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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Pinkberry: Fresh Frozen Yoghurt Treats in Citystars
Though it’s not the first frozen yoghurt shop to open up in Cairo, Pinkberry is actually considered by many to be the original frozen yoghurt chain. It took Pinkberry only seven years to take over the world with their yoghurt-infused swirls. Now open in Egypt, you can find its first branch in Phase 2 of Citystars across from Segue. You can spot the shop from afar because of its bright colours, and the endless line in front of the door. We feel for the staff members who work as hard as they can to clear up the lines.
The interior of Pinkberry is bright yellow and pink, and you can take a seat inside or on the little terrace. You can also just opt for take away. You had better not be an indecisive person by nature when you go to Pinkberry because there are a lot of decisions to be made. First you choose a flavour: you can pick from the original yoghurt flavour or pomegranate, mango, chocolate, coconut and passion fruit. You then choose a small, medium or large portion. Then you can pick from several toppings for your frozen yoghurt. A small original flavour portion (28LE) comes with four toppings; a medium portion comes with six toppings and so on. There are a zillion toppings to choose from. There are lots of fruits like raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, pineapple, kiwi and banana for instance. For toppings, you can also get waffle crumbs, gummy bears and various chocolate toppings.
We opted for the original flavour with raspberry, blackberry, kiwi and blueberry pieces. The original flavour is delicious and the fruit portions were generous. The fruit tasted fresh although we suspect it was imported.
The good news is that Pinkberry is very diet-friendly: a small portion of original flavour yoghurt with fruit contains around 140 calories and zero fat; making it the perfect healthy snack.
We also tried the small chocolate-flavoured yoghurt (32LE) and topped that with pistachio, pineapple, white chocolate shavings and raspberries. The yoghurt had a strong chocolate flavour but was nonetheless very light; in contrast to the typical chocolate desserts that will leave you feeling stuffed. Once again the toppings were served in very generous portions, especially the pistachios that made a nice combination with the chocolate.
The frozen yoghurt is absolutely delicious at Pinkberry. We do advise you to have your Pinkberry order as a takeaway as the venue itself lacks any ambiance and tries a little too hard to look trendy. If you’ve been to other Pinkberry branches, you’d know that they can do better.
Frozen yoghurt; the one refreshing, relatively healthy but madly over-priced snack we all have a love-hate relationship with. We’re always up for an icy cup of this delicious treat and so when American franchise, Red Mango, came to town, we rushed to get a taste.
Located in the Mosaique Dining Zone, the shop is somewhat secluded from Citystars’ usual hustle and bustle. The whole design and colour scheme of the place is definitely different from the usual bright, multi-coloured ones other frozen yoghurt stores have. The seating area’s quite adequate, boasting a few tables, and the store was generally not crowded.
Upon finding out that this was our first visit, the staff kindly informed us about all the items on the surprisingly big menu. Red Mango not only offers frozen yoghurt, but also fro-yo smoothies, parfaits, fresh fruit juices, organic coffees, frappes, and sweet and savoury waffles. Most items on the menu are low-fat and low in calories, making it perfect for health-conscious foodies. The staff didn’t stop there; they also offered us samples of all frozen yoghurt flavours.
Disappointingly, though, Red Mango only offers six flavours in Egypt, despite it offering upwards of twenty different flavours in the US. The original flavour tasted predictably bland, and quite honestly unappealing. The Pomegranate, Strawberry and Green Apple flavours all tasted extremely similar and pretty dull for our taste buds. However, the Mango flavour was delightfully sweet and the strongest of the fruit flavours.
We finally settled on a Vanilla Madagascar with four toppings (32LE); mangoes, cherries, granola and crushed almonds. Other topping choices include everything from cereal, walnuts, crushed Oreos, and M&Ms to refreshing kiwi, cherries, mangoes, watermelon and grapes.
The Vanilla Madagascar flavour was a simple, yet rather luscious, concoction. Made with a mixture of vanilla yoghurt and cinnamon, which complimented each other greatly, it was a refreshing and delicious new flavour that we recommend you try.
As for the toppings, the mangos were fresh and tasty, while the granola was toasted to a lovely crisp. The slivered almonds, however, were tasteless, but the real shocker was the un-pitted cherries, which left us with unwanted seeds in our mouths and aching teeth.
All in all, the Red Mango presents an adequate frozen yoghurt experience - neither wow-ing nor hugely disappointing us. At best, it was average. This is mainly caused by the fact that only one flavour out of the six stood out. There’s also the fact that for just a small cup of frozen dairy, you end up paying a lot.