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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Talk: Fresh Juices, Coffees & More on Zamalek's Busy Brazil Street
Without much fuss about the many other issues that Egypt has been facing of late, the general leap of prices can't pass unnoticed. Casting its shadows over the pockets of any given person, even the simple pleasure of enjoying a cup of coffee in a café somehow has become an inconvenience – especially if it happens to be a daily habit. Consequently, one has to face the dilemma of choosing between good quality and good prices.
Promising to offer both, the recently-opened Talk in Zamalek gives a wide range of choices with its extensive menu, which comprises a variety of fresh juices, hot drinks, desserts and cold-cut sandwiches. Located on Brazil Street – where Nola Cupcake used to be – the two-storey café boasts a simple setting; while the first floor has a preparation counter and an ice cream display, the seating area on the second floor is furnished with canvas-covered wooden chairs and simple tables. Despite being functionally furnished, the seating area is noticeably ill-ventilated, which makes it uncomfortable for a long stay.
For refreshment, we opted for pineapple juice (23LE) and watermelon with mint (18LE). Finding the first unavailable, we ordered orange juice (18LE) instead. The waiter asked whether we would like to add sugar to any of the drinks, so we added sugar to the watermelon mint, since it's out-of-season nowadays, to make sure that the drink will be sweet.
Cold, fresh and naturally sweet, the orange juice was refreshing and aromatic – especially with the slice of fresh orange added to the drink. Despite its brown chocolate-like colour, that meanwhile, the watermelon mint was delicious, and the subtle minty taste gave it a kick without overpowering the taste of the watermelon or the sweetness of the drink as a whole.
Still craving for something sweet, we checked the dessert menu, which has a variety of items including brownies, cupcakes and cheesecake. Not yet blinded by our craving, we noticed the many spelling mistakes the menu suffered from; to begin with, dessert is fatally spelt 'desert', which, ironically enough, was the case at the time of our visit to Talk. None of the other items were available at the time of our visit, apart from the ice cream, but not in the form of Thai rolls promised in the menu.
Settling for basic ice cream, we opted for peanut butter and lemon (15LE each) flavoured scoops. Creamy, flavoursome and with a nice crunch made by the ground peanuts in it, the peanut butter ice cream was exceptional. Not as creamy, meanwhile, the light-textured lemon - which is more like sorbet than ice cream- was deliciously zesty.
But we reached the utmost satisfaction when we tried the Nespresso cappuccino (23LE) and latte (25LE). With the help of the waiter, who was impressively clued up on the different intensities of the coffee that they offer, we went for the lightest for the first and for the latter we chose coffee of medium intensity. The quality of the coffee, of course, played a major role in both, but the cappuccino was excellent with its rich foam, while the latte had the perfect balance between cream and coffee.
Though nearly all the food items were unavailable at the time of our visit, the items we did try were of good quality; from the fresh juices, to the delicious ice cream. More significantly in light of that, however, the prices are reasonable, ensuring that Talk delivers what it promises.