Sign in using your account with
Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Euro Pain: Petite Bakery Opens in Mohandiseen
Latching onto the freshly baked bread trend at Cairo cafes, Euro Pain has opened up on Mohandeseen's fashionable Geziret El Arab Street, boldly sitting opposite established French boulangerie, Paul. The tiny shop would be easily missed should you not look out for it, though the glass front shows off their minimalist, modern décor, helping it to stand out a little.
The small space is taken up largely by glass counters and shelves used to display samples of bread loaves, sandwiches and sweet pastry creations. Having only been open for a few months, we were surprised to see the floor so scratched and the seating a little frayed on the edges already. There are just two stools available for seating and no tables, although, interestingly, we were offered a dine-in option, presumably to eat off of our laps.
Boasting a bread oven on site, the interesting collection of seeded and non-seeded baguettes (6LE-18LE), plain and sweet brioche (50LE-55LE) and toast loaves are baked fresh daily and looked impressive on first glance; however, as they were left exposed in baskets, the loaves appeared to have hardened throughout the day.
The sandwiches on display were days – possibly weeks – old, wrapped in cellophane to stop the inevitable turning of both the bread and the fillings. Luckily, our mini turkey sandwich was made fresh, upstairs and out of sight. Crispy salad pieces added a refreshing taste to the processed turkey pieces, whilst the mysterious, spicy sauce was overbearing to say the least. Disappointingly the mini bread roll was even smaller than we anticipated and was far from the fluffy, freshly baked base we'd envisaged.
One of our favourite things to have for breakfast is chocolate croissants, so seeing them in mini form (3.50LE) excited us. Sadly, though, the bite-sized croissants were handed over cold and stale through to the middle with just a small amount of rich, runny, chocolate sauce curbing our disappointment.
Although not all options were displayed, according to the menu, cupcakes (10LE-12LE), fruity tarts (22LE-24LE) and cheese cakes (22LE) are aplenty. A medium-sized slice of carrot cake (24LE) didn't impress and we were told not to eat it straight away as it was still defrosting. On top of this, there was an unusually thin layer of icing across the top and no filling to speak of to help break up the decidedly mediocre, tasteless and slightly dry carrot sponge.
Even though their prices are low, if Euro Pain are hoping to compete with well-known, reputable bakeries selling similar products, the quality of both the sandwiches and sweets should improve drastically. It's early days though, and we may well return to see if things improve in the near future.
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.