Sign in using your account with
Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Etoile: Busy Cafe & Patisserie in Downtown Cairo
Located on 26th of July Street, in Downtown Cairo, this three-storey patisserie is both a chic little café on the top floor and a charming dessert shop on the first floor with a great deal to explore in terms of cakes and sweets.
Upon entering Etoile, rows upon rows of tasty treats are presented in a long glass refrigerator ready for selection including an extensive display of intricately detailed cakes starting at 4.50LE per slice.
We tried a soft sponge cake filled with sweet cream and topped with a delicate layer of moist icing - simple but delicious.
The great thing about these cakes is that once purchased, you can keep them in the fridge for up to two days and they will taste just as fresh as the day they were baked. A dozen of these delicious delicacies can be purchased for the price of 54LE or the more expensive cakes at 60LE.
The café upstairs is a little quieter and offers a selection of the cakes from the shop downstairs plus an exquisite variety of hot and cold beverages. The décor was pleasantly simple with wooden tables and chairs in a comfortable air-conditioned atmosphere.
We ordered a slice of Caramel Cheesecake and a slice of Cherry Cheesecake (10LE each). They were deliciously creamy with a soft biscuit-base that had a hint of orange peel. The cherry cheesecake even had some whole-cherry pieces hidden inside the cream, which created a pleasing texture. To wash down the cake we also ordered one Strawberry Juice (10LE) which was full of luscious strawberry pieces and one Vanilla Milkshake (11LE) made with creamy vanilla ice cream.
Etoile also has a small ice-cream kiosk right beside the entrance with one scoop costing 2.50LE and the variety is much larger than we expected; chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, caramel, cantaloupe, mango and even kiwi, are some of the options. While the chocolate and vanilla were exceptional, the kiwi flavour was debatable.
The variety goes beyond cakes and incorporates a range of Oriental desserts and some very posh chocolates in shiny wrapping, which make perfect gifts for special occasions.
Etoile does have a down side however – it gets crowded to the point where it becomes difficult to even move around the store.
Remember when Cairo was crazy for cupcakes? Nola was one of the first and main names behind the trend; but as with all trends, people can quickly get tired of them – something that has seen Nola introduce cheesecake, brownies, and cronuts to their menu over the years and this year, they’ve added even more
Nola’s newest items has seen the bakery introduce mini sandwiches, chocolate stones, truffles, cake pops, mini lava cakes and Belgian hot chocolate, though not everything was available when we paid the Mohandiseen branch a visit.
We started our way to out sugar coma with a Mini Chocolate Volcano Cake (27LE); a chocolate cake that’s cooked and served in a bowl, with a valley in the centre that’s filled with thick chocolate pudding, before it’s all dusted with cocoa powder. Despite the very basic, un-Nola presentation, the cake had a great spongy texture and handled the luscious melted chocolate pudding perfectly, while the cocoa powder reduced the overall sweetness to a nice balance.
We also tried the white chocolate version (28LE), but found that it wasn’t exactly what was promised. What should have been a white chocolate cake had no white chocolate flavour whatsoever, but the white chocolate shavings on top and the melted white chocolate pudding pool in the middle took care of that. Although it was overly sweet compared to the other one, there was a little bit more to the flavours and textural contrast.
For many, two cakes would be more than enough sugar intake for one day, but we also left the shop with a Chocolate Pop (9LE) and a Red Velvet Pop (8LE). Wrapped in a plastic cover with a mini bowtie, and served on a lollipop stick, the chocolate pop was moist chocolate cake with a fudgy texture, coated with chocolate shell. We enjoyed the flavours, but we’ve tried better in Cairo and there was nothing remarkable about it.
The red velvet pop had a different problem, though; the red velvet cake is coated in red velvet chocolate and had a very strong artificial flavour, which most likely came from the red chocolate shell or the red food colouring in the cake.
We also tried Nola’s hot chocolate (12.50LE) from the serve-yourself station and it’s possibly the best we’ve tried in a long time. Made with Belgian chocolate, it boasts bold flavour and a perfect thick consistency, too.
We’ve come to consider Nola as the maker of the cutest and most colourful cupcakes in town, but the new items don’t follow suit on that front. Luckily, the items we were able to try made up for it when it came to the most important thing flavour. The new items are fun, varied and ever so chocolaty.