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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
House of Donuts: Eats for the Sweet Tooth
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and love those delectable breakfast treats, a doughnut shop is like a haven for you. Unfortunately, Cairo doesn’t have many doughnut shops; the treat is nowhere near as popular as it is in the Gulf and Lebanon.
However, House of Donuts has been around for quite some time now, continuing to supply freshly baked and excessively sweet doughnuts of the glazed, chocolate sauce, jam-filled types. Seeing as how they are one of the only shops in Cairo that caters specifically to the doughnut lover in all of us, we decided to get it a shot.
The House of Donuts has a few branches across Cairo including Nasr City, Mohandiseen and in the Computer Mall building just off the Maadi Corniche. Recently renovated, the bright and white-washed venue offers chairs and tables for a sit-down snack; but we prefer ours takeaway in their white boxes.
If you happen to stumble upon House of Donuts late at night, the venue might seem like an empty ghost town. Holler a bit and ring the bell; and the wait staff should be at the cash register in no time.
While the donut selection isn’t anything out of the ordinary, the old-fashioned cake doughnuts are our go-to pick and consistently yummy. They come in flavours of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry; all with a fresh glaze for around 4LE each.
The doughnut holes are a fun bite-sized treat but not always available. However, their standard glazed doughnuts are usually on the shelf; but they leave little to be desired. Although the plain glaze seems to suffice, the chocolate glaze always has a bitter and fake taste to it; not a good quality in donut icing. You’ll find other pastries in the case as well, including jam-filled doughnuts.
Also available are drinks such as hot cocoa and Nescafé as well as soft drinks, all ringing up for less than 7LE each.
When you’re looking for a night-time treat to fulfil that sweet craving, stop in and get yourself a doughnut or two. They’ll package them up in a nifty little box; perfect for the morning after.
With Brew & Chew satisfying the cravings of Maadi residents, and Dip n Dip spreading their fantastic desserts in New Cairo, Nasr City and 6 of October City, the sweet-toothed of Zamalek can be forgiven for feeling a little neglected – that is until now. Chocolate by name, chocolaty by nature, Joe’s Chocolate Bar on Taha Hussein Street could be the answer to every chocaholic’s dreams.
As a venue, Joe’s Chocolate Bar is divided into two floors; the top floor has nothing remarkable about it but allows smoking, while the ground floor is where the ‘chocolate is. Besides the melted chocolate-like decoration on the wall (which is installed upside down, so instead looks like chocolate waves) the calm lighting and wood walls create a relaxing and cosy ambiance to the place.
The items on the menu are limited and nothing grabbed our attention, but we opted for the Molten Chocolate Cake (47LE), Triple Chocolate Crepe (41LE) and their new special item – as the waiter was so keen to mention – Oreo Waffle (49LE).
The molten chocolate cake had a bold chocolate flavour and a very moist texture; the gooey centre had a fantastic pudding-like consistency, which shows that it was cooked to perfection and, overall, the dessert had a spot-on sweetness. On the other hand, we would have preferred that the ice cream was served separately, because the hot temperature of cake melted it quickly and made the top of the cake rather soggy.
The triple chocolate crepe was just as good, meanwhile; coming as three thin, light and fluffy triangular servings, each one was filled with a generous amount of melted milk chocolate, and drizzled with white, milk, and dark chocolate. We also asked for fruit (10LE) on the side which consists of mini cubes of kiwi, bananas, and strawberries, and it was surprisingly fresh even though it’s not strawberry season yet.
As for the Oreo waffle, we expected nothing more than a waffle with crushed Oreo on top, but, impressively, the waffle itself had an actual layer of Oreo in the middle. Despite the waffles needing a little more milk chocolate on top and being a bit chewy, they were largely soft with a slightly crispy exterior, and the flavour of the Oreo popped in every single bite.
Joe’s Chocolate Bar definitely impressed with their well-executed desserts and big flavours, but we felt that the variety on the menu is too safe and a bit limited for a dessert specialist. We’d very happily come back for the molten chocolate cake, though.