The long-standing Italian version of Starbucks has made its way across the Mediterranean and it’s a welcome addition to Cairo’s coffee chain scene.

Hiding in a corner of CityStars Mall, the café’s first impression is one of style, albeit mass-produced style, but it stands out nonetheless. Contemporary tables and chairs make for a comfortable break from shopping and feature a crazy 18th-century chandelier with seemingly random Louis XIV chairs posed directly underneath for a more lavish coffee experience– apparently their trademark.

Service was speedy and we were helped by several staff as we chose our lunch, deciding on mango juice, espresso, smoked salmon salad and a beef and mushroom bruschetta pizza. The mango juice was so frighteningly overripe; it was brown. Nonetheless, it tasted good, despite the peel floating inside. The espresso was particularly well-made and it’s reassuring to know the Italians never fail to make their coffee right.

More could be expected from the salmon salad. Though it was tasty, the portion was quite large, with enough salmon but too much lettuce and dressing that had us picking at the capers and tomatoes instead. While the meal was altogether filling, the bruschetta itself was only slightly better than a microwaveable pizza, with its dry, thin bread crust and canned mushrooms.

What was worth our while was their Nutella-filled chocolate crêpe with ice cream, which was amazing and left us feeling happily stuffed. We might venture out to CityStars just for a second round.

Pascucci is a pleasant enough place to take a break and enjoy quiet seating away from conventionally fatty mall food. Funky décor makes it interesting, though at 120LE for a meal for two it’s isn’t a steal; but it might be one of the mall’s cheaper healthy options.