Monday, February 16, 2015

Mena House, part 2

I loved exploring Mena House. I felt like a kid again--climbing steps not knowing where they went, peeking around corners to find more hallways to navigate. Elaborate yet delicate decor, perfect colors and floral arrangements(including lots of stunning birds of paradise)--our never-ending oohs and ahhs coupled with a flurry of alternating "come-look-at-this-habibi."

This is the hotel lobby:

photo from: tripadvisor

a bowl of fresh rose blooms in water

There is so much in the picture above...I feel that it captures a bit of what I'm saying about the Mena House atmosphere. That jellyfish chandelier! That alone is enough to marvel at. But take note of the walls. Even the ceilings at Mena are incredible(and worth the neck cramps).

After our indoor exploring we hurried back outside to catch the sun set...

We went back to our room, getting all gussied up while listening to Nas. And then dinner. Many people have referred to The Moghul Room as THE best indian in all of Egypt. This restaurant is in the hotel and we were eager to find out if all the reviews and rumors were true. I was a little nervous--I've abstained from indian cuisine since my last trip, when I ended up getting quite sick from an indian restaurant here in Zamalek. The amazing mezza from earlier felt like a good sign though, so I was all in for some grub at Mogul.

And boy oh boy oh boy oh boy was it incredibly, outstandingly(probably not a word, don't care) delicious.

I tried pickled lemons for the first time and fell head over feet for them. I couldn't suss out if it was okay to eat the rind, since the entire thing was pickled(I reconciled by eating most of the rind, figuring what the hell). The chana masala was the best I've ever had. The basmati rice with vegetables was fragrant and colorful and downright perfection. The fact that I typed the phrase "downright perfection" and completely mean it says something here. I don't like to talk like that, but there is no other phrase for it. If lovin' you is wrong I don't want to be right.

J had the lamb vindaloo(pictured above in the pot on the upper right). He told me it was incredibly spicy but in just the right way--the color alone was incredible, a deep deep red. I've had some wonderful indian food in my life, but nothing touches food at the Moghul Room. I now understand that exceptional food brings forth two feelings for me: first I get mad at all meals I've had before it, and then I feel moved to tears. I barely had room in my belly for the entire dish but I forced myself to make room, which meant leaving with a bit of a waddle and a belly that hurt. Ah well. Worth it. The hostess handed out a single rose to every woman leaving the dining room for valentine's day.

We ended the night back in our room with extended bellies and the television on. The hotel's directory channel had a small sequence on the history of the Mena House--hilarious to listen to because the narrator was a computer generated lady voice. We flipped through a bollywood movie and music videos(I love how the videos here always end with movie-style credits). You cannot beat a middle eastern music video.

I'll wrap up the Mena House in my next entry, part three--our day of departure/heading back to Zamalek.

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