The go-to place for picking up cakes and tarts– or so we’re told– La Poire has several locations all across Cairo , although none in Zamalek are accessible to the public: the two Zamalek locations are safely guarded behind the Ahly Club and Gezira Club walls. So we ventured out to Garden City to sample their wares.

Only being able to order a 1/4 kilo each of sweet (17.50LE) or savoury (18.75LE) bite-sized treats, we were forced to sample more than we bargained for– tough job, we know. Of the savoury bites, we chose mini-pizzas, anchovy rolls, cheese and mint pouches, and buttery bread twists. The petit fours include goodies like mini-orange gingerbread cupcakes, chocolaty sandwich cookies, biscuits with jelly centres, layered chocolate bars, and mini-iced white tarts with creamy nutty filling. We also threw in a slice of raspberry cheesecake (14LE) and a vanilla mousse layer cake (7LE) just for kicks.

Not everything tasted fresh or particularly special, but it does depend on your taste. Some of us rather enjoyed the pizza bites with bits of olives, peppers and tomatoes, and especially the anchovies, while others found the anchovies too salty and the sweets generally too sweet. We gave the gingery cupcakes marks for creative flavouring, but ultimately they got a pass as they were rather dry. Highlights were the creamy nutty (but super sweet) mini-tart and the well-made layered chocolate bar; both really good sweets to impress at a party.

The beautiful looking cheesecake was sadly not up to par, containing more cream than cheese with a gelatinous consistency. We ordered the caramel mousse, but were served the vanilla mousse instead. It ended up also being very creamy and quite heavy, though some of us did like it.

La Poire also carries a selection of tea sandwiches and finger foods, chocolates and baklava, which are very popular during Ramadan and the feasts. The Garden City branch’s Alice in Wonderland-like door leads to a small café with about three tables off to the side, where you can enjoy your purchase with hot drinks (a latté costs 17LE), or full-sized sandwiches (about 20LE) and sodas.