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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Stavolta: Authentic, Homemade Ice Cream in Maadi
If every business that opened in Cairo was as lovingly cultivated as this new jewel box of a gelato bar is, the city would be a better place. Just in time for summer, Stavolta has opened its sliding doors to offer Cairenes its incredibly delicious homemade Italian gelato.
As a tiny shop located on a side street near Subway and NGSB in Maadi Degla, Stavolta is easy to miss. But make sure you don’t, because this reviewer believes that Stavolta has the best gelato and ice cream in Cairo. The shop is divided into two sections; the display case, where lucky visitors choose from a selection of over 30 flavours each day, not to mention homemade cones, tiramisu cakes, panna cotta and handmade popsicles; and the kitchen, where passersby can watch Stavolta’s expert staff work their magic.
The all-Egyptian staff was trained to create authentic gelato by an Italian chef brought over for that express purpose. This was a good investment; as these talented gelato-makers now offer desserts on par with the best of Rome. At 10LE for a scoop in a cup or cone, Stavolta offers a truly unique and lovingly crafted summer treat.
Stavolta’s flavour repertoire is impressive, with 60 varieties ranging from traditional Italian offerings like mascarpone and la dolce vita to Egyptian-influenced selections like karkadeh and tamarind. The best choices depend purely on your personal taste; it’s difficult to go wrong with any flavour at Stavolta. The welcoming staff is happy to let you try as many flavours as you want before making a selection, but be warned; each one is so delicious that this makes choosing even more difficult.
While most of the options are creamy and milk-based (though still light and refreshing), Stavolta’s milk-free sorbets are a delicious dairy-free option. Their watermelon sorbet is out of this world; we challenge you to find anything more refreshing on a summer’s day, and the carrot-lemon-orange flavour is also surprisingly refreshing and tasty.
On the richer side, it doesn’t get much better than Stavolta’s dark chocolate gelato. Chocolate lovers beware; this might just become your favourite fix. The creamy guava option is beautifully smooth and bursting with flavour, and the coconut cream offers a pleasing texture. Other selections include coffee, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cheesecake, peanut butter, pistachio, caramel, banana, cantaloupe, lemon and much more.
Stavolta is the best dessert newcomer to Maadi in years; locals will find it difficult to stay away even for a day.
Having introduced the Thai style ice cream rolls to Cairo in 2014, Frozzy Twist opened their very first branch at Nasr City was huge success. Just like cupcakes, waffles and crepes, it was no surprise that the concept went on to be copied by so many without adding anything different.
Two years on, Frozzy Twist has opened a Mohandiseen branch on Ahmed Oraby Street – and it was very impressive at the time of our visit. Unlike their usual dark coloured interior, this branch is actually very cheerful, using light pink, green, blue and yellow bricks on the walls, as well as lighting that brings out all of these colours.
From milkshakes and molten chocolate cakes, to cheesecake and endless ice cream roll flavours, the variety has definitely got bigger since our last visit. However, we kept it simple by ordering a medium sized cashew ice cream roll (20LE).
Starting with the cashew, the ice cream attendant (what do you call these guys?) poured some of the ice cream mixture on a freezing cold surface with a handful of salted cashew, which he then smashed using some kind of a trowel until it formed a very thin rectangle-shaped layer. He then slid the trowel from the beginning to the end to form small ice cream rolls.
The sweetness of the ice cream mixture was spot-on and the cashew was perfectly distributed, which ensured the presence of its salty and nutty flavours in almost every single spoon. However, the texture was a bit dense which made it hard to eat with the plastic spoons provided – so much so that we broke two spoons.
We also tried a medium-sized Basbousa ice cream roll (13LE) – yes, basbousa ice cream is a thing. The ice cream and basbousa were merged to create a fantastic chewy, stickycombo, full of mini bits of basbousa. It’s like you’re almost eating cold basbousa with cream, but we have to say that it was a little bit too sweet.
Even though we believe that nothing can beat a simple, classic scoop of ice cream, the best word to describe our visit to Frozzy Twist is ‘fun’. With friendly staff, a great variety of desserts and a cheerful interior, we can easily say that this is their best branch yet!