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.
Cairo has always had a decent amount of local bakeries serving the freshest, most affordable and most delicious bakes. But aside from the traditional petit four, freshly baked mini pizza and fino bread, sometimes we crave some Western-baked goodness which are hard to find in local shops –think some ciabatta bread or croissant with your morning coffee. The newest on Cairo’s bakery map comes in the form of Waltz, a new small bakery which recently opened on Mossadak Street.
Inside the small baker there’s an obvious Western patisserie aesthetic, with the choice of navy blue colour, touches of wood which added a classy touch and slightly less sophisticated glossy wall with pink and yellow leaves patterns. The place has a small table with high chairs if you want to have your order in store.
Though still in the soft opening phase, Waltz still has a decent variety of pastries to offer from burger buns, ciabatta bread, to mini bites and luscious desserts. We decided to try the Cheese Croissant (9LE), Chocolate Pate (10LE), Mango Mousse (12LE) and Caramel and Peanut butter Cup (15LE).
Starting with the cheese croissant, the croissant itself was soft, flaky and incredibly fresh even though we visited the place at night. We just wish it would’ve been slightly more buttery and had more cheese as we barely felt its presence.
The chocolate pate was just as fresh, loaded with a generous amount of unsweetened bold chocolate flavour which makes it perfect for breakfast.
While most items in the bakery seemed old school, the caramel cup was one of Waltz’s more modern take on desserts. Served as a trifle, the cup consists of layers of super smooth and rich peanut butter frosting and moist chocolate cake topped with peanuts and possibly the best caramel sauce we’ve had in a while. The chocolate cake texture was perfect but the chocolate flavour was too weak and got overpowered by the peanut butter frosting and caramel.
Lastly, we tried the mango mousse. A layer of vanilla cake topped with mango mousse, a thin layer of cream and mango glaze, the mango mousse was perfectly executed but sadly it lacked mango flavour. We can say that it looked the part but let’s just say we expected more.
Waltz is a great bakery addition to Dokki area. It looks promising with its decent variety of fresh bakes and we can’t wait to see what more they have to offer when they fully launch.