trying one.
The lady gracefully bowed to take her fork out of the first penne and put it with a hard prod to mask her hesitation at the roll, with a firmly closing “it was good to try it actually” that took her fork back to what she announced to be “actually, a very good pasta – tasty and the portion is good.”
A careful look at the “baked roll” that is made of smoked salmon, fresh mushroom, slices of shrimps and some cheese, ended with the “I don’t care very much for smoked salmon announcement.”
But the one who ordered the sushi was overall quite content with the selection that also brought to the table the “golden oshi” that is a mix of fish, rice and cheese that are cooked and the raw “spring salmon roll.”
And as the forks found their way to the nice-smelling pizza and pasta while the chop-sticks were rapidly consuming one piece of sushi after the other, the chat went beyond the Japanese food to the kind of ‘Egyptian men who actually eat sushi and their pattern of behavior as opposed to those who won’t venture there – with a general verdict that both groups suffer from hidden conservatism that allow them to go out with women friends but leave them uncomfortable to see their spouses/girlfriends do the same’.
The fact that Sushi Bay/Café Supreme departs from its supposedly announced chic character to serve in-doors shisha, the chat inevitably verged on ‘what really do middle-classes think of women who smoke shisha and if it makes any difference if a woman smokes shisha or cigarettes’.
And to the surprise of the supposedly most conservative member of the crowd, it was the lady in her late 40s, who endlessly speaks of her dislike of the social constraints on women who announced “I find it so annoying to look at young women smoking shisha – it looks more off-putting than seeing them smoking cigarettes.”
The sushi meal, which is above average in terms of quality and price, which was initiated with the lemon-mint, came to a close with a tonic. And was filling enough to dismiss the idea of the only compatible option for dessert of the compulsory three-scoop ice cream. “No, we don’t serve single scoops,” the waiter said.
The companions who had failed to finish either the pasta or pizza portions, were too full to share. And it happily all ended with coffee and tea.
The selection of sushi and drinks, which could have been good enough for two people who had not missed breakfast and lunch, came to around LE350 and so did the joint receipt of the pizza-pasta and drinks.
The air-conditioning was neither too cold nor too warm and the music was the average noisy tune of Cairo restaurants nowadays.