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“Good Food, Bizarre Service”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Sequoia

Sequoia
Ranked #9 of 4,152 Restaurants in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $20
Cuisines: Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Egyptian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Good Food, Bizarre Service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

I was looking forward to visiting Sequoia on my recent trip to Cairo. Unfortunately, we visited on a chilly evening, so maybe it was in our favor that we were seated far from the water - the ambiance was still lovely. As for the food, our shared mezzes were decent, but the bread served with them was amazing. For our main course, one of our party took advantage of the neighboring sushi option, another had pizza, while I had the shish tawook - it was nicely marinated and the portion was generous.

However, our lasting impression of the evening was of our waiter. First, he walked off in the middle of receiving our order. Next, when we inquired about the sangria, he tried to convince us that we should order a small carafe rather than a large for three people. One of our party had to pull out her limited Arabic to convince him that, no, we wanted the large. (This proved to be wise when the large carafe equaled about six small glasses.) When the sangria arrived, he had us taste it as you would a bottle of wine, which was a little weird, but wouldn't have been memorable on its own. The sangria was very tart and limey, but drinkable.

Finally, toward the end of the meal our waiter asked if we had phones on us and insisted we pull them out and write a tripadvisor review then and there. When told our phones were not internet-equipped, he handed one of our party a comment card, and came back not once, not twice, but three times in the span of five minutes to ask for it. She ended up handing it straight to the manager, probably not with the type of review he had hoped for.

Perhaps our waiter was new and nervous, or maybe he was trying to please his manager, but it's the experience I'll remember from Sequoia rather than the food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Polly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sequoiaonline, Public Relations Manager at Sequoia, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Hello,

Thank you for visiting Sequoia and for taking the time to share you experience. We are always looking for our guests' feedback in order to constantly enhance our service. We're sorry to hear that your experience wasn't perfect. If you would be so kind as to share your views on how we could have made it better for you, we'd really appreciate it. Please feel free to email us or respond here.

Thank you,

Sequoia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Milan, NY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Hip and Trendy Hotspot in Cairo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

This open air lounge/restaurant is covered only by a desert tent with overstuffed sofas and chairs overlooking the River Nile on Zamalek Island. Very casual & comfortable. Sip a cocktail and feast on the cold mezze while enjoying the sunset. Take a water taxi back to the mainland for the ultimate experience.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“I Loved It!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

Old world Egyptian charm with a modern appeal properly positioned on the bank of the Nile River. I arrived in Cairo in the middle of the night. After a 1-day layover in cold and windy Amsterdam and 2 long flights coming from the States, Cairo embraced me with warm, open arms. When I awoke from my 12 hour coma, I wanted something more than room service, so I came to Tripadvisor to see what restaurant I should visit. Based on the reviews and the menu, I chose Sequioa. I chose well.

My driver pulled up to the entrance of the restaurant, tucked away in Zamalek right on the Nile. The restaurant's host greeted me, looked up my reservation, and escorted me down the back steps, down the sidewalk, and into the restaurant's entrance. Sequoia is positioned next to other restaurants, so if this is your first time there you'll appreciate the escort.

When I walked in, I felt like I was on an old movie set. The restaurant is sheltered by a white top canopy. The seating is plush. Another gentleman escorted me to my table. I don't speak Arabic, but I didn't need to worry, because everyone spoke English.

After I was seated, my wonderful waiter, Sayed Salama, began to take good care of me after he introduced himself. He explained the Mediterranean cuisine. I noticed most people there were just drinking a cocktail and smoking a hookah. Very few folks were eating, so I didn't have any dishes to look at to help with my decision making process, so when Sayed explained each dish I questioned, it put my mind at ease, because I really didn't want to order something that I'd have to send back, it also helped the restaurant offers FREE wifi, so I googled the recipes for some dishes after Sayed walked away to give me more time to decide.

I chose the seafood dish, which is comprised of calamari, shrimp, and fish. I got it fried not grilled. I was pleasantly surprised they had hot sauce when I asked Sayed for either that or tabasco sauce. He brought me out a Heinz bottle. It took my dining experience to the next level, as most restaurants, particularly those in the states, only carry tabasco sauce, so needless to say I was prepared for the disappointment. I squealed when he came out with the hot sauce. I'm so easy to please. It's the little things that make me happy!!!

I also got 2 cocktails. Sayed recommended the mojito. It's was alright. Nothing to write home about. I later got the tequila sunrise. That was nice. Tasted like one from home or from Miami.

Sequioa seemed like the chic, hip place to be. With the exception of a few foreigners, the place had mostly egyptian clientele who were young and from the upper middle class.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. Sayed made the experience 5-star worthy. He took extra care to ensure my comfort. When I was ready to leave, he even offered his personal cell phone so I could call my hotel to tell them I was ready, so they could send my driver. I've traveled to a lot of places, to include the deep south of the States, and I've never seem such warm hospitality like I've witnessed here in Egypt. Thank you, Sayed!!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DCShoeDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
243 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, good food and Sushi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

I love Sequoia most of all at sunset. My favourite time on the Nile.....
They have great Egyptian specialities like Haweshi, wara einab, chicken liver, salads, lemonade and their sushi is amazing! The Sheesha for desert is great.. especially peach or apricot hmmmmmm.

Helpful?
1 Thank Ruby R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Wyoming
Level Contributor
380 reviews
264 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Very pleasant dinner on the Nile”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

The restaurant has a great location in Zamalek, right on the Nile. The wooden floor gives you the impression that you're on the deck of a boat, eating under a large desert tent. That's the impression which is very positive. Our group of four arrived somewhat early for the usual late dinner hour for Egyptians, so we had no problem with getting a Nile side table. Service was prompt and our shared meal,(various cold mezzes and a couple of entries),was also served promptly. Everything tasted very good, as was expected. The food was a combination of Egyptian/Lebanese.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jimfromjackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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