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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Waffle House: Cairo’s New Home of Dessert Waffles
Many salivating images come to mind upon hearing the simple buzzword ‘waffles’. Gigantic, crispy and fluffy waffles generally can do no wrong. Lately, there has been lots of talk about a spot acquiring a new cult following in Heliopolis called the Waffle House.
On a tiny street in Ard El Golf, you’ll find a little café with big signage called the Waffle House. It’s basically a mini-café with four high tables and a young man behind the counter making all the waffles on one small waffle iron. Translation: this place is not quite group-friendly.
The major drawback to this waffle joint that anyone will notice straight away is that the product is not quite as epic as one would expect from a ’waffle house’. Don’t expect the waffles to be big, fat Belgian waffles. They’re more like super thin waffles that actually arrive folded in half like a sandwich.
There are four types of waffles listed on the menu: basic waffles, waffles with extra toppings, ice cream sandwich waffles and extreme waffles. Basic waffles are waffles with two toppings of your choice; including a combination of various jams, Hershey’s syrups, peanut butter or maple syrup with your choice of chocolate chips, powdered sugar, M&Ms, cinnamon or sprinkles.
Basic waffles are basically disappointing. Unfortunately, the quality of the ingredients that the Waffle House uses is not quite up to par. The peanut butter has some bizarre aftertaste due to some very odd oil, it seems. The maple syrup wasn’t real maple syrup, either. It was the sugary, high-fructose kind, and it soaked through the thin and weak waffle.
A better option is to stick to the extra toppings waffles, and order a waffle with fresh bananas, kiwis and strawberries.
The Waffle House serves Mövenpick ice cream, which makes for one delicious ice cream sandwich if the ice cream didn’t totally drown the waffle itself. At least the product quality is up to par with the ice cream.
Dare devils should try the waffle extreme, which is basically your choice of any topping, sauce, jam and fruit combination that strikes your fancy.
The waffles are generally not that filling, with the exception of the humongous waffle extreme, but they’re also not that expensive.
Basic waffles go for 15LE, extra toppings or ice cream sandwiches cost 20LE and waffle extremes cost 30LE.
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.