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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Donut Factory: Delicious Doughnuts in Cairo's Citystars
Two years ago, a doughnut haven called Donut Factory opened in Citystars Mall, much to the excitement of sweet-toothed Egyptians everywhere. Today, Donut Factory can easily vie for the title of best doughnuts in Cairo, although there isn’t much competition out there to be honest.
Nonetheless, this doughnut stall does offer tasty and fresh creations that melt right away with your first bite, as well as seven sugary and colourful topping choices. Made right in front of you and always delivered hot, the best doughnuts, according to this reviewer, are covered with mocha and lemon icings; those sweet toppings are definitely enough reason to go back to Donut Factory for more.
Though it's fun to see your doughnut in the making through the booth’s glass walls, you may want to order a pack of doughnuts if you’re feeling particularly hungry. The single mini-doughnut (3.15LE) is exactly the size of the angle between your thumb and index finger, and fillings are not always available. Nonetheless, those tiny bits of heaven are so delicious; they’re worth ordering anyway.
A box of five mini-doughnuts with your choice of topping costs 13.15LE, or you can order the breakfast combo (10LE) of five sugar-topped doughnuts in addition to a coffee.
On-the-go coffee can be hit-and-miss in Cairo, but Donut Factory won’t disappoint with their aromatic espresso and coffee. Better yet, cool down in the unforgiving Cairo heat with a monster size of a moo milkshake (30LE), which you can choose from an impressive list of more than thirty flavours. Their snack bar isn’t just there to sell chocolates either; you can pick your favourite chocolate brand and ask them to blitz it up into an ice cream.
Donut Factory is the place to go for a quick sugary treat or for some dessert after having had a meal at Citystars’ fast food court. Every doughnut calls for another one, and though it’s not quite up to the same standards as Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme, it’s definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to this most delicious of American delicacy.
A perfect hangout spot can be hard to find in Cairo. Though there’s certainly no lack of cafes, restaurants and bars, it’s simply difficult to find a place that balances entertainment, food and a sense of comfort all at the same time with venues often sacrificing one aspect to keep the rest as high as possible.
Hidden away in the Walk at Beverly Hills,6th of October City, lies Bricks; a simple venue with an emphasis on being a hangout spot with good food. The outdoor area is filled with modernised version of Ahwa chairs painted in white along with wooden top tables with metal centres offering cosy setting.
Bricks also boasts a relatively small indoor area with the same previously mentioned chairs and a ‘PlayStation Corner’ for anyone who’s into gaming – for free – alongside a huge black graffiti-decorated wall quoting famous Beatles song, Come together.
With a relaxed atmosphere, Bricks offer a chilled out mood their seating arrangements, while the availability of playing cards and backgammon, as well as a screen to show matches, it certainly checks two of the boxes for an all-inclusive hangout spot.
After taking a seat outside and looking through the menus we opted for the Mozzarella sticks (35LE) as an appetiser, as well as the Classic Burger (45LE), the Mushroom Burger (55 LE) and a Chilly Hotdog (40LE) with extra cheese (5LE) for our main dishes.
Arriving only a few minutes later, the appetiser came as four mozzarella sticks with a mayo and sweet chilli sauce; the sticks had a satisfyingly crunchy outer shell with a tender gooey cheese centre that was enhanced even further after dipping it into the sweet chilli sauce for an extra spicy sweet aftertaste.
Our main dishes arrived moments later in wooden framed plates accompanied with a small bowl of pickles, alongside some fries. The Mushroom burger had a large burger patty on top of some lettuce and mayo, topped by Swiss cheese and large mushroom pieces and had some curly fries on the side (4LE).
The curly fries were well seasoned and would rival that of Hardee’s, with a crispy exterior and tender hot interior making us uncontrollably eat one after the other. As for the burger, it had a high quality, pure beef flavour with a barbequed aftertaste, working well with the slightly tangy cheese and the saltiness of the mushroom, making it a well-rounded sandwich.
The classic burger followed the same pattern as the mushroom burger in quality, and had lettuce and tomatoes, but was a bit dry. However, that was quickly solved by adding the mayo and sweet chilli sauce.
Moving on to the Chilli Hotdog, it came in a large hotdog bun, topped with some mustard and smothered with chilli, extra cheese and slices of onion alongside some French fries.
Although the fries lacked a bit of seasoning, it was easily fixed with a bit of salt, and were great, similar to ones from other fast food restaurants like Burger king or McDonald’s; crunchy on the outside, soft and hot on the inside.
As for the hotdog itself, it had the traditional familiar hotdog taste with an extra kick from the mustard, while the onions made the flavour of the chilli pop, making the sandwich one of the highlights of the evening.
We also tried the Peanut Butter Milkshake (30LE), which arrived in a tall glass with a straw. Though rich with peanut butter flavour, it was a bit light texture-wise, and could have been all round better if was a bit thicker.
Overall, our visit to Bricks was a pleasant one. With great food and excellent, attentive staff, it makes for a good hang-out spot for both groups and individuals by keeping things relatively simple and letting the atmosphere and food talk for themselves.