Life in Cairo can be pretty sweet, that is; if you know the right bakery. While pastry brand Monginis may deliver to your home; sadly they don’t deliver much in the way of flavour.

The Zamalek branch of Monginis is located on Ismail Mohamed Street on the Street level of the Jeddah Towers. Within walking distance of Mandarine Koueider, Rigoletto and El Samadi, the shop’s unfortunate location may contribute to the lack of customer traffic inside. This reviewer’s speculation that some of the sweets in the display counter suffer from this low turnover was unfortunately proven to be true.

Monginis does have a wide selection of products at reasonable prices compared to some of their competitors: Oriental sweets, chocolates and ice cream, as well as cakes, cookies and breads are on offer. Monginis even has a brand of pre-packaged snack cakes. Expecting a more gourmet version of what we find at corner kiosks around Cairo, we were disappointed when the vanilla pound cake (1.25LE) turned out to be bright yellow with a decidedly artificial vanilla flavour. The cake was light and fluffy, which was nice; but not at all what you expect from a pound cake– it’s named for its weight, not its price.

Croissants are a bargain at Monginis, starting out at 3LE for the plain variety. Fillings include two types of cheese; white (3.50LE) and Dutch (4.50LE). Don’t expect the buttery heaven that is a TBS (link) croissant. The croissants here are flaky; but only barely so. The scant amount of cheese also keeps Monginis croissants out of the gourmet category.

The selection of mini-cookies (60LE a kilo) isn’t anything to rave about. The blonde chocolate chip cookies lack any discernable flavour and the same goes for the coconut bars topped with chocolate and nuts. Only a cookie topped with fudgy frosting and puffed rice had any real flavour, and the cookie itself was dry.

Perhaps their cakes are a better option, such as the ice cream cakes for 72LE with scoops of ice cream and pieces of chocolate embellishing the top, but from our samplings at Monginis; we find that the shop’s products don’t compare with those of its competitors.