Sign in using your account with
Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Soufflé: Zamalek Sweet Spot
A good neighbour is always available to lend you a cup of sugar. On the island of Zamalek, sweet shop Soufflé knows what being a good neighbour is all about.
While some sweet shops specialise in oriental treats, ice cream or chocolate cake; Soufflé has it all. The large shop is packed with several coolers, a central counter and shelf-lined walls all loaded with sugary delights.
One section of baskets is brimming with bite-sized goodies of both the oriental and western persuasion. Tiny, crunchy tartlets filled with cashews, little chocolate-covered sandwich cookies and petite shortbreads with gooey apricot centres are just a few of the mini-treats in this section. Sold by weight, you can mix a bunch of your favourites for a tasty and colourful cookie platter at 70LE per kilo. For bite-sized savoury snacks, take a peek behind the gateau counter, where a slew of breadsticks and crackers in varying shapes with seeded toppings go for 26LE to 30LE per kilo.
The centre of the shop is devoted to a high counter, where traditional oriental sweets are on display. Soufflé’s selection includes traditional basbousa for 30LE per kilo– expect to pay more for the crunchy nut toppings– and konafa stuffed with pistachio for 140LE.
A refrigerated display of Soufflé’s cakes and tarts showcases the shop’s gourmet side. A number of beautifully designed cakes are available, including one covered with glistening peaches (120LE). Even better is the counter just next to this cooler, where chic single servings of a variety of cakes and tarts are sold.
One in particular features a double layered crunchy crust beneath a decadently rich layer of thick chocolate mousse which is topped with a combed design of dark and milk chocolate sauce. Another delightful option had a spongy white cake base topped with mounds of pastry cream and finished with pineapple, peach and kiwi. The sweetest part about these desserts is the price. At 9LE per piece, these gourmet treats are as nice on your wallet as they are on your tongue.Soufflé delivers to the Zamalek, Mohandiseen and Dokki neighbourhoods, and although they don’t cater; they do have a nice selection of dyed, fruit-shaped marzipan and lots of chocolates and candies in elegant wrappers that would make excellent favours for a party or a wedding.
And while there isn’t a single soufflé to be found in the store, their selection is so sweet that we barely notice the misdirection.
It's no secret that many restaurants and cafes in Cairo flatter with gimmicks, only to provide a mediocre experience, with few standing out as truly unique. Situated at the far end of the peaceful Zamalek's El Adel Abou Bakr Street – immediately opposite Body Shapers – Kayan has transformed casual dining in the area.
Perfect for a light brunch and leisurely session of people-watching, a green and white striped canopy shades four granite-topped tables outside. Cheery sunflower centrepieces coupled with the warm weather transported us to a more European, almost Parisian, location.
The interior reflects a country-chic but contemporary feel, with garish green walls and shabby-chic wall art. A glass cabinet – and several shelves behind – show off freshly baked, homemade pastries, as well as a wide range of artisan loaves and cakes. Greeted by friendly, welcoming staff, we immediately felt at home.
Whilst the food menus are not yet printed, the owner himself took us through the available, delicious-sounding options. A variety of gourmet steak, chicken, turkey and cheese sandwiches are available, wrapped in baguette, toast or Panini bread. Salads are also offered, along with tempting, sweet and savoury breakfast options. Fresh coffee and juices can be whipped up in seconds; we’d thoroughly recommend their sweet, chilled tangerine juice (15LE).
To eat, we opted for their triple decker chicken club sandwich (35LE) with avocado (7LE), which was nothing less than perfect. Stacked high on warm, buttered white bread, the filling was made up of the freshest ingredients; thick pieces of real chicken breast – as opposed to processed – were grilled to perfection, whilst egg and cheese melted over the ripe salad layers. The avocado was finely chopped and slight, largely blending in with the rest of the flavours.
We also took away a selection of four sweet pastries (14LE); one pistachio croissant, one peach and one raspberry turnover, as well as a cinnamon swirl. Baked to perfection, the pastry was practically flawless, whilst none of the creations were sickeningly sweet. Contrasting with the fruity flavours of the raspberry and peach jams, the pistachio croissant was subtly flavoured and scrumptious. Our only complaint would be that the cinnamon flavour of the swirl was a little too subtle.
Kayan offers delicious breakfast and lunch options in an intimate, urbane bistro setting, as well as fine, freshly baked bread and pastry options which can be delivered right to your door.