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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Häagen-Dazs: Deluxe Ice Cream Parlour in Zamalek
Established by Jewish-Polish immigrants in the US in the 60s, Häagen-Dazs is probably one of the most popular ice cream brands around. Way over here across the Atlantic ocean, we've finally been blessed with something special to help ward of the heat. Having first opened in Citystars, a Häagen-Dazs ice cream parlour is now available in Zamalek.
Located towards the end of the 33 Abou El Feda deck, take the last entrance gate and the freezer filled with colourful ice cream will be lavishly sprawled to your left. There is quite an expansive seating area across from the freezer. It's simple and serves its basic function, however it is all outdoors and it might not the best option during a hot summer's day.
Their ice cream selection comes in a nice variety, including cookies ‘n cream and pralines ‘n cream flavours, as well as macadamia nut brittle, raspberry sorbet, chocolate midnight cookies, crème brûlée and caramel biscuit cream. While the crème brûlée and caramel biscuit cream tasted more or less like a bite of caramel, with similar consistency, the raspberry sorbet was light, tart and sweet, all at the same time. The chocolate midnight cookies was also delicious and highly recommended for chocolate lovers. A scoop is 18LE.
Häagen-Dazs also offers ice cream in cup for those looking for a more wholesome dessert. Two scoops of any flavour with whipped cream, crushed nuts and a choice of chocolate or butterscotch sauce will set you back around 35LE. Other toppings besides the crushed nuts included cone crunch and crispy mix.
We tried a cup with scoops of raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, topped with cone crunch and butterscotch (37.40LE) and it was heavenly. The creaminess of the ice cream matched with the frostiness of the sorbet was perfect. The cone crunch is a great alternative to a crumbly, messy cone.
They also offer ice cream-relevant drinks at around 35LE. You can choose between a frappe freeze or something more exotic like the Red Dream, which consists of different flavoured sorbets mixed together as a smoothie.
The two men behind the counter were very pleasant, and patient with our decision making, allowing us to try whichever one tickled our fancy.
There’s no question that Häagen-Dazs delivers at the same standard worldwide, but in Cairo it is nice to see an intriguing variety of flavours and a choice of interesting toppings because as we all know that we often get the short end of the stick.
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!