Sign in using your account with
New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt.
Dina Cantina: Fresh Cupcakes & Custom Made Cakes in Downtown Katameya Mall
Who would have known that one of the defining aspects of contemporary food and drink in Egypt would be cupcakes? Let's be fair, the several specialists that have emerged in Cairo have presented cupcakes as an art, of sorts, and with that has come cultish followings – it's all really quite peculiar.
But whatever the case, there's no denying that it has enriched Cairo's culinary landscape, and it gives Cairo 360 something to talk about. Plus, we can't lie; cupcakes are great.
Located on the ground floor of Downtown Katameya Mall in New Cairo's Fifth Settlement, Dina Cantina is a an graceful shop that makes good use of a rose-pink colour in its décor. It's almost as if you've walked into a big cupcake. While the space itself is quite small, the whole experience and service is comfortable. The on-point staff are attentive and incredibly helpful, but also sensitive to the indecisiveness that dawns on you when you're confronted with so many plush dessert options.
At 17.50LE each, cupcakes at Dina Cantina are a little more expensive than in other similar vendors in Cairo – but only really by couple of pounds. Alternatively, one can splash out on a box of six for 155LE, choosing as you please from almost forty varieties. This is exactly what we did.
The highlight by far was the Chocolate Paragon, which set new standards for what a chocolate cupcake should be. The rich chocolate is never overwhelming because, unlike so many baked chocolate desserts, sweetness is kept at a minimum and comes solely from the chocolate. The white Kit-Kat cupcake, on the other hand, was far too sweet – to the point where we were unable to finish it. Options at Dina Cantina include peanut butter, blueberry and cream, cheesecake, Maltesers, banana toffee, cinnamon toast and M&M; though none stood out more than the aforementioned tour de force that is the Chocolate Paragon, they were all fresh and meticulously made.
Apart from cupcakes, Dina Cantina also offers a custom cake service that can cater for any type of occasion. The cost for this can be anything between 240LE and 400LE, depending on how spectacular you want to go. The cakes on display in the shop demonstrate the bakers' skills; vibrant, full of colour and, most importantly, delicious-looking – as do the various ice cream cakes (110LE), black forest gateau (260LE), cookies (7LE) and miscellaneous candy and toffee that are all on offer.
It's such a cliché, but we do eat with our eyes, making Dina Cantina all the more impressive.
Translated from Cairo 360 Arabic.
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.