Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chez Rayan

Before I begin- one thing must be said: my Mom is a zealous seafood lover. And that's how on the day of my parent's anniversary, I found myself with them at Poissonerie Chez Rayan (the food blogger in me had to tag along).

Chez Rayan is an Egyptian fish market. With fishing nets on the ceiling, there is no menu, and as you enter you proceed to the back where the freshest fish and seafood of the day are displayed laid out on ice. You order everything by weight, ask the chef how you want it cooked (fried or grilled or in a BBQ or garlic sauce depending on your sea animal of choice) and take a seat. We ordered bass, tilapia, calamari, shrimp, scallops, octopus, salad and rice.

The salad had lots of vinegar in it, but I was too hungry for the main dish to arrive. First, we were served the calamari and the fish. Everything was cooked to perfection but had too much salt for my taste (coming from the girl who only salts her water when boiling pasta and if not never). The disappointment only surged once: I was expecting marinara sauce with the calamari but got fish sauce and ketchup instead. Then the deliciousness arrived: the grilled octopus. May I emphasize that previous to this day, every octopus I tried tasted like unflavoured chewing gum. At Chez Rayan however, grilled octopus was heavenly... it had flavour and texture to it, bite after bite, it spoke to me. I'm absolutely coming back for more octopus.

At last, we were served the giant shrimp and the scallops in garlic sauce. In my mother's opinion, the shrimp were over-cooked but I didn't find them dry, they bathed in garlic sauce. Sprinkled in lemon juice, everything was mouth-watering. Seafood lovers: you must go!
My Dad and Mom and I left decided: next time we'll order lobster, mussels and a big, whole bass cooked  juuuuuuuuust right... 
 fishing nets on the ceiling
 tilapia, bass and calamari
 grilled octopus 
 fried calamari
giant shrimp and scallops in garlic sauce

Poissonnerie et Restaurant Rayan on Urbanspoon

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