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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.
With chains from leading international brands seeping to the shops, restaurant and cafes in Cairo, this Italian fantasy has appeared in many of the city's popular malls. Located on the 2nd floor, beneath the escalators in Heliopolis’ Sun City Mall, Gelateria Roma is the perfect place to stop for a thirst-quenching slushy or a scoop of refreshing ice cream. Specialising in frozen desserts, their natural-tasting products are a great alternative when compared to the synthetic-tasting confections of its competitors.
Built as an eye-catching pink and white kiosk, Gelateria Roma graciously provides two small tables for resting weary legs after long shopping excursions. The small venue doesn’t provide the full range of products on offer at its larger branches, but carries all the essential frozen delights nonetheless.
Twelve flavours of ice-cream, sorbet and granita were on offer, including strawberry, lemon, pineapple, chocolate, mastic, pistachio, caramel, vanilla, mango and many more. Combination flavours such as tiramisu and vanilla-caramel were also available. Each scoop costs 8LE and can either be put in a cup or waffle cone. The lemon, berry, mango or strawberry slushies (10LE) continuously rotate in the slush machines, before being served in medium-sized, domed plastic cups.
We decided on a mixed scoop of the caramel-vanilla ice-cream and one lemon slushy. The slushy transpired to be incredibly refreshing, with a tart lemon tang, all the while tasting natural. Fortunately, the ice was very finely crushed and didn’t over-dilute the mixture.
The caramel-vanilla ice-cream was a sticky concoction containing miniscule granules of caramel which gave it a curious, sandy texture. The ice-cream itself was incredibly light and creamy without being too dense or sickly. What impressed us the most is how this multinational company manages to mix their ice cream in a way that is reminiscent of local, traditional dessert doyens.
Although it may be hard to differentiate between most dessert corners, Gelateria Roma creates unique tasting treats in a very homely manner; providing a truly charming experience.